We all remember where we were on that cool clear day of September 11, 2001. It will be our generation's watershed moment. My parents had the John F. Kennedy assassination. My grandparents had Pearl Harbor. 9/11 will be a snapshot of our lives on that day, frozen in our memory forever.
I was meeting my husband to go to a kindergarten teacher's conference about our daughter. I just remember the teacher said that she was bright and beautiful. I just fought back tears for 20 minutes.
Our infant son slept through the entire horrible day. I remember going to church on Sunday and singing "God Bless America" and "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at the top of my lungs. I remember waiting and listening for any information from a brave and tired President about the who's, and what's, and why's, and where do we go from here. I don't remember football season that year. It was not in my kaleidoscope of fall color yet. It was just a time of worry and wait and hope.
Meeting the President
Fall 2009 held all sorts of promise. The bright and beautiful kindergartner was living up to her promise. The infant son was starting his first year of football. The brave First Lady and President were easing their way into the life of private citizens back in Dallas. After the football season opener, my son's team, aptly named "the Americans," were celebrating a huge victory at a local Mexican restaurant. Fate would have it that Mr. and Mrs. Bush were dining there at just the same time! The excited and proud nine-year-old boys overtook the Secret Service agents to share their great news with the former President and First Lady. Mr. Bush, ever the parent, ever the sports fan, and our great new neighbor, welcomed his visitors. I am sure Mrs. Bush wondered why the Americans' uniform were Red, White and Black (?), but she was too kind to inquire, or was it because she had run into issues herself with youth sport team uniforms.
When the Americans' parents realized that their children might be bothering the former leader of the free world, the coach was sent in to retrieve the team. He apologized for the breach in protocol. President Bush just laughed and said he and Laura enjoyed the visit and were happy to hear of the Americans' victory!
11 years later
Tomorrow is the 11th anniversary of that fateful September 11, 2001. Last Friday was the home opener for our local high school football team. The bright and beautiful kindergartner lead her high school drill team out on the field at half time. The sleepy infant is now bigger than me and begins his 6th grade football season on Saturday starting at both tight end and middle linebacker.
So on this September 11, I give thanks to a great and free nation, brave leaders, and of course, football!
Gretchen Rose is a 14 -year sports mom veteran and frequent MomsTEAM contributor from Dallas, Texas. She and her kids have done everything from karate and ice skating to horseback riding! Gretchen owns and runs two businesses: an events company and KidzMat. In her spare time, Gretchen loves running with her dog, Gigi. She Tweets @KidzMat and you can find her on Facebook by clicking here.