Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001
On the fateful day of September 11, 2001, I was still a "working mother." I worked in an elementary school in a neighboring city, in the heart of one of the poorest neighborhoods. Many of our students were considered minorities, and many had relatives in NYC. I was working on my computer at the time the first plane hit. A friend from another school called me to tell me about it. I ran from my office to the main office. I turned on the television in the office while telling the school secretary what I had just heard. As the television came into focus, the second plane hit.
Two of the teachers had close relatives in NYC on that day. One teacher's husband was in the city for a business meeting. Another teacher's daughter taught elementary school there. Both were eventually contacted and safe. Before long, the entire school was frantic for news. Some teachers put the televisions in their class rooms on and watched with their students. Parents arrived to pull their children out of school so they could try to get into the city and check on relatives that could not be reached by phone. The telephones were ringing off the hook with frightened people asking if school would be closing early.
I stood, horrified, watching the replays of the planes hitting the towers and realized my own children were in school in a city that could easily have been a target as our city holds an Air Reserve base that houses C-5A's. It is one of the last stops on the trip over seas for many in all branches of the armed forces. I realized I should find out if my children were staying in school. My YDD was in kindergarten. This event frightened her. We stopped turning the television to any channel that might be showing replays of the attack. Only children's programming was on for several weeks. I don't think any of us slept very well.
In the five years that have passed, we have re-examined many things in our lives. We have decided that our family is more important than "success" in the material sense. I quit my "job" and came home to fulfill my calling as a mother. The job I do every day now is so much more fulfilling than the what I used to do. I am more focused on the here and now than on the "yet to be." I pray to understand why someone would attack us. This is beyond my understanding, though. I get angry when I hear people complain about this country. I feel like anyone who makes derogatory remarks about our country should go somewhere else and learn about the freedoms we have by experiencing first hand the lack of freedom elsewhere.
I get angry at those who denigrate our soldiers. These brave young men and women who fight oppression and stand for freedom deserve our gratitude. They stand and fight that we may continue to have the freedoms to which we are accustomed. Many do not see them as fighting for our freedoms when they stand in Afghanistan or Iraq and fight the oppressors who would kill them without a second thought. Many refuse to see the danger people who hate bring to this world. There are some people who do not want to "sit down and talk about it." They would as soon shoot you as look at you. Many here in our great country do not or will not understand this. In our naivete, we want to believe that everything CAN be worked out reasonably, without fighting. Unfortunately, that is not the reality.
Our great country is under threat of attack every day that people like Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden roam free and spread their own prejudices and hatreds. Their words and thoughts spread like poison through those who would believe that we are "infidels" because we don't think exactly as they think.
May we learn from this.

Lord,
How wonderful it would be if all peoples could get along. Your word shows us that people from the earliest times, however, have not gotten along. You have shown us that there is good and evil. Many people at this time believe that "right" is relative to your situation. They see everything in shades of gray. I believe in your word, Lord. I believe there is right and there is wrong. I try very hard not to be relativistic. It is difficult, sometimes, to stay the course. It is easier to "go along to get along." I try to recall that You never said it would be easy. You predicted there would be persecution for following You. Please be my strength. Guide me in Your ways. Remind that I am frequently one "of little faith."

Amen.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Week 2 begins

Tomorrow morning begins week 2 of our "school year." Last week we did ok....I have begun to rethink a bit, though. In talking to some friends who school at home, I realized that I was expecting a bit too much for the first week, and that if I really want my children to learn, our schooling must be fun as well as educational. I have my darlings at home because I didn't want them to have a cookie cutter education full of special interest group propaganda. I want them to learn to think for themselves. This means challenging them in ways other than "finishing the book."

In other news, DSS2 has been at his mother's house all summer. He now refuses to return home because he wants to go to school there. We have him because the situation there (home and school) was out of control. According to his mother, she has been telling him he needs to come back and he refuses. At this point, it seems, he is technically a run away and she is aiding and abetting....he already needs to go to court at the end of this week for assaulting DH back in June.

My home is so much more calm without him here, but it appears his mother (who has assured him all summer that he could stay there this fall but has done nothing to change custody) does not really want him there, or that her mother, who owns the house in which she resides, has said he cannot come back....I am afraid only God Himself knows the truth of that one.

Lord,
Be with us as we begin our new school week. Be with ODD on Wednesday as she begins a very heavy course load in her junior year of High School. Be with YDD and YDS and with me, please. Help me to make "school" fun and educational. I am trying to remember that many things that we do throughout the day are educational if we take the moment. Light those moments for me, please, Lord. Be with our children who reside elsewhere. May they know that we love them. Heal them in any areas where healing is necessary. Place your hedge of protection around our family, Lord.

I pray in Jesus' holy name.

Amen.