“Woah, oh, oh, Lo,” I smirk as she runs towards a nursing Teddy. She calms down once I have her by the collar, and I give her a good scratch before letting her go. I stand behind the couch and smile down at our children, so innocent and without worries and regrets. I hate that they have to grow up in a world in which their mom lost her best friend to a horrible tragedy. The evil that lies behind the attack is too incredulous for me to ever explain it to them.
“Absolutely. It is a beautiful day.” It really is a beautiful day but I regret the words as soon as they are past my lips, reverberating in my own ears. What happened 11 years ago is anything but beautiful and to Teddy this day will always mark the worst day of her life. We need to move on at some point, though. There has to come a time when this day is just the memory of a horrendous day. She is allowed to grieve, of course she is, but she has to figure out whether she wants me a part of this or not. I will never think of this day as she does, and sometimes life will have me forget its approaching, and I will seem inconsiderate to her and set her off. She is going to have to talk to me if she wants me involved. I won’t nothing more than to be there for her but she decides whether or not I participate or simply back off and give her space.
I clear my throat and give her shoulders a squeeze. “How is Lily keeping up?” I smile. Miles appreciates his feedings and is an eager eater. I love it because it is giving him strength to grow and he is so big now. When I look at him and then at Lillian, I am almost shocked to know that Miles was once that small too.
I look at him, smiling from below as he speaks the words that make him cringe. I am sure that it is perfect outside, the beginning of fall is always beautiful, and he should not have to feel such guilt because of what today means for me. There’s no need for doom and gloom; that is not what I want. All that I want is for him to be considerate about it, to be there for me when I need a shoulder to lean on, or better yet, to cry on.
“I bet. Maybe we could bundle the babies up and go for a walk before it gets dark.” I offer him a reassuring smile, hoping that will be enough to calm his worries. Proving to him that I am not going to break if he mentions something about 9/11 would probably help; although, I can’t guarantee that any discussion about it will be tear-free. Honestly, I am not sure how much he wants to hear. I know that he is my husband and that I should share these feelings with him, but it’s hard.
He gives my shoulders a gentle squeeze and changes the subject, obviously too afraid that he might have tread a little too rough. “She is giving her brother a run for his money, that’s for sure.” Miles might have been the smaller twin when he was born, but now he is almost twice the size of Lillian. Despite the fact that she is lagging behind weight wise, she seems to make up for that with her eating. Soon enough she is going to be all caught up with her brother.
I press a light kiss against Henry’s knuckles, resting my cheek against his hand before moving to adjust Miles. “Think you could burp him while Lillian finishes? Then maybe we could put them down for a nap and just talk,” I suggest, the last few words coming out in a whisper. As hard as it’s going to be to tell him everything, I know that I have to.