The day after September 11th 2001 found our family in shock along with the rest of the nation. Our young daughters were scared. We let them stay home from school the day after the attacks, Wednesday, the 12th. My oldest daughter was very upset that we did not pick her up from school on the day terrorists attacked America. She came home and cried and cried because a few teachers had inadvertently terrified her after she overheard them discussing the school's potentially dangerous location. Space Center Jr. High is adjacent to Johnson Space Center and there was concern about it being another iconic target. Throughout the day, she heard the whisperings about Johnson Space Center, the location of NASA's Mission Control. In fact, Johnson Space Center was indeed shut down after the attacks...it was evacuated. Looking across the field from Johnson Space Center, my daughter's school is easily in view. However, yesterday, as we were under attack, I thought the kids would benefit from remaining in school. Turns out, school attendance made the day more memorable because of the public terror.
My youngest, at the elementary school had been in the car with me early that morning as the towers were attacked. Apparently, she had intensely listened with me to the LIVE newsradio report with the Manhattan caller who was watching and describing the attacks on the towers from his apartment. She went straight inside the school, to her math class and told the teacher that New York had been attacked. The teacher actually chastised my daughter and told her to sit down; she told her to not say such terrible things. Within minutes, this teacher took a call on her cell from her husband who was informing her of America being the victim of terrorists. She was so upset that she dropped her phone and began crying. My daughter already knew the subject of the phone call.
To shield our children the best we could, the day after the attacks, we let the girls stay home for a day of recovery and reassurance. We did something unusual, we let the girls play videos all day long. It was a simple way to re-direct their minds from the tragedy while we hid our television update viewing. We could not erase the terror of September 11th, but tried to give them a break from the bombardment of ongoing devastating news reports.
The day after the attacks, one of my Professors said, "Here we are trying to do normal things, and as we sit, rescue workers are digging through the rubble, looking for survivors and finding the dead. But, we must continue so the bad souls won't win. Our life, on the whole, must go on so the terrorists will not win."
|Happy family times in Texas ---- Days of Deeper Innocence|