Saturday, September 11, 2010


On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was groggy.  I had a three month old baby who I was nursing every two hours and a SIDS obsession that wouldn't go away, even though I slept with my hand on his chest so I could feel his little chest raise up and down, up and down.  I woke up (but as any new mother knows, you never really wake up all the way because you never fall asleep all the way). Propped up my pillows, ran to fill up my water bottle because again, as any woman who has ever nursed, you get insanely thirsty.  Gently picked up my son, who had just woken up and began nursing him.  As soon as he was going strong, I flipped on the television...and saw it.

As my husband and I watched the news in silence, we turned to each other.  I said, "what happened to New York???  Do you think it was an earthquake??".  He looked at me and in a very even tone simply said, "no.  This was Osama Bin Laden and we have been attacked."  I didn't even know who Osama Bin Laden was....I had just spent the last year absorbing anything pregnancy, baby or breast feeding related.  None of those topics discuss the unrest in the middle east or the fact this man was quite powerful...and hated us.  Like trying to shove a square peg in a round hole, it didn't work in my mind.  I just didn't, couldn't, wouldn't accept that a group of people could knowingly plan, execute and murder thousands of people.  Here.  In America.  My America.  These people had children, friends, spouses, parents.  They were loved and needed...and for those who didn't die instantly, they spent the last moments of their life terrified. It just didn't compute.

As someone who has always tried to believe the best in people, I have always had an incredibly difficult time understanding how people are able to intentionally hurt others, especially people with whom they have no history. I can understand passionate anger and vigilante justice in that there is a basis for the repercussion. I am sure we have all done the theoretical "I'd kill someone if they *fill in the blank* my child". But the people in those towers, in the pentagon and in those planes did nothing to deserve their death. I simply could not understand it. 

I looked down at my baby.  The most amazing, wonderful thing my eyes had ever taken in.  I felt such a combination of anger, sadness and helplessness. I knew then this would forever change America.  He simply would not have the same experience here as I did.  He wouldn't have the sense of security that came from two oceans.   I had spent months preparing for his arrival...before he could even hold his head up, everything with a sharp corner was covered.  Cabinet doors had safety latches installed.  I got a life insurance policy.  I washed his clothes in Dreft.  I had a pot of water boiling continuously to sterilize anything he might possibly need to put in his mouth...pacifiers, teething rings, etc.  Post c-section, I didn't take even one pain killer because I didn't want it to get in my breast milk.   I waited until he was sleeping before I tried to trim his nails.  To think there were mothers who had done all of those things for their babies and were now at home, watching the news and realizing the planes smashing into the building where their children were haunted me. It still does.

I remember the days and weeks after that, we all flew our flags.  People started talking to each other more.  Country singers wrote a few songs about 9/11 that could arise passion and tears at the
same time.  I remember President Bush telling the crowd in New York that the people who had knocked down those buildings were going to "hear from all of us."  I remember his speech where he talked about one of the  men on the flight who's famous last words were "Let's roll."  I remember a lot.  What I don't remember is when we stopped flying our flags so much.  When we stopped talking to each other.  When the flags weren't at half mast and when seeing one no longer meant 9/11, it meant another soldier died far, far away.  I don't remember when I stopped wanting to donate blood. I don't remember when I lost respect for our president.  But all those things happened.  Slowly.  But they did.

When my son was in preschool, he asked me what 9/11 was.  I told him there were a small group of people who had hurt a lot of people.  He asked why.  I told him, truthfully, that I didn't know. I'd like to say that after this happened, I researched the whys and the history of this group of people.  I haven't.  I still don't know why they did it because understanding that kind of hatred isn't something I want to do.  I have no interest in money trails, what country funded another country in order to buy weapons, who's religion is 'better', who stood to profit off a war, or how long it will take America to 'recuperate'.  The bottom line is as I told my son 5 years ago.  A small group of people hurt a lot of people.  The whys and hows don't matter.  It happened....and the wound will take a very, very long time to heal and it will leave an enormous scar.

The memory of that day is like having an inoperable, benign tumor.   We wish like hell it just didn't exist.


  1. well stated Angela...sad, but so true!!

  2. Home birth is the only way to go.

  3. Why do I have to be anonymous? What are all those choices under "Select profile"? why can't I just use my name - without any url, aim, google account, wordpress, life journal.....What are those?