I was in New York City on September 11, 2001. It was a traumatic day and a harrowing time. Just thinking about it (and writing about it) makes me feel a lump in my throat. The emotions I feel about it today are just as raw as they were ten years ago.
I’ve had a hard time this week watching crowds of people celebrating bin Laden’s death. I don’t mean to judge anyone. I get it. I understand the pride, the anger, the relief and the feeling that justice has been done. But I feel a great sense of sadness. Not for bin Laden. He was a madman. But for everyone who has died or suffered because of him and what he stands for and for all the hate that exists in the world with or without him breathing.
I receive daily Google News Alerts on the topics of parenting and motherhood. Many of the stories I’ve read this week have been about how to talk to kids about the death of Osama bin Laden. I couldn’t be more grateful that my kids are too young to require such an unpleasant conversation.
At two years old, Riley’s main concerns are wasting as many Band-Aids as possible on pretend boo boos and being pushed high on a swing. Dylan, at age four, might respond to images he sees on television, but he finds Nick Jr. a lot more interesting than Mommy’s news shows on MSNBC.
I can barely find the courage to explain to Dylan that he’s going to see a “feelings doctor” next week. (This was a suggestion from the therapist. Another name was “doctor who doesn’t give shots.” I like that one a lot.) So I’m glad I don’t have the burden of talking to him about terrorism, mass murder, war or death…for a few more years, anyway. I know the conversation will ultimately happen – about September 11th or some other tragedy – but I’m a Grateful Mama for any additional amount of time we have to talk about nothing more serious than basketball, dinosaurs, show & share and The Incredibles (Dylan’s new movie obsession).
Have you talked to your kids about Osama bin Laden?