Eight years ago today, I was six months pregnant, and my immediate reaction to what was happening was a purely selfish one: Please don't let this affect my baby's childhood. Please don't let the world blow up before my child can take her place in it.

Today I was driving home, tributes playing quietly on the radio so the girls wouldn't hear and ask what they were about. Some day they'll have to know about the box cutters, and the towers, and the strange few days when no planes flew overhead. Someday they'll understand that the world isn't safe, that there isn't peace in our time, that some people value being right more than they value being compassionate.

But not today. Today my seven-year-old talked about her dream of opening a restaurant in California when she grows up, a place called "Sweet Treats," where every meal cost a dollar and the ketchup is free. My four-year-old said that from now on, straws should be called "gelactomos," and then asked to do a princess puzzle when we got home.

Most days I take these things for granted -- not just the girls in my back seat, but the car itself, and the job I'm driving away from, and the home I'm driving to. Most days I forget to be thankful that my girls can run and play outside in safety, that they go to sleep without being afraid. Most days I don't stop to consider how fortunate it is that Chris and I can raise them to believe that they can grow up and have whatever they want, be whatever they want to be.

Most days I don't stop to think about how lucky we are all -- lucky to have escaped the bad luck, lucky to be on the receiving end of the sacrifices others have made.

But not today.


Chris said...

Hear hear.


aimee said...

That was very beautiful and touching. Tell Mallory I will be her first customer and I'm all for calling straws gelactomos. :) Your girls are precious. I am lucky that you and your family are in my life too.

H Noble said...

That was a wonderful reminder of what's important in our daily lives, not wishing and hoping for some greatness, but being grateful for what we have at this moment.