Eleven years ago, I got my class of sixth-grade girls ready to go to music.
“Tuck in your shirts, girls.
Shhhh, keep the giggles down. People are working.”
Ten minutes later, as I sat alone in the teachers’ room correcting papers, the school secretary came to tell me about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. As we were talking, the headmaster came to tell us about the second plane hitting the Center. He went into command mode, telling us to act normal in front of the girls until he had figured out a plan.
How was I going to act normal in front of these beautiful, innocent girls when I wasn’t sure if we were at war, if we were under attack, if we, in our little school, were in danger.
What did I do?
I called my dad. Yes, at 29-years-old, I called my dad.
As soon as I heard him say hello, I started to cry.
“Dad, I’m at school, and I have to be strong for the kids. What am I going to do? Who could do this? How could anyone do this?” I had become a little girl again.
And in my dad’s calming manner, he said, “Amy, there will always people who do bad things. Horrible things. But there will always be far more people who do good things–great things, people who will help, people who will keep one another safe. In times like this, all we can do is remember that there IS more good than bad.”
“I love you, Dad. Thank you. I couldn’t make it through this day without you.”
“I love you, too, Aim.”
We had no more time to talk. I had to go pick up my girls from music and act like the world was a safe place. But-although I no longer believed in its safety, I kept my dad’s words as a mantra for that day and for all of these years. Now I’m forty-years-old, with children of my own. I can’t explain a lot of things, but I can always say…
There IS more good than bad.