In the same way the generation before us will always remember exactly where they were when Kennedy was shot, the imprint of where we were on 9/11/01 will ever be etched in our mind. For me, it was a typical Tuesday morning. The hubby and I had just gotten up, both of us having jobs where the 8:30 start time was neither firm nor enforced. I was six months pregnant with our first so sleeping a little later was happening more frequently than not. I had just waddled into the bathroom when the hubby turned on the TV and said, "oh crap, it looks like a plane hit one of the World Trade Center towers." We talked back and forth about the news "what kind of plane would do that?" "what was wrong with that pilot?" As we are going back and forth, the hubby exclaimed, "Holy shit, another plane just hit the other tower!" I rushed into the bedroom and the hubby and I watched the horrible events unfold. We stayed in that bedroom all day, watching the images replayed over and over, talking about how we, WE, were the targets of the terrorists, and calling our family and friends to make sure everyone was alright.
Another thing happened that day, I found my first stretch mark on my belly. A fact that seems stupid and inconsequential. But for me it highlighted that I was pregnant and made me wonder how we could ever bring a child into what was now a crazy and dangerous world. I cried several times that day thinking that our kids were going to live in a world marred by terrorism and fear.
Three days later, my employer had a previously scheduled seminar on trauma and traumatic response. It was originally intended to educate us social workers on how to help out clients who have been through traumatic events. It turned into a debriefing of sorts for the entire agency to talk about their feelings about the events of 9/11 and how we were effected by these events. Truth be told, there was crying. Lots of crying. Except by me, because here's the thing, that baby girl inside of me wouldn't stop kicking. A leg pushed out on the right side of the belly, a arm sticking out on the right. The acrobatics she was doing that morning in my belly were frankly a pretty impressive ones, and I just could not bring myself to be sad when something so amazing was growing inside of me. And suddenly, instead of wondering how we could bring a baby into this crazy world, my thoughts moved to the fact that it will be people like our baby girl who will make the world a better place. We will teach her to be caring, honest, and accepting of all people.
Fast forward ten years, and though she often thinks her singing and theatrics are what will change the world, it is clear that she has the caring, loving heart that I hoped for that day. When others are hurt she always lends a hand and tries to make things better. When the earthquakes hit Japan, she brainstormed for days about how she could help the people there. When it comes to the events of 9/11, she has a compassionate interest, her heart going out to those who were lost and those who loved them.
The events of 9/11 have truly changed our world. But as I often say when facing difficult situations, what can we do to make things better? Continuing to teach the next generation to love each other, care for each other, and treat each other as they would want to be treated. Hopefully the, their generations' "where I was" moment can be a positive one, instead of such a tragic one.
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