Sunday, September 11, 2011

Car Parenting

While I realized it was 9/11 (really hard to not realize it with the internet), it was farther from my mind. I was trying not to think about it. I did not know anyone who did not survive. I do not know anyone who lost someone. It just is upsetting and I did not want to think about it.

But on an errand, Elliott and I saw a motorcycle group with flags on an overpass. He asked why there were so many chiefs. (The vest with patches appeared as chief clothing, I guess) What started out as explaining in simple terms why they were there led to a few tears on my part as I answered questions. “Did people die?” “Were they sad?” “Was their family sad?” “Where were you when the towers went down?” “Where was Daddy?”

Amazingly, since Elliott has no real concept of time and his own existence relative to past events, he said he would have been sad if Daddy had been in an airplane and died. Not meaning to minimize his feelings, I tried to explain he would not have been born if that had happened or been there to feel sad at that moment, but yes, it would have been very sad. He was very quiet thinking this over.

The most sensitive and difficult questions and discussions always come while riding in the car. A lot of serious parenting happens in that car. While I started out trying to avoid the day and the subject, I am glad though to have a small chance to discuss it with Elliott and recognize my memories and feelings from 10 years ago.

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