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Monday, February 23, 2009

Questions and Tears

Everyone who knows Corwin knows that he has a million questions. It can be exhausting, but it can also be surprising. Sometimes he looks at things with insight that suggests a maturity far beyond his eight years of life experience. Last night was one of those occasions. It started at the dinner table, because Hubby had flown to Toronto for work. Corwin started asking about how much liquid you could take on the plane, and why, and on and on. I told him it was to keep people safe. He asked if it was "because of what happened to the twin towers." I told him it was. The conversation continued, and finally I asked if he had seen a picture of the buildings. He hadn't, so up we went to do a little Googling.

I didn't want to overwhelm him, but he had asked. I showed him a couple of pictures, and he still didn't seem to grasp the magnitude of what had happened. So I showed him a video clip. It was a compilation video, with news footage, and there was music put into it. At one point Corwin asked me a question about the rescue workers, and when I went to answer, I couldn't because I started crying. Yes, how to keep it together in front of your kids. Seeing the footage just reminded me of that horrible day, with Corwin and Clara not quite a year old, and wondering if friends in DC and New York were safe. Especially seeing the collapse of the towers, and the huge cloud of dust and smoke and debris, blanketing the city.

Corwin was pretty quiet after that. He asked to see the collapse again, and I found one clip with no music, just a video from someone who lived within view of the World Trade Center. There was no music, but there was dialogue from the people recording the video. To have their view of the towers and hear their shock, sorrow, and fear allowed Corwin to really understand the enormity of what happened. The vantage point of that video was high up, but close enough to see the fire trucks, and ambulances on the street below, to record the sirens wailing in the neighbourhood where these people lived. And to hear their anguish as first one, and then the other building collapsed let Corwin see that it was real, not just an event that he had heard about in the news. That there were real people involved, and to understand the security precautions that are in place for air travel.

This wasn't exactly the way I planned on spending a February evening, that's for sure. I followed up our history lesson with baths and a bit of TV (simply because I wanted to superimpose something a little lighter over the graphic destruction images before they went to bed). Thankfully, no one had nightmares, not even me.


Blogger Clementine said...

This breaks my heart.

Tue. Feb. 24, 01:30:00 p.m.  
Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Tough job trying to keep our kids safe without scaring them. Unfortunately, it can be a scary world out there. I think you did well.

Sun. Mar. 01, 09:47:00 p.m.  
Blogger Firefly1234 said...

Wow, sounds like it was an intense evening. I agree with LGS.
I think it is very hard to achieve a balance between education and information overload - you did well. The sad thing is that you even have to educate about events like 9/11. And that the events are in the plural - holocaust, rhwanda, Tibet... the list goes on and makes me sad.

Tue. Mar. 03, 10:43:00 a.m.  

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