Nine Years

The night of September 10th was a tough one. I was refereeing an argument between my sixth grader and her new step-dad and I wasn't getting anywhere. I was feeling pretty emotional about being in the middle. I was feeling pretty emotional about everything. I was six months pregnant.

That night I wrote a letter to my family, pleading for them to get along because I didn't want our new baby to grow up in a home with arguing and anger. This baby was going to grow up in a family that was nurturing and kind... in a harmonious home... a place where she would bloom.

The next morning, I came down to read the letter to my family. As I descended the stairs, I saw my husband watching what I assumed was a war movie on History. But picture looked too crisp to be a movie. He turned to look up at me and said, "We're being attacked!"

The bickering from the night before was erased instantly. I grabbed my belly and sat on the steps thinking, "Dear God, what kind of world am I bringing this baby into?"

It's been nine years. The Armageddon that I envisioned that morning never happened. We're all still here living lives not too different from September 10th. Except that everything inside changed. Life took on a new meaning for most of us. It became more important for me to be with my kids than to have a high power career. Experiencing life became far more important than having things.

Thankfully, in spite of all that I had feared that morning, my daughter has bloomed. She and I and most everyone we know are still here to enjoy the sun and live our lives. My daughter reminds me of all that is good in the world. She loves life and I love seeing things through her eyes. I asked her to tell me what her nine favorite things in life are. Here's what she wrote:

9 Things I Love

by Hannah

1. Bike Riding 2. Family 3. Friends 4. Climbing Trees 5. Church 6. The Beach 7. Music 8. Sunshine 9. Summer Showers

Where Were You?

Where were you when you found out? What was your initial reaction? How has it shaped the last nine years of your life?