On that, now infamous, Tuesday morning my curriculum director and class-roommate Sarae came into the room during free play time with an unusually serious expression on her face. "There's been an accident. A plane crashed into the World Trade Center," she whispered sideways into my ear. That instant sent my mind in a million directions. "I need to make a phone call," I said and left through the back stairway.
I couldn't remember where in Manhattan the Trade Center was. I couldn't remember where Tracey's hotel was in correlation. Was she at work already? After three failed calls to her phone my own phone rang, startling me.
"Nick, it's Ginna (Tracey's mother and my, now, Mother-in-Law). Tracey's okay. I spoke with her and she's in Queens at home watching the television." My heart settled a bit, but again my mind spun off into millions of thoughts and concerns.
I cautiously came back down the stairs and into my classroom. Everything stood out in vivd reality. I felt the warmth and care that went into the creation of that space, and I wanted to feel comforted but didn't.
By the time I had reach the main play rug, I was surrounded by a vocal and energetic group hug. They had missed my reassuring presence. I was there to keep them safe, and I could feel the trust and love in their collective embrace. My only thought was, "Who's hugging the grownups?"
On a lighter note, here's a video of Sousa's great "Stars and Stripes Forever!"
Kid Quote of the day: "Love is the most important thing in the world, but Baseball is pretty good too!" ~ Greg (age 8)