Explaining 9-11 to a Seven-Year_old

This was not what I had intended to write about yesterday; I was planning on posting about my blogging award from Another Jennifer (thanks Jennifer!!), and possibly about our wood stove project which is more or less completed (we have a fire going in it as I type – hooray!!).

But in case you haven’t been following the news as of late, the Iraq war officially ended sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, and it was featured on Weekend Edition Sunday morning which we listened to over pancakes and eggs. My husband commented that our oldest son – who’s seven – hasn’t known life without our country at war. And yet neither the Iraq nor the Afghanistan war has affected his day-to-day life much, nor does he really have a concept of what’s going on over there.

As we considered this our conversation gradually started to include our oldest, and as we explained the ending of the Iraq war, we found that it needed to be framed within the context of 9-11. We have explained 9-11 to him before; we’ve even been to a firefighting museum in upstate NY that had a whole room dedicated to it, but he tends to have goldfish-memory when it comes to things that don’t really have a direct impact in his life (like toys).

So we started in on re-explaining 9-11, but I’ve noticed that it’s nearly impossible to have a brief conservation about it. We ended over an hour later sitting on the couch with a coffee-table sized book on 9-11 (courtesy of my sister-in-law, who knows I grew up in the NYC area) talking about the day and its aftermath and looking through book’s photos. I suspect that now that he’s actually seen images and had us explain in depth about that day that he’ll remember. We were probably a bit vague on the specifics the last time we discussed it since he was 5, and we figured then that it would be better to save the details for when he was older. Which he is now. But I certainly didn’t start my morning with the expectations of discussing war and the devastating events of 9-11 with our oldest son.

Cynthia Menard
Withywindle Blog

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