I got to work early yesterday (Absurdly early. To make coffee. Let's not discuss it.) and consequently left early. I drove away at about 3:30. While waiting at a red light, I observed maybe a dozen dudes in the park skateboarding up a storm. I thought, "What the hell? Does NO ONE have a job anymore?" and then I thought "Oh, wait. Maybe they're high school students."
Something is off kilter when my first thought upon seeing a bunch of skaters is that they're unemployed thirty-year-olds. There was a time, not so very long ago, when a pack of guys on skateboards would have been BY DEFINITION teenagers. Not anymore. Not in this town. Oh hell no, not by a long shot.
Walking to work this morning, I found myself behind a small group of students. Another girl approached the group from the opposite direction and greeted a boy with a big hug. This was not a romantic-type situation, this was the heartwarming reunion of two teenagers who had not seen each other since the beginning of first period, about an hour earlier. I remember this about high school: it was very heavy on hugs. We were always exceedingly glad to see one another and/or very sorry to part. Either occasion was hug-worthy. And frankly, although quantity was certainly a primary factor, quality was superior as well. As adults, I fear we have really let this slide. In fact, the last really excellent hug I received was at my high school reunion. Coincidence? I think not. Let's see if we can step it up, friends.
Frankly, I could do with more hugs.