Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Remember

This week I had to explain to my daughter what happened on September 11th, 2001.

It's not something I planned, but when the opportunity arose, I decided to share a few details with her. She took in the information I provided and said she wanted to see pictures. I knew there would be a lot of media coverage of the 10 year anniversary and thought it was best if she had a base understanding of what had occurred on 9/11. In her 4 year old brain she processed that planes had crashed into numerous buildings on the same day.

I honestly had never thought about when I would have to explain the events of 9/11 to my kids. I never planned what I would say and what I would not. But when a DJ on the car radio started discussing the upcoming anniversary as we drove to school, I knew the time had come. The babe was sitting so innocently in her car seat and started to ask questions. Despite the fact that I closely monitor my children's exposure to mass media, my daughter wanted to know the story.

Today, after sneaking up on me in the living room while I was watching the news during "nap time," she followed up and asked me why it had happened. I told her that I honestly didn't know and that many people have asked the same question. I did not explain to her that planes crashed into numerous buildings and a field because of a few evil men. When is it ever OK to explain that to an innocent child? I did tell her that today is a day to remember the people who died (not that that is easy to digest, either).

Tonight as I watch the television coverage of the anniversary, I have been consumed with memories of what it was like to live in New York City in September of 2001. In some ways it seems like so long ago and yet right now, as I watch the horrible images flashing across my screen, it feels like only yesterday. Nothing has ever touched me as deeply as the days following 9/11. I continue to count my blessings on a daily basis, but wish I was better at remembering how precious each and every day is. As we learnt 10 years ago, one day can change everything.

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