I'd just missed the 7:30 bus to work and was walking
a few blocks to catch one on a different route
when I was joined up with children, accompanied by their parents,
all going more or less the same direction.
Monday was the first day of school and the children were
on their way to an elementary school about a quarter mile away.
It was a reassuring scene; the parents showing their
kids the route, the "safe path" between home
and the school building. While this dad walked with his
two boys, one mom drove her SUV alongside
her son and daughter as they rode their bicycles
on the sidewalk. I know this because I'd heard the boy
calling out to me as he approached from behind,
with mom calling to him from the car,
"Say 'excuse me,' Jacob!"
"I did, Mom!" he said, and I nodded agreement.
Another year of learning, of learning one's
way from home to a new place.
Thankfully, in these cases, mom and dad
are there to help show the way,
a natural progression repeated over