Where were you on September 11, 2001?

My husband is a political guru, amateur historian and my go to man to summarize most of the world’s current events, especially, back in the summer of 1999. What mother deep in feeding, changing diapers, and figuring out this mother thing has time to keep up with current events? I couldn’t even find time to shower let alone read or listen to worldly happenings. My son was just a baby and I was working part-time from home.

October 1999, we had the honor to meet George W. Bush at a Michigan Primary Rally. No need to get all political psycho on me. I’d meet any President of the United States, if given the opportunity, even if I didn’t agree with his politics. Actually, he wasn’t the President, yet. In fact, I attended both Republican and Democratic rallies in my state. I had the opportunity to listen to Al Gore’s speech as well.

I want my children to understand that the Office deserves respect even if I do not agree with my President’s actions or lack thereof.

Back to Bush. Our meet and greet was brief; however, long enough to snap a quick photo of my son and husband with him (mom is always behind the camera) and a quick conversation focusing on the importance of literacy; hoping we read to our son daily.

I felt we were lucky to have that opportunity because his following year’s visit to Michigan didn’t give us the opportunity to get anywhere near him. It was a presidential election year, Bush vs. Gore.

In 2000, we saw his Secret Service, barely could hear his speech and we were kicking ourselves that we brought our toddler into such a big crowd of people. It was an entire day ordeal.

When George W. Bush became President of the United States, he became my President.

It was around this time, I initiated a conversation with my husband about National Security because I am a Mama Bear. I had a toddler cub under foot.

Our conversation kept focusing on how was my President going to keep us protected? After all, one meet and greet a year ago and I feel like we are connected, buds, friends. His picture hangs in our basement; next to our other friends in real life; therefore, my President. I kept throwing out obnoxious scenarios of ways our National Security could be compromised. My husband calmed me down explaining nothing could happen to us as we are the Superpower of the world and our technology is top class. We have plans in place that we are unaware of and those situations I was brewing up in my mind could never happen.

He had a reasonable answer for all of my, “but what ifs”.

Then, September 11, 2001 changed all of that.

The world was changed forever.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I finished up some Affirmative Action work. I worked from home back then in human resources. I emailed my timesheet for the previous week and called the office to speak to my co-worker. It was only a couple of weeks since she kissed her youngest daughter good-bye and sent her off to her first year at NYU. She sounded good for being a fresh empty nester.

I started my morning routine, feeding my toddler breakfast while watching Good Morning America. I watched the terrifying coverage unfold live on TV with the rest of the world.

Here is the Good Morning America coverage I watched.

I will never forget the feeling of horror watching the second plane fly into the World Trade Center.

I felt pain, sadness, horror and helplessness.

I called my husband, in tears, begging him to come home. I could hear his voice shake. I needed him home but he wasn’t able to.

My co-worker just sent her baby to New York. My heart ached over her pain of a mother needing to find her baby. {She was ok, thankfully, but displaced out of her dorm for awhile. NYU took care of her immediate needs}.

My heart ached over the world changed forever.

I was glued to the coverage and was only brought back by my son begging to swing outside. The weather was gorgeous. I took our little TV out so I could watch in between playing with my son. When the pain became too much, I put him in the swing and pushed him for what seemed like hours so he couldn’t see my tears flow. It wasn’t an easy day of mothering.

I began to question what kind of world I brought my child into, again. I delivered my son just five days after the Columbine tragedy, in which, I watched every second of coverage while on bed rest.

I wasn’t over the pain as a mother wishing the world was a safe place for my child and now my son would know what the word terrorist is on his own American soil.

This morning, eleven years and two more sons later, I sat with my 13, 10 and 6 year old at breakfast. I let them lead the conversation. They choose to discuss the heroic efforts of Todd Beamer.

As a family, we pray for the children who lost parents, the parents who lost children, the loved ones who ache, the heroes, and for world peace.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

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