Twelve years ago I had the pleasure of working at my neighborhood elementary school in the special education department (Go Bullfrogs!). This was especially significant to me since my son Cameron attended the school as well. I also had a good friend from the neighborhood that I had known for years who also worked at the school. On this day, September 11th, 2001 that friend came into my classroom with tears in her eyes saying simply, "We've been attacked." Twelve years later I can still see Barbara's face and hear those words.
As the day unfolded and more and more details became known, as office buildings in Houston closed and workers were sent home, parents began arriving to take their children out of school. At first it was a few. Then more. Then more. Some were so hurried they couldn't wait to be processed through the front desk and instead tried entering through back doors. For several hours I ran notes with children's names on slips of paper from the office to classroom teachers, picking up kids and their backpacks and delivering them to their waiting moms and dads. It seemed endless. My dear friend Diane called me asking if I could keep watch on her daughter (love you, Jessica Rose) since she was at another school trying her best with parents, students, and teachers there.
The day was long. For the children who didn't understand why they were being picked up early it was scary. For the children whose parents didn't come get them it was scary. For those of us trying to keep everyone safe and all the children accounted for it was scary. Then we went home and it was scary.
I don't remember if I sat on the couch or in a chair to watch the news that day. I don't remember who I talked to on the phone about what was happening to our country. I don't even remember if my husband was one of those whose office closed early. But I will always remember Barbara face and her words and the work we did that day with those kids.