Potty Talk

In my last post, I mentioned how grateful I was that my boys are still too young to ask questions about September 11th.  Boy was I wrong!

Dylan (while brushing his teeth before bed last night): “Mommy, we went to Ms. XXX’s class today.  I saw my friends in that class.”

Me: “What did you do in Ms. XXX’s class?”

Dylan: “We saw a video about the twin towers and the fire.  And do you know what?  Brothers and sisters died.  And kids.  And babies died, too.  Tons of babies.  It was a long, long time ago.  Before I was born.  Before I was here.  I didn’t exist yet.  When the fire was gone, I was born.”

Rewind to 2:37 p.m. at carpool:

Me: “How was school? What did you learn today?”

Dylan: “Nothing.  I played and had fun all day.”

Fast forward to the bathroom at bedtime:

Me:  “Did you learn about September 11th today at school?”

Dylan: “Yes.  It happened before I was born.”

Me: “It was eleven years ago.”

Dylan: “Were you there?”

Me: “Yes.  Mommy and Daddy were both there.”

Dylan: “Did you see the fire?”

Me: “Yes.”

Dylan: “Were you in the fire?”

I was on the 2 train at the Wall Street stop when the first plane struck.  When the doors opened, strangers dove into the train crying, screaming, and praying.  I was so scared that I almost got off the train, but thank God I didn’t.  I stayed put until 14th Street where I emerged from the subway with a crystal clear view of the North Tower on fire.  Mike worked across the street from the World Trade Center.  He was there.  I didn’t find him until several terrifying hours later when he appeared at my office covered in dust.  He doesn’t like to talk about it, but he escaped death that morning.

Me: “No, but very close.”

Riley (on the toilet): “It’s my turn to talk!”

Me: “Hang on, sweetie, Mommy and Dylan are still talking.”

Dylan: “Was I in your belly when that happened?”

Me: “No, you were something we looked forward to, but you weren’t in my belly yet.”

Dylan: “Oh.  It was the twin towers and they had fire.  So many people died.”

Me: “Yes, a lot of people died.  It was sad.  Thankfully, Mommy and Daddy didn’t.  It was a very sad day.”

Dylan: “There was a lot of fire.”

Me:  “Yes, do you know what Mommy and Daddy learned that day?”

Dylan: “What?”

Me: “To be grateful for every moment we have with the people we love.  I love you.”

Riley (on the toilet): “Mommy, is it my turn to talk now?”

Me: “Yes, it’s your turn now.”


Filed under September 11th, tough conversations

2 responses to “Potty Talk

  1. I didn’t realize you two were in NYC that day… So glad you were both okay. Also glad you could have such a great conversation with Dylan about all this. He sounds pretty mature for his age. 🙂


  2. debi

    i didn’t know you were there either… i was in SoHo watching the towers fall from my office… My best friend’s husband died… Jessie has asked why her friend Aaron doesn’t have a daddy.. all she knows is there was an accident and he died.. I’m not ready to tell her… I don’t think they talked about it at school.. she hasn’t come home saying anything about it.


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