Today, I took some time to talk with the girls about September 11, 2001. It was a rough day in our history and the significance of it is hard to teach. But the girls are extremely empathetic and understood the emotion of it all, the loss that occurred.
I shared my piece of the story – where I was, what I was doing. I was teaching and was pulled out of class to be told that our country was under attack by terrorists and that not much else was known. While I am grateful I was told, I spent the next few hours attempting to maintain normal while not having a clue what was going on. We were not allowed to tell the children anything at all. Looking back, I am glad that the school allowed the parents the opportunity to share this occurrence with their children. The girls had lots of questions about what the kids thought about it and how school went on in the days following.
Then, I shared a video with them. I was shared on Facebook but is a video from YouTube. The creator of the video asks that it be shared. To remember. To encourage. To boldly move forward. This is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTJGB5XEUkA. The video is child-friendly and age-appropriate. It is not graphic but does cover the details of what occurred that day. We stopped the video a few times because the girls had questions. So, I answered them.
After the video was finished, I let the girls ask any questions they had. And they had some good ones:
Why didn’t they use the stairwells? Well, in both of the buildings, the impact severed the stairwells. Of the six possible, only one was left useable. And, it was used.
Why would anyone want to hurt others? Baby, I don’t know why. There are bad people in this world. There are people who do ugly things in this world. All we can do is pray for them and trust in God, knowing that He has this world in His hands.
Were they scared? Probably. Most certainly.
But they were brave? Absolutely. In every situation, they are helpers. Remember our quote from Mister Rogers – “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” We spent quite a bit of time talking about the helpers, what happened to them, how they helped, who helped, how they went in when others were running out. (My heart skipped a few beats when one of the girls expressed how proud she was of someone she knows who is a helper and how it must be hard to be the helper in a situation like that. Her empathy just grows daily!)
Didn’t the hijackers die, too? Why would they do something like this if they were going to die, too? Well, they did die. I don’t really know why you would do something that would kill you.
Our discussions were really good and I had to answer “I don’t know” a lot. Because, the truth is, I don’t know. Only God truly knows. Only He knows the answer to a lot of what we worry about. However, we know how it all ends and it is a good and happy ending. I reminded the girls that God calls us to a spirit of courage and bravery, not fear and timidity. Fear and timidity are from Satan so we fight against them by knowing God, knowing His powerful Word, and praying.
After our discussions, I asked the girls if they wanted to create something as a remembrance. I gave a couple of suggestions – something with a flag, a letter of thanks, a poem. Here is what they created:
I am thankful to be in a situation where we can not only discuss the events of our world but we can guide them daily to seek God and His will and His understanding. Especially when we learn of something dark and hurtful and scary. God is good, even when everything around us is dark and uncertain. God shines through and I am thankful. At Home.