Ten years later, I still struggle with what happened. At the time, living in New Jersey, I was acutely aware of my lack of history with the region. Before that day, I didn't know what the twin towers were - they weren't etched in my memory of New York's skyline. I didn't need to make any phone calls to ensure that my loved ones were still here. Being so close, yet (gratefully) insulated from the worst of it, I tried to understand where I fit in this immeasurable loss.
Today, Sarah and Eric saw a quick glimpse of a plane flying into a building, and they asked us what was happening. We explained that it was something that happened ten years ago, and that it was very sad. We explained that people flew the plane into the buildings on purpose. "Why would they do that?" Sarah asked. We explained that we didn't know. Eric answered, "They were bad people." They took it in as best they could and seemed to accept what we told them.
I've thought about it a lot this week, and I've been unsettled. Ten years ago, I felt sadness for those who were lost and for those who were left behind. I felt sadness for New York City, for our country, and for our world. This week, I felt that same sadness and was reminded how little I understand about what happened that day. Today, I am grateful to have two young children who asked, paused for a moment, and then helped me to move on.