11 September 2007
A Reason to Celebrate 9/11
I have a baby with a birthday today. She is one year old, and beautiful, and bright, and lovely. She was born on the 5th anniversary of 9/11. I remember when I first learned I was pregnant with her, and my due date was 9/13. I fleetingly thought: "Oh my, wouldn't it be awful if he or she is born on 9/11?" I didn't think too much about it, though, because my other four children were ALL almost two weeks late. But then, as fate would have it, I went into labor and delivered on 9/11.
I met a woman this morning who immediately said to me: "How wonderful to have this day transformed by the blessed birth of a child!" This is not the usual response I get. Lots of people give me sad-ish smiles, or shudder, or say something like: "Well, at least you have something to celebrate." Usually, they sound like they are tyring to say something nice because it seems too horrible to them to have a child with this particular birthday. But this woman was absolutely sincere: and she's right. My little Tallulah is a sign of hope on a dark day, and she does indeed transform the day.
I was driving my kids to school this morning, thinking of Tallulah's birth date, and listening to NPR (pledge time, as it happens). And even though I am celebrating Tallulah's first birthday today, I was very disappointed that I wasn't hearing coverage of the 9/11 anniversary. I think it's very important that we hear that story every year. It's a horrible, terrible story, but one that I think we need to hear and never forget. It's hard to imagine ever forgetting, but I did find myself caught up in Tallulah's birthday and completely ignoring the anniversary. Yet another example of the contradictions inherent in life: the very good and the very bad being commemorated on one day.