Monday, May 2, 2011

Questions from an Eight Year Old about Bin Laden: aka Why I'm tongue tied.

This morning, I talked to Kid C about what happened on September 11, 2001, and then I told him about Bin Laden getting killed, and that this was a historical day. 
He's trying his hardest to comprehend it all, and he's asking me some tough questions.

"Killing is bad right? Then why are we cheering?"

"Doesn't he have a family who will miss him?"

"Is Bin Laden going to Heaven? Then where is he going?"

"Why does he hate us? He doesn't even know me. Would he be happy if I died?" 

"Did Jesus want him dead?"

"Do you think they killed him with a knife or a gun? Which would hurt more?" (His bet was a knife).
"Didn't he have a shield?"

And finally...

"Brodi, what's a double tap?"

And then, as he's trying to figure out how he's supposed to feel, he's all, "So it's okay to celebrate, but not to party."

That's as good a plan as anything I've got.

Anyone have any answers?  All I know is I was relieved when it was time to go to school.

So, where were you on September 11? 

Sam and I were packing our bags for graduate school in London. We had plane tickets for September 12. Needless to say, our flight was postponed.


  1. Kid C asks some great questions. It's such a fine line between vengeance and justice. I'm glad for the sake of the families that the perp was dispatched, but as I watched people cheering it took me back to seeing the Bin Laden supporters (or American haters) cheering on 9/11.

  2. Donna- That's exactly the scene I remembered. I told Kid C we didn't want to look like we were doing the same thing.

    Weird world we live in.

  3. I was sleeping through one of my classes at Utah State. My mom called me and woke me up. I ran into the living room, turned on the t.v. and watched the second plane hit the tower. Needless to say, we were all camped out in front of the t.v. all day. I still remember everything about it. Hardly anyone went to class. It was a sad day. :(

  4. We had a similar conversation with our 8 year old today. They are too smart aren't they.

    I had taken the morning off to clean my house because we were having an Open House for my brother and his new bride on September 15. I remember so distinctly that I was sitting on my stove, cleaning my range hood in my bathrobe when the second plane hit and I knew I had to get to the office ASAP since I worked for the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command. Needless to say, Tammy and I had an interesting day.

  5. Chantele- Yes, it was. I remember everything too. I was at a loss.

    Paula- 8-year olds are way too smart! Considering the Olympics were set to take place a few months after 9-11, I'm betting you had a very very interesting day. Crazy.

  6. Kid C always seems to be able to get at the heart of the matter.

  7. To cheer or not to cheer. That is the question...and I don't think there is a right answer for any of us. Some people needed this and they want to celebrate it. Some people needed this and can now be at peace. It has been interesting to see how kids process this all.

    All I know is, our military is pretty amazing to go in and get out without any american dying. Quite an operation.

  8. Kids definitely know how to ask the questions that many people don't want to answer. And sometimes there are no answers.

    I was in Spain, so news got to us in the afternoon. 18-month-old watching the TV and shouting, "Plane! Plane!" At that point, he couldn't even formulate the questions. And our flight back to London on the 13th was delayed, too...

  9. That's a tough one. He took so many innocent lives and felt no remorse. I find it ironic that we killed him and then "respected" his religion by burying him at sea... um, what? Everything about it is so hard to put into words. I would tell Kid C that if Obama is finally sorry for what he did... then maybe his soul stands a chance. In my opinion, justice is served. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified of a retaliation effort.

  10. I heard about it when I dropped my baby off at the babysitter's apartment. Walking to school, I pondered on what they'd call it (9/11 was the obvious choice) and on how I didn't care so much anymore that my car had been totaled a few weeks before. When I got to school, it had been cancelled for the day. Spent the day cuddling baby while watching TV.

    My mission president was a surgeon (this is post-mission) who happened to be attending a conference in NYC that day. They all rushed to area hospitals to help with the rush. There was no rush.

  11. i was getting my kids ready for school--i remember sitting in front of the t.v. w/tears streaming down my face. for a long time.

    grace told me last night he was dead--i thought she was joking (this is grace we're talking about after all).

    turned on the t.v. and she was right.

  12. ps-it's dorien ^^^^^ (not sure how i'm signed in w/my sons account.

  13. Kids see the perspective we can't or forget about. They teach us so much.

  14. I was in my car driving to work. The radio host on the radio kept asking the producer if they were sure the first plane had hit and thought it had been an accident. I was watching t.v. in the work breakroom when the second hit. They sent us home for the day to be with our families.

    I'm curious about what the teachers will be saying in school today. I don't envy them. The questions of one 8-yr-old are hard enough to answer... let alone a class full.

  15. Katy- Were you scared to fly so soon after 9/11? I remember our new flight was on 9/15 to London, and I have to admit I was a little frightened.

    Gina- I'm worried about retaliation as well. And I'll just assume you meant "Osama". :) Yes, it is difficult to formulate the words to explain our world.

    Robin- That is so sad. There was no rush. I remember those emergency rooms "standing by". Waiting.

    Dorien- I didn't think I would be so affected, but then when Sam told me the news, my heart stood still.

    Ruth- They are smart little buggers, aren't they?

    Jenn- I remember those first moments when we thought an "accident" was the only explanation for the first plane. And I don't envy the teachers at all. I barely know what to say to my own child. I wouldn't presume to be the one to tell everyone else's children how to react. I think I'd just say, "Go home and talk to your parents."

  16. Sept. 11th is my birthday and every year since 2001 I'm reminded about the tragedy. 9-11 has a new meaning for me. But I do remember how the entire country came together in unity. That part was awesome. It really felt great to be an American. Hopefully Bin Laden's death will bring us together again.

  17. Kids are geniuses.

    On 9/11, I was still in preschool. I didn't learn about it for another six years. ^^; So when I hear about other people being so impacted from hearing about 9/11 that morning, I stand there and feel ashamed. |D

    (The first time I heard about Osama Bin Laden's death was morning bus gossip. Amazingly, a bit of gossip was right. >.>)

  18. I was getting ready to drive into New York. I pretty much decided after watching the news to stay home.

  19. That kid: shrewd.
    Sept. 11? Getting ready for work, glued to the TV trying to decide how real the news was.

    Bin Laden's death? I was writing at the lap top. A routine check on the phone revealed the Tweet of his death. I didn't pay attention until I went to watch the Simpsons episode I had recorded earlier. I didn't get those yellow goons. I got Fox news.
    It's crazy. The world doesn't stay the same. No matter how routine it is for us, it's changing out there for millions of other people.

  20. Loved all of C's questions. Tough. What do you say??

    We had just moved to DC and I was on the phone calling about a job when the man on the other end asked why in the heck I was calling - wasn't I watching the news? I turned on the tv and watched the second plane fly into the towers. Later, the pentagon. Crazy time to be in DC.

  21. You've sure got one astute child. I'm constantly surprised by the wisdom of children.

    I had woken up early to finish a project for school. My dad turned on the news and we saw the first tower burning. We watched the second plane hit live.

    If you want to read a great children's book about 9/11, "14 Cows for America" by Carmen Agra Deedy is really beautiful.

  22. Stephanie- Thanks for the comment! And I wish I was in preschool when the planes hit. I'd have the best years of my life ahead of me. :)

    Shari- Good decision, I'm guessing. Good thing you hadn't already driven there.

    Scott- yellow goons. :)

    Cath- I forgot you guys were in DC then. Crazy. In 2002 we moved a block away from the Pentagon. I can't imagine what it would've been like to be so close when it happened.

    Lulabell- Thanks for the book rec! I'll have to check it out.

  23. I ask myself those same questions (maybe not all of them, but most) and I don't have the answers for myself.

    I was in bed and Corey woke me up after the first plane hit. I watched the second plane hit. It was pretty scary.

  24. Jenni- Let me know when you find the answers.