I had not planned on writing about 9/11. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing.
And yes, it was sleeping. Hey, I worked nights back then.
That day is the day that changed my desire to have children. Before then, it was sort of a thought but not a complete one. After, I knew that I wanted to live my life with children in it.
Fast forward to this first child who is now in 3rd grade. He’s 8 so obviously it didn't happen RIGHT after that event. I was big on planning back then. Silly really. Some things you just can’t plan for.
Like when your son comes out of school and says “Hey, I didn’t know planes crashed into buildings and people died”
Up until this point my son didn’t know of that day. It’s not that I didn’t think he would know at some point, I just didn’t know this day was going to be that day.
During class a video was shown and though it was done respectfully and tastefully, it opened the door to an event that he had previously not known about. It had opened his mind to thoughts that he did not have before. It opened his mouth and out came questions that had not been asked before.
“Are they going to rebuild the buildings?”
“I bet at least half those children died”
“Is there video of the planes crashing?”
“Why did the planes crash into the buildings in the first place?”
I did my best to explain using the truth that was covered in a thin blanket of carefully chosen words. I wanted the words that I used to answer his questions but not add further fear or contaminate his view on this world.
Not yet at least. At 8 years old I feel that it is ok for him to know that bad things do happen and that people who make bad choices exist. I know that this event was beyond bad. This was evil. I’m not ready to introduce words describing humans as evil or terrorists. I don’t know when I will be.
This is an event that will live within my thoughts and heart forever. It will trigger emotions for every stage left in my life. One of those stages I’ll be ready to tell him about how I experienced that day.
Just not yet.
What age did you start talking about this event with your kids and what did you say?