I was 30 years old. I had my first child, Joel, in June of 2001. We were on a pattern of waking up around 8:30 or 9 and then he would fall back to sleep soon after nursing on me while I watched "Live With Regis and Kelly".
So on September 11 we got up, got some breakfast and turned on the TV and prepared for a relaxing day at home. Oh, man, where was my TV show? Why was there news and stuff on? Wait, what blew up? Is that New York City?
We had just been to WTC in October of 2000 for our "New England Vacation" and have a couple of pix taken right there. We wanted to take our children back someday.
But now one of them was on fire. Why would a plane be flying so close to it? Some drunk pilot or something probably. Then BAM, there goes another plane into the other building.
What the hell is going on? I'm holding my new baby and watching hell on television. How will people above the fire get out? I am nowhere near this scene and yet I am traumatized. I can't wrap my head around why it is happening and what will happen to all those people on all those floors. What if my husband was working there then and I had to wonder forever how exactly he died? It would haunt me forever.
I called Aron at work to see if he knew about it. They were watching it on a TV at work.
Then we heard about the Pentagon and the other plane going down. WHAT IS GOING ON? I went outside to look into the sky and saw smoke ... are we going to be bombed next? Is this the end of time? It feels horrible.
My mom came over soon after because it was her day off work. My garage door was open and she walked on into my family room and made a joke right away to lighten the mood. She says, "I could've been Osama bin Laden coming into your house." We still say it sometimes because sometimes all you have left is to try to laugh so you don't go crazy wondering why things are the way they are.
I think that night we went to my dad's for something we already planned. My grandparents were there, and we just watched the news coverage. I think I was given trouble about Joel not sleeping in his own crib yet and all I could think was, "Who freaking cares right now? I'm sure as hell going to keep my kids as close to me as possible after something like this because it's a free-for-all in this country."
We retell the story of September 11, and my boys don't like to hear about it anymore because it upsets them. We have shared the story too early or in an overly grown-up way. Why do we put that on them? We want them to share in our pain? We want them to be careful? I'm not sure why. It's therapy, I suppose. What do they say to kids in schools about 9/11?
Happy birthday to one of my best friends, Eva. You are a wonderful person and a terrific mother. I hope you have a great day. I love you. And since 9/11 I am no longer afraid to tell people what I think of them, good or bad, if I think someone can benefit from the telling.
Where were you on 9/11?