11 Sep
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Struggling to Answer Questions of “Why?”

Remember 9-11

Every time one of the kids asks the question, “Why?”, I cringe and prepare myself for an epic battle of How Smart is Mom. I always lose at this game. Every “Why?” leads to another “Why?” There’s no end until I throw up my hands in defeat with my final answer, “I’m not sure.”

Questions of morality are the most difficult. Opening the door in their minds to discuss the horrible things people do to each other does a number on my heart. I want to keep them shielded and protected from all the darkness. That doesn’t do them any good. I’ve always taken the proactive approach to discussing issues with our children. The uncomfortable, the sad, the depressing topics I want to be able to frame and discuss in some sort of orderly fashion. It’s worked well…so far.

I knew today, the 13th anniversary of 9/11,  would be a day of tough questions. My answer to “Why?” people hated our country that much to do what they did never answers anything. I don’t understand the power of hate and what it leads people to do. I know it makes loving people that more important. Embracing each other despite our differences is a cornerstone to peace. I know being brave enough to take a stand for people, whether it’s the people on the ground your plane is targeted at, or the child at recess who is relentlessly teased, is more important to me than any test my children will ever take.

We drove to school this morning and had the same conversation we have every September 11. They want to hear the story of where I was, and they know at which point my tears will start to fall. The tears always come. That day has always been a part of my children’s history. This United States is all they know.

We talked about the courage of ordinary people who believed that day was like any other. We struggled together to answer the question of “Why?” horrific things happen. I listened to my sons talk of the courage they hope to have if ever called upon to show it. They will, most certainly, need to be courageous in some fashion in this life. I’ll share with them a few stories from the courageous and brave of 9/11. We’ll say their names and look at photos. I may not be able to give all the answers, but I can tell them of the good within the bad, of perseverance in the struggle, of uniting instead of crumbling and the healing in remembering.


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