This was written on the morning of September 11, 2009........
Eight years ago, I was walking in my neighborhood, trying to start up contractions. I was overdue by at least a week already, and just plain tired of being pregnant. I tried every little trick suggested (sex, riding down bumpy roads, walking) and none of it worked.
So on that ill-fated day, I came inside from yet another attempt at going into labor, to find the world in turmoil. My answering machine was flashing like a strobe light with messages, mostly from my mom. They all said something along the lines of “turn on the TV.” So I did. You all remember what we saw.
The next day, I reported to my scheduled OBGYN appointment. Everyone was so dejected. Shell-shocked. Can you believe it? Of course you know the gas prices will go up. My sister lives in NYC. What are we going to do? My father works at the Pentagon. All of these things, thought or said, were fresh on everyone’s minds.
There was no progress with a “natural” labor, so I was sent to the hospital to start induction. I spent the next 58 hours trying kick-start my labor by means of medications and uncomfortable monitors. Finally, on September 14, 2001 at 21:38 I had a healthy baby boy via cesarean, William Dagan Aston.
The whole time I was in the hospital, five days total, I really hadn’t absorbed the events of 9-11. Driving Dagan to school today we were listening to the radio. We heard lots of things about the events that happened eight years ago. Dagan asked me about 9-11. I said that some very bad people kidnapped some planes with good people on them. Then they crashed the planes and killed thousands of innocent people.
It was more upsetting to tell an 8 year old what happened than to remember it. It gave it a voice. Made it real all over again. I found myself in the line to drop off kids at school teary eyed, snot nosed, in my pajamas, and out of coffee. Driving back home, my thoughts still on 9-11, I thought there’s no way to explain that day. Just saying some bad people killed some good people doesn’t begin to cover it. For those who were not old enough to know what was going on or weren’t even born yet, there isn’t anything we can tell them. Only facts. Just like the Kennedy assassination and Pearl Harbor are to my generation. We know a terrible thing happened, but it doesn’t affect us as much.
I hope you all remember, as if we could really forget. Just like the Holocaust and slavery, September 11, 2001 should never be forgotten. And if you find yourself explaining to a child some horrible event in history, you might get emotional and maybe even tear up like I did. Or not. It doesn’t matter. As long as we tell them.