today, the 11th

September 11, 2009 |  Category:   happy purchases home life




Rainy. A little chilly. I wore a scarf, hat and boots. Today was Mia’s first day of full-day Kindergarten. No half-day business which I understand is necessary to ease kids in, but it leaves you with as much time to come home, empty the dishwasher and that’s it. Back you go to pick up the kid. Not to be overshadowed by Mia’s big transition into school, Claudine had a milestone of her own today. It was her first day of her one day a week drop off playgroup – not quite daycare, not quite a preschool. Run by an energetic and *magical* Brazilian woman in the garden floor of a brownstone, this was the first time that Claudine would be dropped off anywhere…and we were somewhat dreading it as she tends to be very clingy with us. I could tell that she’s getting better about new situations since earlier this year. The old Claudine wouldn’t even want to come through the doorway for a good 15 minutes and then when she did, she would sit on my lap for a good while longer before becoming even the least bit comfortable with making her way around a room. Today she walked in on her own and immediately went to the fish tank to see if the yellow fish she named “Beef” on her second visit to the playgroup 4 months ago was still there. It was. As comfortable as she was when we got there, she ended up crying and screaming when we left. My baby. The teacher emailed us to say that she cried for awhile but then was ok. When Mark picked her up and got home, she was all smiles and told me all about her time with her new teacher and friends. We’ll see how next week goes.

So I almost didn’t realize today was sept 11 until way after breakfast, which is odd, but telling. I don’t want to say that the heaviness of the day is fading, but as each year goes by, it is fading just a little bit. But just like any other seminal event in your life, the feelings and memories just burn and I spent a bit of time in our new chair in the bedroom looking out the window thinking about them. As a native New Yorker, I was almost pissed that I wasn’t here when it happened. I don’t travel a whole lot so it was ironic that it happened on the few times that I traveled that year. But being in a foreign country on a business trip and not being able to speak the language and dealing with these emotions was probably the loneliest I ever felt in my life. Our client thought it would be best to “distract” us from the news by planning all these trips and tours within the country (we were in Venezuela) while we waited for a flight home. And so we were shuttled on these small airplanes and helicopters with no airport security whatsoever which is probably the most ironic thing about the whole trip. Who wanted to get on a plane at that time except to go home? All I wanted to do was watch CNN, and then when I couldn’t find any more news in English on the TV in my hotel room, I watched endless episodes of Friends dubbed in Spanish. Funny, huh? I found it immensely comforting to watch a show that I knew so well, set in NYC even if it was a fictitious NY. So as cheeseball as that show is, I’ll always have a special fondness for Monica, Chandler, Rachel and friends.

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  • Stacey September 12, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Such a beautiful blog, happened to find you when I saw a listing for your chocolate butterscotch bars on etsy.

  • Maria Isabel September 12, 2009 at 10:51 am

    hi jenna!
    i’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for a while now. i’m venezuelan and it was just so odd to read that you were here, especially during those sad days.
    your client trying to distract you from such unavoidable events is totally the venezuelan way to deal with pain and horror.
    (which is probably what led us to this sad place we are now)
    anyway, just felt like (finally) dropping a little note. you have a very warm and honest blog here! take care.

  • leslie September 12, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Kids can be tricky sometimes. . .I worried all night that my son would cry on the first day of school as he has every year (he’s 7 and on the autism spectrum). I worried needlessly, though. Not a tear shed. Big step for him too!

    A big congrats to your two little ones too!

  • Wee Chong September 13, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Hi. I happened to chance upon your blog, and I really enjoyed reading the every article you posted. In addition, the photos are really well taken, as if a professional has participated in the shooting of the pictures! Keep it up

  • Brenda September 13, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Awww, Claudine. 🙂 As a former hugger of my mom’s knees in all situations (I was SO shy), I’m feeling for her.

  • Jenna September 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    HI Maria Isabel, the client (the Cisneros family) was generous and gracious (and helped us get on a flight after much disappointing news day in and day out about not being able to get home), but yes, it was a bit odd that my only visit to South America was during this event. I do hope I can visit again under different circumstances.