Sept. 11, 2001--It was a clear, crisp perfect autumn morning. I was sweeping my kitchen floor while my 2 1/2 year old watched Elmo and my seven-month-old napped.
The phone rang. It was my husband. "Turn on the news," he said, with an unusual clearness in his voice. I switched it on and couldn't believe what I was seeing.
I remember thinking the world was ending. What was going to happen to us? And, at the same time, it was still such a beautiful day.
Phone calls started coming. No one seemed to know what to do. I kept flipping the channels. Soon Elmo was off and newscoverage was the only thing to watch.
A delivery man came to our door. He seemed almost embarassed to be bringing me my drycleaning. It felt strange to be doing ordinary tasks. He was the first person I actually saw after hearing about the World Trade Center. I thanked him and then said, "It's just such a sad, sad day." He nodded and left.
Fortunately, my children needed clean diapers, lunch and stories. The routine of housekeeping kept me focused. My brother, stranded in our city, called and asked if he could stay. I busied myself getting the guest room ready and made chicken salad for dinner. It felt good to scrub the guest bathroom and fold clean towels.
Although I didn't often notice the airplanes flying overhead, I did notice their absence that day. The whole world felt so quiet. Everything felt bigger and smaller at the same time.
Six years seems a lifetime ago. My world certainly did not end that day. Those two little babies have grown up, been to Disneyland, seen the Pentagon and Ground Zero, and become older siblings to two more.
The kitchen floor I swept belongs to someone else now and no one watches Elmo any longer.