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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just Write: On 9/11.

He asks me if I saw it in the newspaper or how did I even know about September 11.

And I realize how far removed he is, even at 12, when it seems they've talked and talked and talked about what this day means.

I tell him I saw it all day long and he looks at me shocked.

I've been all close to tears for days now. The start of kindergarten. The 5K. This overwhelming life feeling. The tears have been awaiting. Each Facebook post or blog post in my reader I read the tears seem closer on this day because I remember.

I tell him I was in anatomy class and there was a knock on the door.

I notice that now not just T is listening but M and H are mesmerized.

My professor, Dr. Nelson, walked to the door and came back a few moments later. "All tall buildings in Chicago are being evacuated. There has been a terrorist attack at the World Trade Center."

With that class was dismissed and I walked across campus with my lab partner and friend, EJ. "What's a terrorist?" I asked him.

I wasn't even 20 yet, I'd never heard the word terrorist and here I am, in my kitchen, explaining terrorism to my children.

I am digging in the fridge now because I am fearful that if I look at them the tears will come and I wish J were here so he could tell them about this instead of me.

I don't tell them any more of the day though I remember the day perfectly. I didn't quite know what it all meant, the depth of the attacks didn't hit me until later. Peter Jennings and flags hung proudly throughout downtown Chicago, class discussions and phone calls home.

And my dad, was stranded, in Colorado, or Utah, or something. And at a time where Americans didn't know who to trust, he could trust a stranger he met in the airport and they rented a car and drove to Minnesota.

I don't tell the kids any of this. I think it. I come back to the conversation.

On this day, ten years ago, a bad man asked some not very good people decided to crash planes into buildings to hurt people. A lot of people died.

T and M are somber because this is nothing new, they have talked about it, read about it, heard about it. But I don't think they knew I lived then and knew it.

I am scared as I talk that I am scaring H.

So today, I say, we remember those who died and we pray for their families and we thank all those soldiers and police men and fire men for protecting us and keeping us safe.

And it will never happen again.

Sharing my thoughts on 9/11 and linking up to Just Write over on The Extraordinary Ordinary today. An exercise in freely writing, no editing.


Anonymous Galit Breen said...

Oh I have chills.

Explaining this history, this sadness, to our children. It's not right. It's a must- but it's not right.

Beautifully handled.

September 13, 2011 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I don't envy you the task of having to explain this day to children - but I think you did a wonderful job.

September 13, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Madison had told me Friday that they had a assembly at school with flags, police, and firemen. She had asked why, and I went along the same lines as you did...bad man asking other bad men to help him hurt as many people as they could. They they took the planes over and crashed them into bulidings. She seemed pretty content with that explaination. Bailey on the other had.. was 4 when it happened and wanted to see footage, and photos. I had shown him some the week before, and on Sunday he texted me to turn on the history channel. And in 2 different houses we watched and facebooked about what had happened. Obviously, with a 14 year old you can go more indepth that with a 6 year old.


September 13, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen!! The childern should NEVER have to know this!! but unfortunately it's real!!There are bad people out there..
Oh how I remember!!how numb I was that day and days to follow..

Love you All
Auntie Laurie

September 13, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

Oh wow S! I agree with Beth I don't envy the task of having to explain it kids, but you did a marvelous job. Sent chills down my spine. The whole loss of fire fighters on 9/11 always hits close to home for me, since my dad was a professional fire fighter for so long. It will always be a sad day

September 13, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

My 12yr old daughter asked how someone could be so evil. I told her that in their minds they weren't evil. They were doing what they thought God wanted them to do.

So horrible the things done in the name of God sometimes. I wonder if he weeps when he sees them.

September 13, 2011 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Ivey League Mama said...

"I wasn't even 20 yet, I'd never heard the word terrorist and here I am, in my kitchen, explaining terrorism to my children." <--- This has been so hard for me, too. Thanks for sharing the way you talked to your kids.

September 13, 2011 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger alita jewel said...

It is hard expressing your this act of war to our children. You did so beautifully, handled it with calm. The last line gave me goose-flesh since it probably isn't true. 9/11 won't happen again, but I'm still live in fear for my children's future.

Keep fostering a childhood full of information, love, and compassion. Thank you for sharing this.

September 13, 2011 at 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Kate said...

This was the first September 11th post I really really resonate with. Thanks for putting my feelings about that day into words. I was in class too, in a different city, but in a way, it's still exactly the same.

September 13, 2011 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Heather EO said...

I just absolutely love how these posts make me feel like I'm right there with someone. And I really really felt that here, lady. HOW do we explain? I said almost exactly what you did to my boys on Sunday. They just look at me wide-eyed and I know they'll never fully understand my tears.

Thank you.

September 13, 2011 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh this was SO well said.


September 13, 2011 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger LutherLiz said...

Sometimes it strikes me as so strange where my son will never grow up in a world where 9/11 hadn't happened.

Beautifully done!

September 15, 2011 at 12:45 PM  

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