My Child of 9/11
Of all the things I remember about 9/11, I remember being pregnant. It was not my first pregnancy, and it would not be my last, yet it was a pregnancy marked with sorrow.
I was a young mother, with 5 and 3 year old sons. I had just flown back home (via United Airlines, no less) from a family wedding in Michigan. While I was gone, the Rev. and my then little boys had moved all of our worldly possessions into our home on a beautiful river in northern Minnesota.
Our phone and internet had been hooked up (hello, dial-up!), but I was still waiting on the cable guy. On that sunny September day 10 years ago, I looked at the pile of moving boxes in my living room and opted for coffee on my back deck instead of work. I was just past my first trimester, and coffee was beginning to be palatable and enjoyable again. But there was one problem. I was out of creamer.
I loaded the little ones up in our little car, and headed out for the grocery store. I was not even around the bend in our road before I began to hear the horrific news on the radio. Not only had one plane crashed into the World Trade Center, it appeared that a second one had as well. I immediately turned around and returned home to call the Rev. at church. (We totally did not have cell phones yet! I only got mine 2 years ago!).
The rest of the day is a blur. I remember the Rev. going to a neighbor’s home to watch news coverage. I remember being angry, frightened and sad. I remember logging on to the computer to check with my Yahoo Baby Club (we still, 10 years later, communicate daily) to make sure everyone was OK. We were all in shock, and frightened, and angry, and most of all, unsure of what kind of world we were bringing these fresh new babies into.
Our cable was not hooked up for a few days. I actually never watched any 9/11 video footage until a year later. I’m actually glad that we had no cable on that terrible day, as I most certainly would have viewed it on the Today Show, live.
What I did not realize until yesterday was how much I had sheltered my Child of 9/11. Sure, Owen has heard the term. He has written letters to members of the US Military. He is a proud Cub Scout. He knows that there are other people who hate America.
However, we had never really told him about that day. When he was alive, but not yet born, and life as we knew it changed forever.
Yesterday, as we were getting ready for church, we had left the TV on, and Owen watched the events unfold. He finally learned what 9/11 was.
As I was driving him to visit a friend, he asked me about it. About what happened. And so I told him. I told him about the terrorists. But mostly, I told him about the heroes. I told him of the first responders. I told him of the ordinary people who reached out and helped friends and neighbors. And then I broke down in sobs as I told him the story of Flight 93.
I told him that there are children, his very age, who have never met their fathers, because of this act of terrorism. I told him of people who lost mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. I spoke of innocence lost.
Our world changed that day.
But when I look into the eyes of my son, my child of 9/11, I can see hope, and a future. When you see a nine year old this week, remember, quite possibly, their world was changed the most.