If you have read my blog before, you know that I normally like to post funny, sarcastic Mom humor, but with the recent events in Paris fresh on my mind, this is going to be a serious one.

As a young woman, trying to comprehend the magnitude of what happened on September 11, 2001 was heart-wrenching. Now as a slightly older (but still young-ish) woman with a family, I process news, like what happened in Paris, differently, as almost everything I do and think is different than it was before I had kids. My mind can’t help wandering to terrible places of a future for our children, riddled with even more hate and violence than there is today. I watch the news, and my heart breaks.

My son asked me the other morning (after he crawled into my bed and woke me up, mind you) if there really were two buildings called the Twin Towers in New York. I asked him why he brought that up, and he told me that he saw a commercial for a movie about a man who walked on a wire between the Twin Towers. I told him that, yes, those buildings were real, but they aren’t there anymore. He asked me why.

That’s when it occurred to me that I had no idea how to answer his question, and it wasn’t just because I’m not a morning person. Until now, I seem to have suppressed the fact that, at some point, my children are going to need to know all the terrible things that happen in this world. And I’m going to have to be the one to tell them about it. I just don’t know how, or when.

These are the things that no one prepares you for when you become a parent. It’s these moments that you wish you could gloss over and move on . Unfortunately, just like the sleepless nights, the crying, and the potty training all the way on up to the teenage years, and everything in between, it’s part of the deal.

I think it’s important that our children know that bad people are out there doing bad things, as I am now painfully aware. That’s why it’s doubly important that we figure out a way to tell them about it, and teach them to be good and do good, so that they will hopefully grow up to see a world full of love instead of hate.

I’m going to leave you with a poem that I wrote in the days following 9/11. As much as I would like to edit it, as I wrote it when I was much younger and there are some things I’d love to change, I’m going to keep it in its original form. It’s what I was feeling at the time, and I think its message is an important one for all of us.

Sadness fills the silence
that consumes the day.
We sit and watch with nothing to do
but call and cry and pray.
Do you know anyone?
Did they have a friend?
Is my family together?
God, please make this end!
This is too unbelievable;
there’s no way it’s true.
The phone lines are jammed,
and I don’t know what to do!
The news keeps reporting
that they cannot be sure,
so they air some more footage
that I can’t watch anymore.
I talk to family and friends.
Everyone is all right.
But my joy is limited
on this horrific night.
While sorrowful weights
hang from our hearts,
we watch as so many
have their lives torn apart.
The hours stretch on
and the news reports grow.
They do their best to inform us,
but even they cannot know.
Most are glued to their seats,
their eyes filled with fear.
I turn away with disgust;
I don’t know what to feel.
First shock and sorrow
turned to anger and hate.
But there’s one thing we HAVE to remember –
HATE is what caused the events of that day.

So as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I hope we can all find it in our hearts to leave whatever hate and anger we have towards the people who commit such unspeakable acts, give thanks for all the good things in our lives, and pray for a better tomorrow for our children.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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