http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/09/11/schools_grapple_with_how_to_teach_911/ I read this article this morning and I could only shake my head in agreement.
Mim was not even 18 months old on September 11, 2001. She has no recollection of the fear, the panic and the tears that surrounded that time. We were fortunate not to lose anyone in the attacks, but we were directly impacted by the events of 9/11. We lived just outside of Boston, the origin of two of the planes. We heard the jets overhead in the hours that followed and in the days that followed, my husband’s company would be adversely affected as a result of the attacks.
I wrote a detailed journal entry for her that night, but I’m not sure she’s old enough to completely process what happened. She’s an anxious kid and she stews on things, chews on them and ponders every angle of a situation. She worries. She’ll want to know about all the the dead, how they died and what happened to the families they left behind. Details, she’ll want the details.
Make no mistake, I want her to have this information. I want her to know the villains who committed the heinous act and more importantly, know and remember the heros “who died, just doin’ what they do”. The challenge is knowing what to say and how to present it in a way that makes it real, but not overly threatening.
The topic came up at dinner recently. A-man, said something and the questions started coming rapid fire. We weren’t prepared and her little brother was right beside her. The age difference added yet another layer to the discussion. I think we did ok, but out of respect to those who died, and lost so much, we both want to do better.
What have you said to your children?