Eleven years ago today, I found that the world I would raise children in was irrevocably changed. I knew that my children would not have the same carefree childhood My Husband and I had enjoyed. My country was sucker punched on beautiful, clear early Autumn day. Children were murdered by the most evil men I’ve ever seen. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, husbands, wives…terrorized then murdered simply because they were Americans. Or simply in America, at an airport or in the building where they worked.
It changed me. It changed my family.
It changed us all.
September 11th altered the way I parent my child.
This morning, I asked The Diva if she was learning about 9/11 in school. She said she wasn’t and wanted to know what it meant. I had to explain to my inquisitive seven-year-old that more than a decade ago, evil men, using their twisted religion as justification, flew planes into buildings in New York City and our nation’s capital where innocent people were working. I told her that these men were directed by their “church” leader to kill Americans, Christians and Jews.
She replied, “Like me, Mommy?”
I had to tell her the truth. “Yes, like you, baby. And like me and like Daddy. And because Papa just found out that he’s Jewish, those kind of people automatically hate him. And me because I’m his wife and you because you’re his daughter.”
“Oh, I don’t want to die, Mommy,” she exclaimed.
“Don’t worry, baby, Daddy and I will keep you safe. But there are still people out there like the ones that crashed the planes. They hate us because we don’t believe like they do”, I said.
“But, Mommy,” The Diva asked, “why don’t they just let everyone else believe how they want to believe? We’re all different, we don’t all have to be the same.”
“I don’t know, honey. I think everyone should be able to believe what they want, too. As long as those people aren’t hurting anyone or breaking the law, it’s their choice,” I said. “But the Terrorists? They want everyone to be like them. I don’t understand it, either.”
“Well, I’m going to get a magic wand at Christmas and I will make all those evil people be happy people and stop hurting other people. I’ll make it so they don’t want to be mean anymore, I promise,” she declared.
“I hope you do, Ro. That’s an awesome thing you want to do for this world.”
After I said this, I uttered a little silent prayer that maybe, just maybe, it would come true. The innocence of childhood is so wonderful, thinking that wands are truly magical and everyone can actually get along. I will cry the day she loses this beautiful altruism that only a little girl can have. If only she could stay this pure and fearless forever.
But, wouldn’t it be nice if we really could wave a magic wand and make all the unspeakable evil in this world disappear?
I’ve written about 9/11 nearly every year since I started my blog. You can find those posts here: