I am not sure when I first recited the pledge of allegiance though I am willing to bet it was before I started school, though it took me a while to understand its meaning. Whenever it is being recited, to this day, I stop and place my hand over my heart and join in. I thought this was almost a quirk (not that I am calling patriotism quirky) but yesterday morning, in a cramped room behind the cafeteria, in the midst of wrapping and taping and stapling, all twelve of us ladies paused when the intercom crackled with the announcements. We had already been standing for the most part, but had fallen into that woven conversation that happens when one group is having several different conversations at once; it would have been easy to miss out on the pledge. Truth be told there wasn’t even a flag hung in the space we were in, as it was more of a makeshift prep-station than anything else. But we knew it was coming, as it comes every morning for our children and dutifully, or genuinely or reflexively (or maybe all three) we stopped our side conversations and spoke in unison of our beliefs.