I welcomed the new millennium in stretch pants, my three-week-old firstborn guzzling at my breast. In the weeks leading up to January 1, 2000, I worried little about “Y2K”—the catastrophes predicted due to our computers’ inability to decipher a year abbreviated as “00.” I was too consumed by the impending and then actual arrival of my tiny girl, and too skeptical of doomsday thinking, to fear government dissolution or planes falling from the sky.
Twenty months later, on September 11, 2001, we would learn that planes falling from the sky was a legitimate thing to fear, though the planes would be brought down not by inept technology, but by old-fashioned human rage. We learned, in blood and fire, just how fraught with both promise and peril our increasingly global connections can be.
As evening approached on September 11, the day’s many charged legacies—for our nation, for parents and children—were yet unknown. All I knew was that I had a 20-month-old who was blessedly oblivious as I watched the towers collapse, my hand clamped over my mouth so I wouldn’t frighten her with horrified whimpering, and that we had plans the following day to go to the beach. I called my friend Cathy and asked, “Should we go? It seems wrong. But what else are we going to do?” What else indeed, especially with a child not yet two years old? So off to the beach we went…
Click here to continue reading this essay—one of a pair celebrating Brain, Child Magazine’s 15th anniversary by pondering what’s different for women having babies today vs. 15 years ago.