Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Today is September 11, 2007

6 years ago today is a day none of us will ever forget. For those my grandparents age it is one of three days, for those my parents age it is one of two days, so far for my generation and younger it's the only day we remember. People still talk about where they were when they found out about Pearl Harbor or when Kennedy was assinated. This day will be no different for those who lived through it. I remember that day very clearly. I was one day away from reaching the 13 week goal of pregnancy. In one more day I would officially be past the first trimister into the "easier" part of pregnancy. The fear of miscarriage would've been behind me, the rest of the pregnancy should've been anxiety free. I was sitting at my desk that day when Mom called. She asked if I knew what was going on, I didn't have the radio on in my office that day. I think by the time I found out what was going on the first tower had already fallen. Do you remember the feeling of confusion? Do you remember the horror of seeing the chaos and fear on the faces of those running from the falling buildings? Did you just want to go home and hug your family? Were you completely terrified because you didn't know what would happen next? Do you remember waiting to see if all the planes were finally accounted for that day? Do you remember how that day and for the next several days the sky was so clear and bright?, it made it hard to imagine that something that terrible had just happened.

I think being pregnant brought this day into a whole new light for me, even more so than what J was feeling. I was terrified because I had no idea what our life would be like by March. What kind of situation would I be bringing my child into? For the next nine months my heart went out to those who gave birth to babies that would never know their daddies. For those who went through labor without their spouse and felt the greatest joy ever imaginable mixed with the greatest sorrow imaginable. For those children already born who lost their parents, I can't even begin to imagine what that was like, and still is like to this day.

The other thing I think about often is that C won't ever have the complete innocence that we knew. He already knows what happened that day, he even asked this weekend if he was born when it happened. We even invaded Iraq within a day or two of his first birthday, so that was in the back of my mind in the days leading up to C's party. I tried expressing this to J at the time of C's birthday and I think he thought I was worrying too much. It's not that I sit up at night worrying about this, but it does makes me a little sad. As a mother, our first instinct is to protect our children and guard their innocence. We want to shield them from every bad thing for as long as we can. It makes me sad because I feel like I never even got the chance to protect him.

I remember during the 2004 election during a debate between Senator Kerry and President Bush, Kerry made a comment about the amount of time President Bush continued to sit with those school children after he knew about the attacks. I don't focus on politics quite as much as J, but from what I remember Kerry had even timed it to so many minutes and so many seconds. He said that if he had been President he would've told those kids "I'm sorry boys and girls but the President has a job to do" or something to that effect. Of course that got a round of applause from all his supporters. I remember that infuriating me beyond belief when I heard it. Hindsight is 20/20 - of course you could say that now, but what if he really had been President at the time. How can you even begin to imagine what you would've done while faced with the greatest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor knowing there were millions of Americans looking to you for guidence. I know part of it the President had to be trying to wrap his mind around what just happened, just like we all were. But I also like to think maybe he was trying to protect the innocence of those school children for just a few more minutes. He may be President, but he is also a father and what parent out there doesn't want to hold onto their children's innocence for a few more seconds. Maybe he knew that he could no longer protect America, the worst imaginable thing had already happened, but he knew he could protect those children for just a little longer.

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