Seven years ago, I was a very, very nervous first-time mother who had barely taken her newborn out of the house. Early on the morning of my baby's two-week checkup, my husband and I got up, got ready, and slowly and carefully made the drive to the pediatrician's office for our appointment.
We reached the check-in counter about five minutes before our appointment time, and the receptionist berated me, "Do you see the sign? You are supposed to be here at LEAST fifteen minutes before your appointment. I have the right to cancel your appointment because you are late. Don't let this happen again." Standing in an office I had never visited before, whose policies I did not know, in my milk-stained shirt and holding a newborn in a car seat, I cried.
We sat in the waiting area for a moment, and then were called in to see the doctor. "Did you hear that a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center in New York?" the nurse asked. "No," we said. "Was it a small plane?" "I don't know," she replied, as she deftly checked our little girl and went to get the doctor.
We drove back to our house to find my visiting flight attendant mother sitting on the couch crying as she watched the TV. "A second plane just flew into the towers," she said. Scott had to leave for work, but Mom and I sat glued to the TV all day. Because there were no planes flying and no rental cars to be had, my brother-in-law drove my mother to meet my father halfway between our homes. And I continued to watch the coverage through a haze of hormones and sleep deprivation, holding my baby girl.