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What I Didn't See on September 11

I didn’t know any better.

It was Tuesday, the second day of school and you were three. Three years old.

I took you to preschool and as I dropped you off and as I was walking down the stairs, I ran into a someone I knew, who had a son in your class.

“My god,” she breathed. “We just saw a plane hit the one of the Twin Towers.”

I didn’t know what she meant. She explained that she was on the bus with her son and the plane hit the World Trade Center in front of them.

How terrible, I thought. What an awful accident.

I’d written about that morning on my personal blog before:

On the morning of September 11th, I was taking my three year old daughter to school. My infant son was at home with my mother. My daughter was on the cusp of being diagnosed with speech delay and I clung to her words whenever she spoke. I was delighted when she said “samolyet”, or “airplane” in Russian. It’s hard to believe now, but it wasn’t until months later that I’d realized that she was startled by the roar of the first plane as we’d crossed the street and she looked up to see it over our heads, heading to the Towers. I had not bothered to look up, because to me, it was just the noise of the city and I was more concerned with getting my daughter across the street safely. Amazing the things that mothers miss sometimes.

When I finally realized what her “samolyet” referred to, I could not believe that a moment that was so every day for me was a death sentence to the people immediately above me, who surely must have known what was happening. I think about that a lot—what must it have been like for them, seeing New York City so close, seeing people going through their morning commutes, all the while knowing that they were going to die. It is unimaginable, nothing good can come from thinking about it, and yet I don’t think that I will ever stop.

I still think about that morning. I think about the terrible loss of life most of all, and the way all of our lives, even those of us who did not lose a loved one in the attack, changed.

But I can’t quite stop thinking about what my daughter saw when she looked up. And how I never did.

But I didn’t know any better then.

It was a different world.

Photo source: Wiki

For more of Marinka, visit her personal blog Motherhood in NYC and The Mouthy Housewives, where she doles out advice as though it were candy. Mmm … candy.

Also, follow her on Twitter, where she never refers to herself in the third person, but does have a potty mouth. Sorry!

More on Kid Scoop:

5 Parenting Grudges I Still Hold

Are These Onesies Fun or Offensive?

6 Things Grandparents Do Better Than Parents

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