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She Completely Owns Him

Posted by on November 2, 2015

February 1 and 4, 1944: two letters from home. For the most part the first letter of February 1944 is all about the baby. Aside from that, Anna expresses some concern that the letters from Dad seem to be coming less often. She also fills her brothers in on some news about a few of their cousins who are also serving in the war. By the time the February 4th letter is written, news has come that Dad is expecting a furlough soon, so there is plenty of excitement around the house in anticipation of his visit.

There is no question that baby Theresa has bonded with her father. An anecdote from Anna tells the story. “One Saturday when Eddie was taking a bath she stood outside the door crying so hard that I took pity on her and opened the door and let her in. …He gave her a wash cloth and she was rubbing his back and arms and chest as far as she could reach. He can’t even go to the bathroom to poop because she cries so hard outside the door. He either has to hurry up very fast or let her in. She likes him very much and when he comes home at night she completely owns him and he does everything for her so that she can play and be amused. He bounces her up and down on his knee and rolls on the bed with her and takes walks around the house or plays hide and seek. Imagine playing hide and seek at that age but she does and when she finds Eddie you can hear her squealing with delight.”

Anna also tells that the baby has developed a certain sense of knowing when someone is coming home. “Saturday afternoon…when I was coming home and got to our stairs…the curtains were brushed aside and baby’s head appeared above the window sill and she was smiling to beat the band and laughing so hard that I could hear her through the window. Mama said that Terry was in the kitchen with mama and daddy and suddenly she got up from the pad that she was sitting on and ran into the parlor and then they heard her laughing… Mama said that the baby must have felt that I was coming so she ran to the window. …She ran to me with her little arms outstretched and when I opened mine she just ran into them and clung so hard to me and cuddles and cooed.”

In addition to sensing arrivals, the baby has also learned the art of the goodbye. “When mama and I go to the store in the morning she waves goodbye to us through the window and when daddy goes to work in the afternoon she follows him to the door and then to the window and waves goodbye to him. There is so much fun with her all the time.”

Anna mentions that they will use the money that the baby got for Christmas to buy a defense bond in her name, so that  “she will also be doing her bit to help win the war quickly.” Anna also reflects that as she is typing the letter “mama is sewing on the machine and…it is so peaceful in the house that it doesn’t seem possible that there is a war going on in this world.”

In a separate note to Dad, Anna writes with some concern, “Lately we haven’t been hearing too much from you and mama is just wondering if they are getting you ready for a trip across the Atlantic to some foreign shore. It was all over the radio that the men who were in the United States for a whole year would be sent across… If that is true let us know because you know how mama worries. She worries more when she doesn’t know something than if she does because then she knows what to expect.”

By the time February 4 comes, Dad’s letter with the news that he is planning on a furlough has arrived. The house is buzzing with anticipation and they are getting the baby ready to see her uncle. “We have been trying to teach baby Terry to say Anthony in Polish and so far we have only succeeded on getting her to say either ‘An’ or ‘tos’. …maybe by the time that he does get here she will be able to say it. …Poor Anthony, he will again take a long ride which will leave blisters on certain parts of his body from sitting.”

They are also making sure the baby knows who her uncle is when he walks in the door. “Mama took down Anthony’s picture and showed it to Terry and she likes it. She keeps on showing us where his eyes, mouth, nose and ears are. Then mama tells her to love the picture and kiss it and she does and keeps on looking at it and smiling so hard. She likes his picture very much. When mama hid the picture or took it away boy did she yell and when she showed it to her she was so glad. I hope she recognizes him when she sees him.”

Dad's formal portrait which was taken early in his service.

Dad’s formal portrait which was taken early in his service.

In news about cousins and friends who are also serving, Anna writes:

  • “Our cousin Eddie Morawski has been wounded in his left arm and he is in a hospital in Australia and he wrote home and told them not to worry…”
  • “As for Vincent he also is still here. He was on maneuvers for about three weeks and now he is back …”
  • My Eddie’s brother Billy [Lubinski] also has been sent to the same state and I guess he is in South Carolina.”
  • “I was just thinking about the battle…in Italy and I keep on thinking about Joe Hagen who is there…”
  • Anna also mentions that she saw the Johnson girl from across the street and that she is “sitting it out with her parents like many other brides till the war is over and their husbands come home for good… I do give a lot to these young brides who get married and then their husbands leave them for war and they know that maybe they might see them [again] or maybe they won’t.”
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