Third Grade: The kids in their uniforms ready to go to school.
This week we remembered what happened seventeen years ago on another Tuesday, on September 11. Every year when that date comes around, it is a somber day. We all remember where we were when the planes struck. It changed our lives irrevocably.
This past Tuesday, a friend on Facebook asked for memories of 9/11 and it was a solemn task, yet part of the ongoing healing, to go back and reflect on the day, its impact, and how it changed our lives.
The kids were already gone that morning because my carpool partner, Sina, had picked them up earlier and driven them to school for me. I was in the kitchen cleaning up from a busy morning of bustling to get out the door on time and not keep Sina and her three kids waiting in the driveway.
My sister called and said “Are you seeing this?!” I turned on the TV and watched with her on the line with me. We saw the second plane hit and knew something was horribly wrong, that it couldn’t be an accident if two hit. Before long, we were hearing news of other planes hijacked, crashing, hitting the Pentagon. Then all of airspace was completely shut down. Every single one of the thousands and thousands of planes in the air were grounded.
Word went out President Bush was being secreted away to one of three places—NORAD being one of them—right next to my kids’ school, who attended Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy. All the roads were possibly going to be shut down for his motorcade (even if he didn’t come so no one could know where they were hiding him) and I didn’t know if we’d be able to get through. I wanted my kids with me! Sina called me and we decided we had to get the kids home. Because she was already out on the road, she dashed to the schools (one of hers was on a different campus) to collect them all. I just sat in silence with my hand over my mouth glued to the TV while waiting for them to arrive, not sure if they could get through.
They made it but it was hard to let my kids out of my sight after that. By December, I was having trouble letting them leave every day and spend the day apart from me. I couldn’t see a plane in the sky without bracing myself to see it explode. I really didn’t want them in their classroom anymore because they had a teacher both new to teaching and to the stringent environment of their charter school. Her classroom was in chaos, with her giving candy bars every day as bribery to a couple of troubled students to coerce them disrupt less. Molly understandably often asked me why could they get the special treatment for misbehaving and she get nothing for being good. Finally one day in the car, I asked with trepidation what they thought of the idea of homeschool. The boys immediately said, “Sure!” I worried most about Molly. She was quiet for a moment, thinking. Then she said, “Yes, I’d like to do that.” I was surprised, but incredibly relieved. It felt like a confirmation that it was the right decision.
We finished the semester, barely holding on till we wouldn’t have to go there anymore, each day enduring the chaos in the classroom and giant candy bars rewarding the biggest disrupters in the class. Once we stopped, we had the best two-and-a-half years staying home and together, healing and homeschooling. It was the right decision, indeed!
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Life with Quadruplets
As a mother of quadruplets, I've had plenty of crazy experiences raising "supertwins." I blog a lot of memories about my kids. Sometimes just my thoughts on things. I get those sometimes—when my brain works. Which is about one third of the time.