Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Birthday of a bitterweet time

My middle son, Carter, was born 10 years ago today. For each one of my kids, there's something I recall about the events of what was going on outside the hospital the day they were born.

My oldest was born the day Jacqueline Kennedy died.

My second, born via emergency c-section, arrived on the day of the final episode of Mad About You. I was so drugged up I dozed off and missed most of it.

My fourth son was born the day my second book arrived in the mail. As I was at home in labor, a box of my new books was delivered.

When my fifth son was born, it was the day Pope John Paul II died.

Today is my third son's birthday. He was born one month after 9/11. Although I didn't personally know anyone who died in any of the terrorist attacks that day, it really touched me -- as it did most Americans. I spent a lot of that final month crying - either in sadness for all the loss and all the evil that I learned existed in the world, but also in happiness for the effort of those working diligently to pull survivors from the rubble and for the good that came from it in seeing Americans pull together. Those final few weeks of pregnancy are emotional anyway, but being pregnant on 9/11 magnified it.

I remember being in the labor room that morning and watching television coverage of the president requesting a moment of silence at the time the towers had fallen exactly one month earlier. It felt so strange. I was about to give birth. It was a happy time for me, yet I knew that across the country there were so many people hurting and so much uncertainty in what was ahead. At that time the events were so new and raw and you couldn't really put it out of your mind for long. Now ten years later, it's not the focus of the day.

I just wish he could have known what life was like before 9/11. Or better yet that he never had to know that day at all.

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