Sunday, September 11, 2005


Of all the 9/11 posts I've read today, I think Meg Cabot's touched me most. To hear the story from someone who lived right there brought chills and tears.

Here's what I wrote in my journal on the two year anniversary of 9/11. A very different reality from that experienced by those living near the World Trade Center.

It started out as a normal fall day for us. All the big kids were in school and the girls and I got up and went outside. We were drawing our ABCs on the driveway with sidewalk chalk, when the high school boy who lived across the street came home, followed by about a dozen friends in cars.

"Great," I thought, "Just what we need, a bunch of truant kids." Soon, the mom was home too. I stared at her trying to figure out what was going on.

Then, she yelled, “What are you doing out here?”

“Uh, drawing with chalk,” I replied.

“Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center…on purpose. Our air space is not secure. Any one of these planes could be another attacker. I got my kids out of school. If there’s going to be a lock down, I want them here with me. Get inside…and watch the news.”

“Wow. Ok. I had no idea. All I do is watch kids’ programming in the mornings.”

We went inside and watched as the scene was replayed and replayed. Finally, I determined that there’s no new news, and I called my neighbor. We decided it was safe to take the kids outside, so we let the kids jump on the trampoline. It was so quiet outside. None of the usual airplane traffic to the municipal airport. Barely any car traffic. A dog bark here and there.

I remember A, then 3 ½, watching TV and seeing the smoking buildings and being really scared. A few weeks earlier, she had met my friend K, who lives in New York City. K had been to our house for ice cream and A picked up on the fact that she lives in NYC. She immediately started asking me if the planes hit K’s house. Later, I realized that because of the replays, she thought that more crashes were taking place. That was the end of watching the news in front of the kids.

Looking back now, I wish I would have written about 9/11 that day instead of two years later. I wonder what I would have said then.

The girls and I did our hurricane shopping today. A is taking supplies to school for a collection that our high school is organizing. The girls put great thought into picking out things they felt little girls might want. I bought generics for the adults, trying stretch my money. But, when we thought about the kids, we bought Hello Kitty Band-Aids and Hello Kitty toothpaste, a pink hairbrush and comb...and other brand name personal items for the kids (like nice-smelling L'oreal Kids shampoo). We just thought the kids could use a smile.

For my SCBWI donation, we bought two stuffed Angelina Ballerina dolls, some card games, Sakes Alive! A Cattle Drive and an Angelina Ballerina book.


At 9:55 AM, Blogger Susan Taylor Brown said...

Kim, I wanted to email you this morning but I'm at work and your email is at home. Can you send me a quick note so I can send a response to your recent emails?
(Sorry for hijacking your blog like this.)


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