I was feeling rather melancholy yesterday. I am guessing many of you were, too. I started the day watching a heart-wrenching 9/11 tribute a friend had posted on Facebook. At church we attended a beautiful homecoming service with some moving music and contemporary dancing that had me shed a tear or two more than once. I wasn’t the only one. I have been watching on TV and reading about the tributes at Ground Zero all week and, like many, can’t believe it was 10 years ago as, in many ways, it feels like only yesterday.
On our way to the service, we passed our neighbor's house, where they had put up three American flags to recognize the day and when Noelle (5) saw them, she asked me why they were there. I could have made something up, claimed ignorance or could have tried to change the subject, but I try to answer any questions my children ask me with honest, age-appropriate answers. I hesitated though.
How do I explain the events of 9/11, to a five-year-old? What was age-appropriate with this subject. I didn’t do too well. I mumbled something about bad people wanting to hurt the people in America so they made some buildings in New York City fall down and it was a sad day for everyone so they wanted to fly flags to remember the people who were hurt. She asked me if anyone died. I told her yes and she said, ‘Now I am sad for the people, too.’
Thankfully she didn’t ask me any more about it. I am not sure what I would have said.