I know this is a little late, and everyone else did their 9/11 posts on Friday or Saturday, but it really took me the full weekend to grasp what I wanted to say. In trying to remember this day, I took a moment of silence, and I tried to remember where I was. I was in school. I remember watching as the second plane hit, I remember not really being able to realize what was happening until I realized that there was not a sound in the whole school. No one was talking, no one was teaching, time had just stopped.
Since that day many families in our country have been separated, either by loss or by war or unfortunately both. For me it is hard to even possibly imagine a war that I cannot physically experience. I think for those of us not directly involved in the sense that we have loved ones involved, it’s hard for us to realize the depth of this war.
There are times I feel helpless with this war. I don’t know how to help, and I seldom know what is going on. I am ashamed of the increasing anti-Muslim sentiment in our country…and that we cannot seem to grasp that there are radicals in every group who embarrass the rest. For the past several weeks I have been babysitting for a family who happens to be Muslim. As 9/11 grew closer, so did the end of Ramadan. As these two dates arrived I wondered if it would be brought up. The Grandmother of the family is often there during the day while I babysit and we have discussions about what she thinks of my culture and what I think of hers. Thursday came, the last day I would be babysitting for the week as they started festivities the next day. I was reading “The Berenstain Bears” to the little two year old boy I watch and he slowly started to fall asleep in my lap. His Grandmother approached me with a cup in her hand. She set it down beside me and explained that this was a special desert that they make for the end of Ramadan, and she would be very pleased if I tried it and liked it. It was divine, and she smiled at my delight. As she walked away I thought that this is what really mattered. No discussion of what happened, no blame, no awkwardness. Just desert, Berenstain Bears, hope and a child of two worlds asleep in my lap.