N is ten years old today. Has it really been ten years since this lovable bundle of energy and quirkiness came screaming into our lives? According to the calendar it has been. Ten wonderful years filled with laughter, amazement, pride,and sometimes a little aggravation. This kid has in turn over the years amazed me with his razor sharp brain, exhausted me with his bottomless well of energy, and completely taken over my heart. We'll spend today celebrating N and thanking God for giving us this amazing boy to raise.
Yet as I bake his birthday cake this morning,(chocolate, with mint cream cheese frosting) I can't help but remember N's first birthday and how that day forever changed the lives of every American. My sweet baby was a year old the day of the terrorist attacks on America. What should have been a day of joyous celebration passed in a fog of shock, grief, and fear in front of the television. In the years since N was old enough to be aware of what happened on September 11, 2001, we say a special prayer together for those lost that day. He asks questions and talks about his feelings regarding the attacks. He wonders why the attacks had to happen on his birthday or why they had to happen at all. He wonders if it's okay to celebrate on a day that will be forever be associated with sadness and tragedy. I tell him the same thing I've told him since he was old enough to understand. His birth is meant to be celebrated and appreciated. And that while we celebrate September 11, 2000, we keep in our hearts and never forget all those lost on September 11, 2001.