Chatterboy was born here in Australia on September 13, 2001. Although it didn’t feel as if I was threatened, here at the other end of the world, the similarities of the lives of those who perished with my own life made it terrifying nonetheless. And it gave me a small insight into what having a child just then must have been like for my grandmother. She was bringing her first child into the world in a country that was genuinely expecting invasion any moment.
For us, here in Australia, September 11 happened at around 11pm, so September 13th was almost like the next day for us.
I watched the documentary Falling Man last night, about trying to identify the person in a famous picture of one of the “jumpers” as they were called – those who decided to jump, rather than perish in the flames. That picture was the front page of one of the three September 13th newspapers I bought for Chatterboy to have when he is older.
As well as reminding me about the impossible choices people faced that day, that picture also brings back to me those first few days of motherhood, trying to get to grips with feeding and comforting a new baby, at the same time as being glued to the television compulsively and wondering how much the world had suddenly changed.