Sunday, September 11, 2011

September the Eleventh

Ten years ago, I woke up to a news announcement on my alarm clock. I was thoroughly confused: why was Peter Jennings talking about the Twin Towers? My mind couldn't make sense of it, but my first thought was they were discussing the 1993 bombing of the towers, and it must be some sort of anniversary. As I woke up, I realized this was not an anniversary of the 1993 bombing, but something entirely (and horribly) new.

I switched the TV on to watch the first tower fall. The shock was intense - and I called family as I got ready for work. As it turns out, my dad happened to be on a plane that day. And we didn't know where he was. At the time, we only knew of the three planes, and the worry was sickening as we learned of a fourth, unidentified plane that had been hijacked. A while later, we learned that my father's plane was grounded in Las Vegas - I was relieved that he was safe, but profoundly sad for all those who lost their lives that day. I spent much of my day at work going from the conference room where someone had rigged up a TV for news coverage, to the lab where we were making a product.

Ten years later, I remember that day vividly. The silence of the skies, with no airplanes in sight. Waiting for my dad to make his way home from Las Vegas (via rental car). Watching the news reports roll in with more and more horrible news.

My boys are far too young to have any knowledge of that day, and I envy them their innocence. When they learn about that day in school, it will be an event that "happened a long time ago." For now, I am glad that they live in a secure and free country, with access to healthcare, education, and the safety to express their opinions and beliefs freely.

We went to Nolan's preschool open house today. We are sending him to a second preschool, on Monday and Friday afternoons. This particular preschool has a wonderful program on Mondays called the X-Cel program, aimed at higher academic standards. Since Nolan's TOD is working with him on basic rhyming and reading concepts, this class will reinforce those ideas. On Fridays, he will attend the Creative Arts class - they do things like draw with charcoal, make mosaics, and paint on real canvasses. He starts this program tomorrow, and I am sure he will get a lot out of it. Matthew also attended this preschool, and it really helped him develop some artistic skills (and exposed him to some higher academic concepts like even and odd numbers/sight words/weights and measurements).

I am very glad that this September the Eleventh involved preschools, happy children, and nothing eventful in the news. My heart goes out to those who mourn and grieve friends and family lost on that fateful day ten years ago.


Julia said...

It's been on my mind all weekend, too. Sometimes I think we're a sorry excuse for a species, and sometimes I think we're amazing. We just gotta get past all this killing nonsense.

Great to hear about the special programs at Nolan's school!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

My boys were 5, almost 3 and 1. We had a lot of play-doh buildings being destroyed by toy airplanes for awhile. Later, at Thanksgiving, I realized that they were worried when we drove through all the tall buildings in Seattle, that they would come crashing down.

That took some talking though.

On a brighter note, hurray for all the great activities for your boys!


rouchi said...

Its one of the saddest things to happen when innocent people die for no fault of theirs.In India its such a routine thing.I really wish we could stop this kind of disaster somehow. Its nice when schools do such activities for kids, teaches them empathy.