Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dear Miriam

I can't think of a better way to spend September 11th, 2011 than sending you off to your first day of school, as full of hope and excitement as we were of fear and confusion ten years ago.

Yesterday, I almost wanted to tell you about what happened that day. I almost called up the video on YouTube, the same way I call up videos of talking animals or favorite Sesame Street clips. But I thought better of it. After all, you're only six. There will be time for you to learn that horrible things can happen in the world.

Because that's what it felt like on 9/11. Before, I felt a general, basic sense of safety in my life as it was. After - it was different. It felt like anything could happen at any time, anywhere. People spent time guessing where would be next, until finally it came to the point where we all had to go back to living our lives as usual, a new usual, and accept that no amount of guessing could keep us safe.

Maybe I'll tell you next year. But I have a feeling that I won't. After all, you'll only be seven.

There will be time.

9 comments:

Jen said...

First, Mirmiam has the best school outfit EVER. (Is this a uniform?) I can't tell. But it's awesome either way.

Second, our church congregation is canceling the last 2/3 of our meetings so we can attend a massive interfaith service in the town in which we attend church. (206 people from Massachusetts died that day, and there's lots going on today.) I'm choosing to NOT take my kids. It's one thing to explain tragedy to them when it crosses their path. It's another to bring them to it--especially considering they're so young.

Bridget said...

Uniform! You are so kind to say it's cute. It is definitely one of the cuter uniforms in this area. Sharjah seems to have a thing for truly hideous ones.

Part of the point of this post was to figure out if other parents are telling their children, and at what age. I really came close yesterday, but then thought better of it.

Liz Johnson said...

She is adorable. I'm so glad that she's going to her first day of 1st grade today. For some reason that seems to be a fabulous way to commemorate 9/11.

I haven't told my kids, and I've been careful to not watch footage around them. Someday... but yeah, maybe closer to 7 or 8. If they ask, I'll tell them, but if they don't... I'll wait. I can barely wrap my head around it... how can I expect my kids to?!

Jen said...

The rest of the story:

We ended up going. The bishop asked us all specifically to not go home. So we went. It was a moving service, for sure--luckily it wasn't very specific as to the circumstances of the attacks. It was more traumatizing for Ian when an elderly man fainted.

Crys said...

I cried in the car today listening to the memorial but the kids never said a word? When will I talk to them about this? I don't know :(

Crys said...

Oh and Miriam looks adorable! I can't believe how fast these kids are growing!!!!

Kathy Haynie said...

Hooray for the first day of first grade! That's like "first squared," or something. I think you are wise to let her bask in the glory of today without tarnishing her day with decade-old sorrows. She will have enough sorrows of her own in life. You might like my post from yesterday...speaking of kids and what we say about 9-11.

Kathy Haynie said...

PS - I agree that her uniform is super cute. Even a matching hair scrunchie! (Do they still call them that?) And please tell her that I think her shoes are very cool. And I love her backpack all loaded up with crayons and things. Ready for anything!

Lark said...

My husband told Afton a little about 9/11 last night, but just briefly. I watched "Music and the Spoken Word" this morning as they did a special program in honor of 9/11. I cried the whole time. The music was perfectly chosen for this day and the pictures they showed during the songs brought back all the feelings from 10 years ago. Mimi came in and watched with me for awhile, but the other kids just played play-dough. Someday we'll talk about it, but for now, innocence is nice.
Miriam looks adorable and happy to be off to school. Once they start going to school it seems like the years fly by...

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