About a week after September 11th this year, Tony was rambling one afternoon as we traveled home, and he mentioned something about the bad guys coming. “The bad guys came in 2001,” he said. “They killed lotsa people. But the good guys were there too, Momma,” he said, as if he were reciting a history lesson.
Because to our children, most of them, it is merely a historical fact. They do not remember. I feel blessed for this.
“The good guys came, and they helped the people that were hurt. They kept the bad guys away,” he finished, looking out the window. “I wanna be a good guy when I grow up.”
I think five years old is too young to talk about what happened on Friday, although Tony probably wonders why Bryan and I were so clingy with him all weekend. We kept only Netflix on the screen; no live tv at all was allowed. We had Pop-Tarts whenever we wanted. If the kids picked a restaurant, that’s where we ate, no matter how long the wait to get in.
Mainly because I kept hearing this all weekend long:
If you have not been reunited with your child by this point, you most likely won’t be.
No parent should ever, ever have to hear that.
I had a meeting with a group of folks already scheduled for Saturday, but our usual agenda sat untouched as we sat and stared at eachother. What could we do to help? The problem seems insurmountable. And then, I thought, maybe we WERE doing what we could. Maybe the open dialogue – even one without answers and measurable actions – was the beginning. Maybe we all start see eachother as human – gun-owners are not to blame, nor are violent video games or church-and-state-separatists – and begin reaching out. Maybe talking is the way to go.
Except to my child, of course. We are not speaking of this to my child.