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A Breastfeeding Ground Hero

Today is the ninth anniversary of 9-11.   Anyone who was here  in New York City on September 11, 2001 cannot forget the deep blue, cloudless sky and dry warm weather of that fateful day.   My friends and I call Indian Summer days like this “9-11 days”.   In an eerie coincidence, mother nature has served up on the exact date an exquisite carbon copy.   I half expect to hear fighter jets fly over head.  I have a visceral memory of all the sights and sounds of that long day.

As I reflect on 9-11, I remember the mothers who lived downtown.   Many of them hunkered down to avoid the acrid smoke that blew from the pile.   They did their best to shield themselves from the toxic air and the frightened mood of the city.

This little guy was born a few weeks after the Towers came down.  He was son number three born to a family in my lactation practice.   He is enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry which is tracking the long term health of over 70,000 individuals  who were living or working in close proximity to Ground Zero in the fall of 2001.

Breastmilk is often called liquid gold.  Today I’m thinking of it as the milk of human kindness that was intended by nature to nurture us all while we are babies.   May this little  breastfed Ground Hero continue to be healthy.  May he grow up “in the land of the free and home of the brave”… in a world that is at peace.

Heartfelt thanks go out to all the heroes, the first responders and our servicemen, among them my brother Lt. Col Stephen M. Clements USAF, who answered the call to action in the wake of 9-11.

1 comment

1 Maggie { 09.11.10 at 2:48 pm }

Maire, I live in PA and also noticed that today’s weather was exactly as it was on September 11, 2001. I thought it a fitting tribute, maybe helping me to reflect a little more than I might have if the weather had been different.

I can remember that day very vividly, even what I was wearing! I was a sophomore in college, milling around in the bookstore when I saw the cashiers watching the devastation on a small TV behind the counter. I happened to meet up with my roommate in the bookstore and we just stood there in awe. We walked to class, confused and we ran into one of our friends and we just held our hands up as if to say “What the hell is going on???” It was a strange moment because we didn’t know who already knew, or who had yet to find out.

By the time we got to the building where our class was held, everyone downstairs was aware and was gathered in one of the classrooms watching television. I remember just crying and crying at the sight of Americans covered in ash and soot and thinking, “This isn’t what MY country should look like.” It was a very humbling moment for me.

This evening as I was getting ready to put my daughter to bed after a day of nursing, napping, laughing and playing, I wondered what the conversation would be like between she and I about September 11, 2001. Would there be a conversation? Would it be something I sat down and talked about with her, something my husband and I would expose her to as the “teachable moments” arose?

My precious little girl has no idea that side of the world exists yet. The height of her life’s negativity centers around me not getting my shirt lifted and bra un-done fast enough for her when she’s hungry, a poopy diaper, or the one time I cut her thumbnail too short. All she knows is love and unconditional caring. Wouldn’t it be lovely if all of our lives were just that simple?

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