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Shock and Awe

September 11, 2013

Monday morning I was standing in my bathroom when Brynna came running in from the living room yelling “potty! potty!” I still don’t understand why we have to announce it to the world or wait until it’s such an emergency it must be announced to the world. Either way, I pointed to the toilet and turned back to what I was doing. A few seconds later, BG asked (while still sitting on the toilet), “Mom, where are my sparkles?” I turned to find her flicking her wrist, palm up at the wall. With a 4-year-old, you just never know what you’re walking into, so I cautiously asked “What sparkles?” Continuing to flick her right arm and adding her left, she said, “My super powers. I do this (another flick) and when the magic comes out, it sparkles. Why isn’t it sparkling?” I explained that I think she had a dream about super powers and she will have to wait until she sleeps again for her imagination to make the powers. She gave her wrist one last flick before she got off the toilet and left the bathroom with a thoughtful look on her face as if she were trying to determine if I knew what I was talking about.

Tuesday morning while eating breakfast, Brynna said quietly, “Mom, my powers didn’t come back when I was sleeping.” I told her that sometimes we don’t have the same dream again but one night when she’s sleeping peacefully, she will have another fun adventure in her dreams.

Today (Wednesday) is a day not so hopeful for those of us over the age of 12. We remember where we were and what we were doing the day the buildings crashed down. I remember sitting on the floor of our first apartment and watching helplessly as the second plane flew into the south tower. I remember seeing what at first we thought was debris falling from the buildings only to learn it was people. I flicked my wrist and thought surely it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. I flicked the other arm confident that the sparkles would return. They were there a moment ago. That day 12 years ago defines a change in the lives of so many and of our nation. We woke up to a reality we didn’t want to accept.

I don’t have a curt platitude that will erase the memories or pain of that day. No one does. But I know that today, 2 days (which in kid time feels like 6 years) after BG’s dream about super powers she came downstairs and stood by my bed. She thought for a moment and then said, “Mom, my super powers didn’t come back again last night.” Then her face lit up and she said, “But maybe tonight I’ll have sparkles.” At 4 you have an ability to bounce back that we lose as adults. But I wonder if we could take a lesson from them. I wonder if we could let ourselves be in such awe that we hope for a tomorrow that has magic sparkles and super powers even when we can’t see them in front of us.

To REMEMBER is not to relive the pain but to let the memory help us LIVE.

So today I hope you REMEMBER to honor the past. I hope you LIVE in the present. And I hope you DREAM for the future.

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