Saturday, September 01, 2007

Jonathan Tenderheart

Steve's parents visited last weekend,
bringing us some furniture that had been in storage.
We passed the World Trade Center site a few times while they were here, coming or going from this thing or that. At one point, Steve's mother stopped to take a few photos, and Jonathan and I stopped for a difficult life lesson.

"But why are they doing so much construction here?" Jonathan asked.

I picked him up so he could better see, and I scrambled for an answer appropriate for a 4 year old. "Once, before we lived here, right here were the two tallest buildings in New York. Lots and lots of people worked here. And then, honey, a few years ago, some people who don't understand God's love did a terrible thing. They took airplanes and flew them in the buildings. The buildings started on fire and fell down, and many, many people died." I stopped there. Was that too much for him? Would he understand the gravity of the situation?

Jonathan looked at me and held my eyes for a moment, testing me to see if my words were the truth. Then he tucked his head into my neck and cried. I looked silently out at the site and allowed him to share in the grief of so many.

His tears were brief as his optimistic and hopeful spirit buoyed. Jonathan picked up his head and looked at me, inspired.

"But they're building a new one, right? And it will be strong, STRONG! "

"Yep. They'll build it so it is very safe. And we'll pray that God protects the city, too."

"They will build it out of BRICKS. Then it will be so strong."

I walked on with him then, praying that God would protect the city and my son's tender heart.


kari jo said...

just precious.

Laurie said...

Now I'm teary. Kids are amazing.

amydevore said...

I love this one.

Katharine said...

You don't know me, but a friend of mine recommend I read your blog. I feel compelled to say, Thank you -for being honest with your son. I think you put it beautifully. I was in tears as I read your son's response. We lived in your current neighborhood during the attacks. Your son has a tenderheart indeed.

Lorraine said...

Out of the mouths of babes.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful. Keep writing!

gina said...

Okay, that made me cry. My Jonathan (YS) was just like that when he was a child. Nice thing is, he's still a tenderheart, just in a much larger body. Very sweet, and so profound.

Anonymous said...

Wow that made me tear up...How caring he is and smart enough to know true grief.