So since my fever broke this morning and I felt like a human again, albeit a human with a nagging cough and a minorly sore throat still, I came out of hiding and spent the evening with my family. I didn't cook. In fact, I'm pretty sure Abby had potato chips for dinner and Kady had popcorn. I don't have a clue what Sam ate. We watched Valentine's Day first and after it took a break to go play in the yard with the dog. Then we all met up again in the living room and decided to break out a vintage movie I recorded off of The Movie Channel quite awhile back, Mask. You know, the one with a very young Cher and a smoking hot Sam Elliott and Eric Stoltz, about the boy with the rare disease that disfigured his face. Yeah, that one.
Normally, I'm a cry-er, y'all know that, but I'm taking some medication that is well, making me less of a cry-er these days. (Yeah, there's a big ol' blog post a'brewin' about it, trust me.) I'm not sure I like it, but it sure does make watching sappy movies easier on my sinuses and my eyes are far less puffy the next day. Kady is my partner in cry - if I bawl during a movie, she will crawl up in my lap with a box of tissue and we'll sniffle through the final scenes, making all the rest of the family members roll their eyes at us. We are cry-ers. Just like Truvy said in Steel Magnolias, "I have a strict policy - no one cries alone in my presence."
Tonight I did cry, but not my usual sobbing, hic-hic-hic, snot everywhere kind of cry, just a few sniffles and some tears. Kady, however, bawled her little face off. It has been a long week, our schedule has been off because I've been sick and it was after 10. She was absolutely exhausted, which only added to the drama in her crying. She finally calmed down only to say, "And you know what? (hic hic) We watched a stupid STUPID movie today in school!"
Well, of course, I had to ask what on earth kind of movie would merit two stupids in the description and she answered, "It was about that day. (sniff sniff) You know...." Her voice got quieter. "....you know.....that day." I didn't know what day she was talking about, actually, so I asked her to clarify. "You know, Momma....September 11th. When those towers fell." And the crying began again in earnest.
I patted the couch in front of me and opened my arms. She barreled off the chair she was in and dove into me, sobbing. I smoothed her hair and wiped the tears and said, "I do know that day, actually. I remember it very well. Wanna know why?" She looked up and nodded. "I was sick. I had four -itises!"
"You had four what?" She giggled and sniffed, wiping a tear on my shirt.
"I had otitis." I pointed to her ear. "I had sinusitis." I pointed her her nose. "I had pharyngitis." I tickled her neck. "And I had bronchitis!" and I tickled her chest. When the giggling subsided she said, "Wow. That is a lot of -itises!" I answered, "Yeah. And? I was pregnant with you! So I couldn't take a lot of medicine. I pretty much just laid in the recliner all miserable and let your brother and sister go wild." She laughed.
Pushing her hair behind her ear I said, "And we were watching Blue's Clues when the towers fell." She looked up at me, one tear threatening to spill. "I sat in my chair and rubbed my belly, where you were, and hugged your brother and sister a lot - and I cried a lot, too. And it's okay to cry now, too. Sissy, in the midst of all the bad that happened that day, there was good, too." She looked up at me, cocked one eyebrow up and said, "Huh? There was no good in that video, Momma. None."
I answered, "That one day brought all of us together. There were no rich people, no poor people, no black people, no white people. We were all just people. The people in New York were covered in ash that day and no one could tell what color anyone else was. No one saw anyone else's clothes. People helped other people. People saved other people. Peopled prayed. People died, but....people also lived. We weren't just people that day, we were Americans."
She looked up at me and said, "You mean there weren't Democrats and Republicans?" I laughed and said, "No, Sis. On that day, the Democrats and Republicans got along and it didn't matter who was who." Leave it to her to bring politics into any conversation.
She put her arms around my neck and said, "Momma, I know every year you read us Bravemole* on September 11th, but maybe this year.....maybe we should skip it. I'm not sure you and I need to cry that much tomorrow. You know that one even makes Abby cry."
"Oh honey, this story should make us all cry."
*If you have never read the story of Bravemole you need to find a copy. It is a fabulous way to talk about 9/11 in a way children can understand..........Well, as much as anyone can understand.