We arranged for an SUV with a carseat, to pick us up when we arrived late on Wednesday. Henry, our driver, was a kind New Yorker who made the trip a breeze. Emma and I sat in the third row and she excitedly chattered as we drove from LaGuardia to Brooklyn. I cannot remember exactly what she said but she said but she was talking the World Trade Center and September 11th and how creepy it was that she was born almost exactly two years later and how glad she was not to have her birthday on the 11th. I whispered that maybe we should talk about something different. I wanted to be sensitive to Henry and for whatever reason it felt like the way in which Em was talking was not so sensitive.
Though we hadn't planned to visit the 9/11 Memorial, on Friday we found ourselves there. It was impossible not to be moved. I felt myself repeatedly stopping tears, which made me thankful for sunglasses. Though the girls have heard about September 11th it was clear they'd never really thought about it.
Their questions tumbled out as quickly as the falling fountain water.
Didn't they know the towers would fall?
Were there kids?
Were there moms?
Were there dads?
It was right here?
Where were you?
Later that day as we walked down a quiet street in Brooklyn Emma squeezed my hand and asked "Do you think Henry knew someone who died on 9/11?". I answered honestly, that I didn't know but it's possible. She shook her head and it was clear that in those moments at the memorial she'd grown up just little, right before my eyes.