Is your dad home yet?

I was in sixth grade, in Ms. S' homeroom, when the planes hit.

The principal had come up and down the hallway, pulling teachers out one by one to tell them that we were in trouble. The teachers didn't know what to do- -at this point, I'm probably older than my teacher was at the time - so we just kind of sat there. They didn't tell us what had happened. They didn't seem to have a plan, in retrospect I have to assume that there was one, but it really didn't seem like they knew what to do. So, when family members started showing up in a panic, they just kind of dragged out any kid that they recognized to take them home. I was driven home by a neighbor, in her old station wagon with wood paneling with a bunch of other kids from our street. We sat in the neighbor's house glued to the TV for the rest of the day, with kids' parents popping up every once in a while to take them home.

Me and my siblings were lucky, our mom worked nearby in the Bronx so she was able to get back home pretty quickly. My dad, though, worked down in Manhattan. It took him a long time to get home, and we couldn't reach him. We would check in with the neighbors to see who had made it back or checked in at home. My dad was one of the last ones to show up. It was hard to know when you should stop asking if someone was back yet. A lot of people just didn't come back.

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