Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kids and September 11th.

I know we just went past another September 11th, but I wanted this post to be a part of my blog record, so I'm inserting it today. This article was first published 2 weeks ago in DFW's NeighborsGo, a Dallas Morning News publication.

We all live with this now. It's always with us, the memory of that terrible day, where we were, who was lost.

But every year, on one day, it comes to the forefront in the news, in the schools, in our homes. And we each have to make decisions, based on the ages of our children, about how to talk about September 11.

I don't want her to be scared. I don't want her to look at airplanes with anything less than excitement, or be afraid to push the very top button in an elevator. And although I want her to understand that most people would do her no harm, you can't always tell who the bad ones are. There are plenty of years for details, for newfound incredulity and fear. The loss of childhood innocence after that terrible day is needless and avoidable collateral damage if I can simply find the right words.

So this year as my oldest reaches a level of understanding about things that go wrong in the world, she and I will sit and talk about what happened that day. And there will be things I tell her, and things I don't. She will ask pointed questions, and I will guide her to a safer place. And I will send her back to school understanding that September 11, like all days, is a time to be thankful.

Thankful for those people who put themselves in danger, to keep us safe.

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Em said...

I asked Oldest if they talked about it at school.

He wanted to know why they would, why was this day so special?

I chickened out. I told him it was a day in history when some buildings fell down.

"Did people get hurt?!"

"No honey. Everyone was fine."


It can wait. I'll remember for the both of us for now.

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

I had to have this talk with J....and he asked SO many questions. I posted about it back on 9/10. Congrats Jay on your newspaper article. For some reason I didnt know you wrote for the paper. Now you are even more famous! Yay Jay!!!

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

My boys aren't there yet. I'll enjoy their innocence for another year or two. What a hard thing to teach our children about - but what an important event for us to remember.

Great article!!

Brandy said...

My youngest has no idea whats any different about September 11 she wasnt born yet.
My oldest son was at school and came home and the only thing he coud say when he got home was "MOM CAN YOU BELIEVE IT THE PRESIDENT WASNT IN HIS OFFICE TODAY" he was 8and had no idea why President Bush wasn't in the White House.
My youngest son was 4 and ever since that day my curious little man turned into a very cautious and scared little boy. When he found out we had to fly to Germany he was terrified that the bad guys would take over the plane and crash it. Once he got on the plane and saw how cool it was he calmed down thankfully cause I dont think I could have handled a 9hour flight with a terrified kid. He has gotten better but he lost a part of his innocense that day that he will never get back.

Blog Stalker said...

Could not have said it better. I do think we have to talk to or kids about it but need to be age and maturity sensitive on the depth.

We first and foremost must never forget lest history repeat itself.

Have a great day!!

Lee said...

I was in 2nd grade when it happened, and I will NEVER forget that day.

mommaof4wife2r said...

paige was in surgery when the towers were hit...and the other 3 have no idea...but it's hard for p every year. off the topic, but you were stinking published...again!

Fresh Mommy said...

That's a tough one. This article says it well though!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...


Can I have your autograph?

Great article.

posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson