Yesterday my family and I crossed the border into the United States for the first time since last September's terrorist attacks. I expected security to be much tighter, but the only real difference from the dozens of other crossings I'd made in previous years was that both American and Canadian customs officers now require identification papers for everyone, including birth certificates for my two children.
The 90-minute lineup wasn't unusual for a Saturday lunchtime -- we'd had a longer wait in the summer of 2000 before a camping trip to Oregon. Coming back around 9:00 p.m., we waited less than five minutes. Then again, we've always been pretty low on the list of potential terrorists in profile: two young, white, Canadian-born English-speakers with preschoolers in tow. I would have been more nervous were my skin and eyes darker, or my accent less identifiable. Which is too bad.