Last night, Two caught me watching Lileks' 9/11 collage video last night, and asked me what was going on. I told him as little as I could, how bad people had flown planes into the buildings and made them fall down. He wanted to know if we'd gotten all bad men and I told him well, we'd gotten lots of them. Then he said confidently "and we put those tall buildings back up, right mom?" and I wanted to sob. He said he would get right on it as soon as he was a grown up engineer, and I hugged him and carried him back to his bed. One of the best and worst conversations I've had with him in his 6 1/2 years. He wants to know everything is right again - the bad people defeated and order restored. But when he heard that that wasn't entirely so, he showed his desire to be the hero; if others hadn't set things to rights, he would do it himself. Oh my perfect sweet baby!
After thinking about that conversation, I realized that it called to my mind what Lt. Thomas Meehan wrote to his wife as he prepared to leave for D-Day as a paratrooper (his plane would be shot down and he would never land alive). In his last letter he wrote: "If I ever have a son, I don't want him to go through this again, but I want him powerful enough that no one will be fool enough to touch him. He and America should be strong as hell and kind as Christ. That's the only insurance until human nature becomes a tangible thing that can be adjusted and made workable."
Amen, Lt. Meehan.
And to my beloved Two: may you always possess the clarity you have now to tell the difference between good and evil, and may you always wish to act (and act) to make wrongs into rights.
May we all.