So I wasn’t planning on writing a post about today being September 11th. Everyone has something to say about to it, and everyone has their own story. Everyone remembers where they were when they heard and what happened the days after and how it affected and changed their life. I have one of my own of course. I could tell you about how I was a just-turned 14 year old sitting in freshman Spanish. But to me that’s not as important as what came out of the day, things that changed, perspectives that stretched, at least mine anyways.
I have had a love/hate relationship with a lot of things that goes on in this country for awhile. I won’t get into those right now because that’s a whole rant on its own. Needless to say, I haven’t been very patriotic in the past few years. After 9/11, I, like almost everyone else in the country, was very outspoken about bring proud to be an American. Once I went college and gained some more insight into the country and the happenings, I became very jaded about the USA. It wasn’t just politics that upset me. It was the people of this country – those people who are proud of their ignorance and intolerance, who refuse to see both sides of an issues, who want to push their beliefs on others and judge people who disagree with them, who put their own needs above the greater good. Like I said, I became very jaded. And therefore the patriotism that surrounds very “American” days such as 9/11 and Independence day became a source of annoyance. For a long time I couldn’t see why people would be proud to be from a place where we can talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk. I had given up on my hope on America.
Until I had Ellabelle.
She changed a lot of things for me and not just the fact that I will never look good in a bikini ever again. She reopened my eyes to good things in the world that I had forgotten about. While I was pregnant, I remember having these moments of sheer panic because of this awful, horrible world I was bringing my child into. I still worry, and I’m sure it’ll get worse as she gets older and I have to let her go out into the world without me. Now, thought, I see so much more good. I never realized how many happy and wonderful and amazing things there are. Ellabelle sees everything through trusting and wondering eyes. Everything is new and exciting. Everything has the possibility to be good. There is no such as thing as “bad” (at least not yet for her), and she’s teaching me to see the good in everything again. It’s amazing to get to be a part of that perspective.
Last year’s 9/11 slipped by in a blur of sleepless nights and every 2 hour bottle feedings that accompany a newborn, but this year’s I noticed it. As I try to see the good, it dawned on me at the gas station today while running late to drop her off at the babysitters – I have a daughter. Obviously, I’ve known she was a girl since the sonogram from last March, but today that was a huge deal for me. Here I was running around the car to the pump, egging it on to hurry up, in my shorts and flip flops with my little girl in my car.
I have a girl. I am a girl. I have been educated and I work and I have an equal partnership in my home. Ellabelle will be educated and she will work and she can run around in shorts and flip flops when she’s older. We are females in a country where we don’t have to fear for our lives simply because of our gender. This is a luxury many, way too many, women do not have. Yes, I have issues with this country and the people and the politics, but I am proud and happy that I was born here and that my daughter was born here. This country has many problems, but we are at least safe and free (for the most part). People can be ignorant and intolerant, but, here, they are allowed to be, and I am allowed to disagree with them without persecution. I can come on the internet and say that I have issues with the way this country is run and not worry about my door being broken down and my computer confiscated.
9/11 was an attack on our people, on our country, but, mostly, on our way of life. We live in a very unique environment here and many people in other places do not like it. I am so thankful for the opportunities afforded to me simple because of where I live. 9/11/2001 opened our eyes to the wonderfulness of being American. It’s the good from the bad. While we all may still have an ache for those lost, we need to remember to see the good in the world. 2 years I go I wrote this as my Facebook status and I think it sums up how I feel about this day pretty perfectly:
“September 11th is a day that changed America. However, as we look back each year on the anniversary we should not live in fear of life changing on that day. Babies will be born. People will die. Birthdays and weddings will still happen. It would be a dishonor to those lives lost to make the date forever a empty day. We must celebrate life on September 11th. For those 2,819 people, we must continue to live.”
Find happiness. Find joy. Be thankful. Be brave. Explore. Learn. Grow. And, always, remember.