Thirty-eight years ago today, I gave birth to our second son, Abbott. It was one of the most amazing, happy days of our lives. And each year, on September 11th, we celebrated that wonderful moment...... until 9/11/2001. On that day we all felt the horror. Our son was 2500 miles away from us and the telephone conversation we had that day was difficult. He said to us, "How can I ever think of this day with anything but sadness?" We said all the appropriate things to him, trying to tell him of our happiness the day he was born. But it was a conversation that left all of us with a heavy heart.
Each year after that it became less difficult. Then one September 11th, I told him that there were 2 ways one could think of this day: Everyone was calling the event, nine-eleven (9/11). That seemed to be etched into the public mind about the day of the tragedy. But we should refer to his birthday as having been born on the 11th of September. That differentiation didn't have the same impact or connotation as 9/11. And once we started referring to his birthday that way, it became an easy way to separate the two events.
We will never forget the tragedy of that day in 2001, but we celebrate the joy of Abbott's birth, first and foremost.
Happy birthday, my darling son.