The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

9/11 Never Forget and A Mother’s Worry September 11, 2015

I apologise in advance. This may not flow in the best way, but I had to pour my heart out today.

Fourteen years ago, my world was flipped upside down. I was shoved into a world at war. Nothing on the level of generations before me, but for my lifetime, it was a terrifying moment. I’ll never forget sitting in 2nd period woodwinds. The announcement for the teachers to turn on the tv. That a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City. What a terrible accident, we thought. We were immediately absorbed into the news as the tv turned on. Seeing cell phone video of the plane slamming into the Tower. The bell rang. I walked to my 3rd period pre-algebra class. Mrs. Wise had the tv on like all the other teachers in the school. As I walked in and looked up at the tv, I gasped in horror as the second Tower was struck by a plane. What were the odds of TWO plane accidents in the same location on the same day my naive brain thought. How could this happen?

A third plane struck the Pentagon. This wasn’t an accident. We were under attack. The first Tower fell. We moved from class to class in a daze. None of the teachers attempted to conduct class. We were all glued to the news coverage. The second Tower fell and a fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Survivors were fleeing the WTC compound and Pentagon. People were throwing themselves out of the windows.

Trying to alleviate the tension and fear, we joked about who it could’ve been. Outrageous ideas. The British wanted the colonies back. The French realised what a rip-off the Louisiana Purchase was. The Mexicans wanted the southwest back. Teenagers trying hard not to show how terrified they were.

This is a moment you’ll never forget as long as you live. This will be your generation’s Pearl Harbor. We heard a variation of that over and over in the coming days and weeks.

A lot has happened in the last 14 years. The toddler niece I held tight and cried over that night on her birthday is now a young lady. I have children of my own. Wars have ended, a new one is brewing.

This year is even harder. Last night, I saw reports of rumours of attacks on schools today. SCHOOLS. My sweet Punk is in school now. I prayed hard last night before bed. I nervously checked the local news again this morning. No evidence of imminent attacks on our local schools. I still prayed hard as he got ready for school. I prayed on the way to school I prayed as I walked him to the door and watched a part of my world walk away from me. I’m still praying and am keeping an eye on the news much to Bug’s chagrin. She can’t believe I would dare disrupt her Daniel Tiger watching.

We talked on the way to school that extra police officers would likely be at his school today. He asked why and I said that today was an important day for our country and that they were there to provide extra protection. I carefully navigated the importance of today without mentioning the attacks and deaths. My small attempt of preserving his innocence for a bit longer. I told him to always look for the helpers – police, firefighters, his teacher – if he needed help. I know he didn’t really understand why mommy was telling him this and that’s okay. He’ll be okay. I pray that he will be okay. I pray that my children will never have to live through a terrifying day like September 11th, 2001.

Our schools and churches should always be a place of safety and refuge. It makes this Mama worry and uneasy when school attacks and church shootings are in the news. Bug cried for Bubby again this morning, not wanting him to go to school, but to stay home and play with her. Part of me didn’t want to take him to school today. But I did. And I prayed. Bug and I have some errands to do today. I will be extremely relieved when it is pickup time this afternoon.

Look for the helpers, my friends. Never forget. God bless the USA.

2014 9/11 thoughts


*Random Musings* Remembering 9/11 September 11, 2014

I wasn’t going to write anything about 9/11 today. We all remember where we were that day. We all reflect on the events of the day in our own personal ways. It wasn’t until I interrupted our usual morning routine that I felt the call to write. The kiddos were watching Daniel Tiger on PBS. Our usual for a weekday morning. I looked at the time, and switched it to CNN. Punk, who was snuggled up under a blanket next to me, looked up & asked, “Why are we watching the news, Mama?” Why indeed.

Today is my niece’s birthday. She was born before the attacks, but grew up only remembering a world after the attacks. 13 years ago, I sat in a rocking chair at my brother’s house, holding my toddler niece close. The news was on TV. I just held her and cried. As a young teenager, I had no idea what was going to happen. Things at school had been so crazy. Speculations of who was behind the attack, was it the end of the world, were we going to war, etc. Looking at Kaylee, she still had her innocence intact because she was only a toddler. I wasn’t so lucky. My belief that we were safe at home had been shattered. Now she is the teenager and I have the child of innocence.

Punk doesn’t know what it’s like to have his whole world turned upside down other than going from only child to big brother. We haven’t been through a deployment as a family. He knows daddy is a soldier and is a hero in his eyes. He has only lived in a world without Bin Laden or Hussein. He is living in the time of the threat of ISIS/ISIL, but thanks to his innocence, he doesn’t understand that a threat is brewing. All he’s concerned with is watching his shows/movies, playing, & picking on his sister. I love his innocence and hope he can hold on to it for a long time.

I don’t know if/when hubby will deploy again. It’s been almost 5 years since his last deployment started and his regiment is due at any time now. I know that as soon as we receive that news, a part of Punk’s innocence will shatter. His daddy will have to go away. His daddy will most likely have to go to a conflict torn area.

It’s been 13 years. I was in seventh grade. I was sitting in woodwind concert band. Our principal came over the intercom shortly after the first tower was hit. We thought it had to be a mistake. We watched in horror as people jumped from windows. I was walking to third period algebra and had just walked through the door to see the second tower struck. There were shouts all over the school. It wasn’t a mistake. We were under attack. I grew up quickly that year. That was the first event of several that threw my childhood headlong into turmoil. My world was destroyed. Less than a week later, a family friend who was like an uncle, died. My parents’ marriage started falling apart. I was in a dark place. But the sweet innocence of my niece saved me.

My senior year on student council, we got to shadow different members of city council. I chose the fire chief. I got to see them use the jaws of life on a car cause the lady complained of neck pain. That was interesting, but not the thing that pops into my mind first around this time of year. It’s the screeching noise that blasted through the TV after the towers crashed. That high piercing siren? Remember it? Yeah, it haunts my nightmares even more since that day in high school. In 7th grade I didn’t know. In high school I found out. It’s a sensor on a firefighter’s  suit that sets off an alarm after the firefighter has been still for so long. It’s an alarm for other firefighters to be able to find them. All of those alarms were of firefighters who lost their lives trying to save others. I can hear it in my mind now. Punk is obsessed with firefighters right now and seeing pictures this time of year brings those alarms to my mind and they won’t go away.

This year, remembering 9/11 is hard. Why? Punky is at the age of asking questions about everything. Why are we watching the news? What are the firefighter heroes doing? What’s wrong, Mama? Can I watch Daniel Tiger?

How do I explain to a toddler? Why are we watching the news? Because 13 years ago, long before you were born or thought of, the world changed in a single day. Why? A lot of bad things happened that day. Yes, it’s the understatement of the century, but he’s a toddler and I want to preserve his innocence for as long as I can. I showed him a photo of three firefighters and the American flag. I asked him who the people were. He told me firefighter heroes. Yes, Punk. They were and are heroes. The first responders, the civilians, the military, all of them. Those who fought back and helped that day are heroes. We will always remember them. We will always honour them.

I close my eyes and see images I pray he never has to see. I know he will on the 9/11 anniversary if the news is on, or they watch documentaries in school, but I mean I hope he never has to LIVE it. Safe in Tennessee, miles and miles away from the field in Pennsylvania, DC, or NYC, I was still impacted. Not as much as the families of the victims, obviously, but my life has never been the same since then. I hope and pray my children never have to live through a day like 9/11.

I could write so much more, but I am changing the channel from the news back to PBS. It’s time to put back on my happy, whimsical mama face and watch Sesame Street, Dinosaur Train, Princess Sofia, and Doc McStuffins. I will continue to reflect mentally, but for my kiddos, today will go back to a normal day so that I might preserve their innocence for one more year. Children grow up too fast as it is. I can only pray that my children’s childhood is not marred by darkness as mine was.

9/11. Never forget. God bless the USA.


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