My sons were 4 and 7. My younger son and his friend played obliviously on the floor while I tuned in to the computer for news. He has no memory of 9/11. What will he share with his kids? My older son was in an eerie "lockdown" at school with parents rushing to pick up their kids at the end of each day....embracing their children like they never have before. For days on end, no one knew how to react or what to talk about at school. Do we talk to the little ones about it or don't we? For one week straight, my 7 year-old son woke up with terrible nightmares. He never saw a single image on the TV screen or heard his parents talk about the atrocities. How did he know? He did nothing but sense the deep pain of the adults around him and his country at this time. What will he share with his kids?
As a classroom teacher, every year I think about how I can pass down this important piece of history to the next generation without burdening them with fear and pain. Several years ago, I found a book, 14 Cows for America, by Carmen Agra Deedy, that does just that. It acknowledges the pain and the loss, but it truly celebrates the incredible deeds of goodness that arose out of this atrocity.
If you have never read this book, I encourage you to find a copy for #TakingCareThurs. What a beautiful story of "taking care of others."
"To heal a sorrowing heart, give something that is dear to your own."
As I remember ever detail of this day, I am choosing to think about the first responders and all the others that reached out to take care of others. If you have not read 14 Cows for America, I encourage you to do so. Not only is a beautifully illustrated book, but it is one that will cause you to reflect on all the acts of kindness that arose during this time of history.
Teacher's Guide for 14 Cows for America