Sunday, September 11, 2011


At 3am (or 3:12...3:17...), I wake up and can't go back to sleep.
Four nights in a row now.
No biggie...
there have been times when this goes on for weeks or worse, months.
No biggie.
I try to go back to sleep.
It doesn't work.
I take a benadryl, get out of bed and read or drink some water and watch bad TV.
By 5, I am usually drowsy enough to go back to sleep for an hour.
This morning, however, I'm too anxious to go back to sleep.
We're leaving at 7 for a race.
Not a cross race.

I'm tired and anxious.
I can sleep on the way home, right?

It's 9/11.
My son asked about the planes "crashing into that really tall building in New York City."
He said he saw a picture online of the building after it crumbled.
"Did you ever see that, mom?"
He asked if he was born yet.
"No. Not yet. Not for a few more years."
I told him a little bit about the day and he was kind of stuck on the fact that there were no planes in the sky and no cell phone service...that everywhere was quiet and not unlike a ghost town, that there was nothing but news news news on TV for a while.
I could see his wheels turning and I recognized that look in his eye.
Because when I was six, I was afraid of stuff, too...
I was afraid of the sun blowing up and WW3 and nuclear power and being snatched up by a stranger and even vampires...I remember like it was yesterday.

And on a different scale, I suppose these things are part of why I wake up at 3 and can't go back to sleep...I still worry.
Just not about vampires or the sun blowing up.

9/11 was a Tuesday and I was two months into my training as an orthodontic assistant.
When the first plane hit, I was in the middle of my first solo diagnostic records appointment (which means I was in a private room with a patient taking their photos, x-rays, and impressions).
When I emerged from the records room & walked out the patient, the office was eerily quiet.
The operatory was still, silent (so weird for an otherwise bustling Tuesday morning).
I made my way back to the operatory, to find most of the staff crowded around Dr.Wilkes' tiny TV in the doctor's shared office.
We were unable to reach most of our families.
At lunch, I drove around aimlessly with my radio on (they had turned it off at work).
I was mad that we were finishing our day, business as usual.
I could not believe patients were coming in after school for wire adjustments and retainer checks.

That Friday, my day off, I went to a service at St.Agnes church by myself.
I don't go to church, but it felt good to be among people and just listen to song & prayer...
I was twenty-six.
I remember watching MTV sometimes that week to escape the news, as nothing else was on.
Even MTV was weird...stuff from the vault I had never seen before. I mean, I didn't even know there was a video for Bob Marley's "One Love."
I wasn't a mom yet.

So...a mountain bike race today.
No big deal.
Clearly, there are bigger things to worry about or lose sleep over other than being the last girl to cross the finish line or having to get off my bike for something tricky or intimidating.

so easy to lose perspective sometimes, isn't it?

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