So why am I so tearful this morning?
I think it's because last night 1500+ beautiful little souls, dressed as their worst fears, or most aspirational selves, roamed our neighborhood.
They understood how to make order out of potential chaos. They understood how to help each other navigate the dark and narrow paths to and from doors. They stood patiently, one behind the other in long lines, waiting for their turn.
They each honored Jim Lee's cheerful instruction: Which 'one' would you like? And helped them laugh when they had trouble selecting from the colorful stash. They politely asked for a piece of candy for a baby sister or brother who was afraid to come out of the stroller. And, one by one, said Thank You.
They instinctively took a wobbly child's hand. Children from across Durham. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, and other adults each proud of their babies for the same reasons. Each reveling in the joy and beauty of this collective moment. You could feel it in the crisp October air on W. Club Blvd.
Our 8-year-old grandson guided our 4-year-old grandson through the scary labyrinth to neighbors' doors, never letting go of his tight grip. All four of our grandboys, age 4-9, found more joy in handing out candy than in trick or treating.
So why am I teary this morning? Because this brief snapshot in time is my aspirational vision of America. Let the children lead.