Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today we are celebrating a birthday. Our youngest turns 7. Yes, on September 11. Yes, she was born on THE day. 9/11/01.
Sadly, you may be having the reaction that most have when they say, to my daughter, "How old are you? When is your birthday?".....pause for cute child response...."Oh!" or worse, "Oh, no!" or they look at me and say, "So, you were in labor when it was happening?" or "That's sad," or worse yet, "That's too bad."
For many, that was a day where time seemed to stop. For others time was marching on. According the the census bureau, around 10,000 American families welcomed a child into the world on 9/11/01. Like me, 10,000 other moms were in labor. Like me, 10,000 moms and dads were riveted to the TV in between contractions. Like me, 10,000 families wondered what kind of world they were bringing their newborn baby into. Like me, at the end of the day, they were in love with a new life.
Having a child born on such a day of historic tragedy, of course, filled me with mixed emotions. I was sad, even devastated, for our country. But we were also overjoyed to welcome a happy little baby into our hearts and our home. How could we not be when we looked into those big blue eyes?
Perhaps this is similar to what a previous generation faced when they gave birth on June 6, 1944. D-Day. Perhaps there were babies born on that day who were pitied for their birth date, as well. I wonder how the moms of June 6, 1944 handled the negative responses. There aren't too many of those parents left to ask.
My hope for my daughter is that, by the time she is fully aware of the historic significance of her birth date, she does not regret the day. My hope is that she will embrace the day as her own. My hope is that, with appropriate respect and reverence for the tragedy that occurred and the lives that were lost, we can also acknowledge and celebrate the lives that were made that day.

Happy Birthday, Molly!