Today is September 11, 2001, and it's Tuesday. It was a perfect New England day. We call days like today A Top Ten because we only get about ten days like today a year. Cloudless skies, a bright sun that's just warm enough, breezes just strong enough to billow curtains and bring the smell of outside in.
Autumn in New England. It's the reason we live here.
People died today, baby. A lot of people. I'm not even sure how many yet, it's still too soon for anybody to know for sure. But it was a lot. Thousands. Two of them lived here in our town and I knew one of them. I don't know what to say to his wife when I see her.
Me. At a loss for words.
We were doing laundry, and you were playing peek-a-boo with the towels. We were having fun, just the two of us, because your brother went to Kindergarten for the first time today. Then Daddy called from work and told me to put on the news. I didn't want to, because we were busy playing, but something in his voice made me listen. So I put on the news.
I wish I hadn't.
I think even you knew something was wrong...you stared at the TV, just stared, and when we saw the second plane crash you cried and crawled to me.
You cried, but I didn't. I couldn't. I was...lost?scared?numb?what?...
frozen. I watched buildings fall down and knew there were people in them dying but I didn't cry.
I remembered that Daddy was supposed to fly to Los Angeles today but didn't go because it was your brother's first day of Kindergarten. I thought of him flying out of Logan Airport on an American Airlines flight to Los Angeles and my mouth went dry but I didn't cry.
It scared me, Bean, not being able to cry, because I kept thinking I was supposed to be feeling something
but all I felt was numb.
We know one of the men who died today. His little girl is your sister’s friend. They go to Girl Scouts together and her mum likes her coffee from Dunkin' Donuts to be French Vanilla and light. I don't know if she'll still drink coffee, now that her husband will never stop at the drive-thru window after work again.
Daddy's boss flew out of Dulles today, but he's more than Daddy's boss, Bean. He is our friend, somebody we care very much about. When his plane didn't land where it was supposed to we were afraid.
Your uncle lives in Manhattan and we couldn't find him for seven hours.
I think I forgot how to be the mumma for a few hours today, baby, and I'm sorry.
We went to bed together a little while ago and I nursed you to sleep, like I have every night since you've been here. Nine short months.
Tonight, instead of quiet, Daddy put the radio on and it was nice to hear music and not news.
A song played that I'd never paid much attention to before but tonight I heard
it."...living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking, loving might
be a mistake but it's worth making...""...when you get the choice to sit it out or dance...I hope you dance..."
A song written by a mum for her little girl. A song written to remind her that even when life is crazy and scary, the world is beautiful and the people in it even more so. Take chances. Live. Love.
I realized I want those things for you, baby, and if I want those things then every mumma and daddy who died today wanted those things for their babies, too, and oh, how my heart ached thinking of them not being able to say so ever again.
And so, finally, I cried.
The world changed today and everything is scary now. I'm sorry this is the history you inherit, but no matter where the world goes, no matter how scary it gets, your daddy and I hope you dance.