Thoughts on 9/11/2013

September 11, 2013 is the first day of my daughter's official educational experience. As most parents know, that really begins at birth. But, this is her first day of preschool. I could not be more excited about witnessing her growth as a preschool student. We are not putting pressure on her to be anything other than happy. We trust our school to do right by our child. It is especially exciting having been an educator for so long. I will certainly remember this day. However, 9/11 is still such a difficult day in America and New York especially. I am reminded of my 9/11 experience. I am blessed not to have lost someone close. I do remember being nervous about losing some of my college buddies who worked in the area. I was in my second day of work at my new school. We were reeling from the loss of a parent of one of our 8th graders. So, these 8th graders came back after spending the previous day supporting their distraught friend only to find out about these attacks. I was numb when I was told about what we thought was just a crash. Just feeling so awful about that loss of life. Worried that some of my students might have lost a parent. Then, we heard the news of the second plane crash, and we went into full crisis mode. This meant calling every parent and getting our kids home. All of them. A.S.A.P. I must say that teachers across the city rose to the occasion and were some of the unsung heroes that day in how they were cool, calm, collected, and supportive of the students given the circumstances. It was tough not to want to get home and take care of my own, but that had to wait on 9/11. Eventually, we got every kid safely home with a parent or caregiver. Then, it was time to attempt a trip home. As I walked across town, I saw no cars in the streets, which was surreal. And scary. What did this all mean? Was my hometown safe? I walked over to my old school to see my good friend, Erik. He offered to let me crash at his place if I couldn't make it home. It was helpful to go to a place of comfort in that moment. I heard that some trains were running again, so I went with some former colleagues to make a trip home, that didn't come without risk, since we had no idea if we were still under attack. Although it was packed beyond  belief on the train, it was one of the most pleasant subway experiences I have ever had. People were so respectful of each other. So thoughtful and concerned for each other's welfare in this tough time. I only wish we could be like that every day instead of after a devastating incident. I did make it home to Brooklyn that day. What was once a highlight view of the Twin Towers from my courtyard, was now a cloud of smoke. I spent many an evening after that day looking at what remained of the towers and trying to make some sense of what happened. I'll let you know when I do.

Posted on September 11, 2013 and filed under September 11, 9/11.