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The Baby Wants to Sit Up All the Time

Posted by on March 27, 2014

February 19, 1943. Anna writes to Dad. She received the news that Dad left Miami Beach and has been promoted to PFC. She congratulates him on the promotion and asks if Stanley knows about the news.  She also tells him that two large framed pictures of him in his uniform have finally been received. She tells him, “As usual, mama took the serious one and I took the smiling one. I take it as a sign of good luck because I got both pictures of you brothers which are smiling. We have your picture right beside Stanley’s on the top shelf of the mantelpiece, where everybody can see them. We are very proud of them.”

She also asks, “Does anyone read your letters before you send them to us? We noticed that on your last letter from Illinois pieces of cellophane were pasted on the back where the envelope is sealed. Did you paste those on yourself or did the censor do it? Stanley also sends us letters with cellophane pasted on the back of his envelopes. I hope that information I am asking you is not a military secret. If by chance it should be don’t bother telling me about it.”

The big news around town is that Mrs. Zgrzepska “who lives way down on Orange St. No. 260 had a baby girl at the age of 48. It seems the whole city knows about it.” Anna says some people are talking about the news as if it is somehow “scandalous” and that “it’s such a disgrace to have a baby at the age of 48…as if to say such a rambunctious woman can’t behave herself.”  From Anna’s perspective, “the baby was the one that was lost on the way and it took a long time for her to find her way.” Even “Mama says that Mrs. Zgrzepska is worthy of praise and that she will have a little ray of sunshine to light her way in old age.”

As for the family’s own little ray of sunshine “now the baby wants to sit up all the time. She weighs 14 lbs and drinks 7 ½ ounces of milk. She is growing so very quickly.” Anna reports, “She hasn’t been doing very many new peculiar things because her mind is occupied with sitting up. We always put on her booties when she is sitting up so that her feet don’t get cold. One time they are pink and the other time they are blue. She can’t understand how her feet are always changing color. She loves to look at them and always bends forward so that she can touch them again and again. I often wonder what she thinks when she does that. It must be very interesting to admire ones feet in such a way.”

We also get a weather report. “Cold, cold and more cold. I don’t mind the cold weather providing it is a reasonable cold, but when it gets to 28 below zero that’s too cold especially when a wind is accompanying that cold. Matulewicz said that on his farm it was 42 below zero. Today it is warmer out and the sun is nice and warm and bright.”

She continues, “We are proud of you boys. I feel so happy when I read in your letters how good and clean and aloof from everything bad you are and how you pick friends of your same standing for yourself. Did Stanley write you that when he was in Longstreet Dormitory his roommates…would tell him dirty jokes and when he refused to participate they would take him to another room and make him listen to them telling him that he had to learn the dirty ways of life. Stanley also told us that when he wanted to study they would take his books away and hide them…so he asked to be moved away from them. Now he has a good religious and clean roommate like himself. The fellow is married and he can live clean and the other jerks were single and were out on a wild goose chase. What dopes.”

She closes her letter with the following:

2014-03-27 Sign off

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