Thursday, September 8, 2011

“They flew the planes into buildings”

There is no easy way to tell your children about 9/11. Especially our girls who we have sheltered from so many things – even PG movies! But with the 10 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks coming up, I felt like I had no choice. The news is teeming with retrospectives, information on memorials and “remembrances.” One of our favorite local

events, a hot air balloon race, is even having a special ceremony on Sunday, the day we are going.

I don’t want the girls to learn about what happened from someone else. We should, as parents, be the ones to teach and comfort, especially about something like this.

But I’ve realized in telling the girls about 9/11, that I, a 41 year old woman, can’t even handle what happened. I have done my best to block out the horrific images of the plane ripping through the second tower, the buildings crumbling, the pentagon burning.

So to have to explain that terrorists took over four planes and flew them into buildings was gut wrenching.

“what are terrorists mommy?”

“People who don’t want us to feel safe, who are upset at some things our country does”

“did all the people on the planes die?”


And to realize there was no way I could tell them about all the people in the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon who died, or that the towers crumbled. Or about the oh so brave people who brought the fourth plane down before more lives would be lost. How to find the words?

Instead we talked about feeling proud of our country, feeling empathy for what happened to all of those people (“it makes me want to cry, mommy”). We talked about how safe things are now – all the things we do before we get on a plane to make it safe. How this can never happen again.

I hope. I wish – I want that to be true more than anything.


  1. Never again.
    Hoping, wishing, praying.
    I think it's time I had the talk with my kids, too. Such a good model for the discussion. Thanks for this :)

  2. I know. We all want it to be true. But it feels a little like telling them about Santa Claus.