“Daddy, Where Are The Rugrats?”

The moment is etched in my mind forever.  I wish it never took up space in my head but it does.  And will always be there.

It was going to be a special day because I was taking my three-year old daughter to her first Mother’s Day Out class.  Her mom was already at work so I was tasked with feeding, dressing and getting her there on time.  We had rushed through the first two quickly and now we were going to watch The Rugrats for a few minutes before we left.

My phone rang.  “Hello?”  The voice on the other end said simply, “Hey, turn it on CNN right now?”  I paused and said, “Why? Because if I turn this channel, my girl is going to lose it.”

Silence for a few seconds and then my friend said, “A huge plane just hit the World Trade Center.  Turn it on.”

I picked up the remote and turned the channel.  What in the world was I seeing?  A plane just happened to hit that building?  From the TV view, it seemed to be a bright and sunny day in Manhattan.  No, it was something else.  Had to be.

Then, I watched as the second plane hit the other tower.  My God, did I really just see that?

“Oh God, did you see that?  It just flew right into the building!”  I was in shock.  “Ed, I will call you back.”

I was still processing what I was seeing and having really no understanding of what I was seeing.  That makes zero sense, I know, but at the time, it did.

Suddenly, reality tugged at my shirt.

“Daddy, where did the Rugrats go?  Put the Rugrats back on.”

I had completely forgotten my daughter was sitting next to me the whole time.  I looked at her and said, “I am sorry sweetheart, here you go.”

I turned it back on The Rugrats for her and went into the kitchen, knowing that when I took her to school, the world we knew that morning, would never be the same.



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