My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Tuesday—The last part of my drive home from Judge Cardozo's funeral yesterday afternoon, was straight toward an extremely stormy looking sky. I knew that I would need gas, so I stopped at Hopewell Junction, thinking it would be easier to get it before the downpour started. Just as they were finishing filling my tank, thunder and lightning began and big drops of rain fell.

A woman rushed out of a little shop and very kindly asked me if I would not like to come in and wait until the storm was over, but I told her I had no fear of storms and wanted to be on my way. However, I found several cars parked at the side of the road and realized that the rain was so heavy that it was a little difficult to see.

There is something about a storm which I much enjoy. I would rather be out walking, for I like the physical feeling of battling the wind and the drive of rain in my face. There is a sense of struggle with nature which, I think, arouses in all of us an elementary desire to enter the battle. I spent my early childhood opposite the Catskill Mountains, where we were trained to look on thunderstorms as something rather beautiful to watch and were told the old legend of Henry Hudson and his men playing bowls. This early training has removed my fears, so I do not want to take refuge indoors and can admire the grandeur of the storm.

Yesterday I received a little pamphlet called: "Your Decalogue Of Duty To Your Child." It was sent to me by a very intelligent woman whose son is making a success of his school life. This is proof, I imagine, that she has carried out many of her theories concerning his upbringing, and that they are good theories.

There is very little that is absolutely new that can be said on the subject of bringing up children, but it is good to remind ourselves of some of the things we know to be true. I liked her very first heading: "Respect your child." Most of us have been told to respect our elders, but not many of the elders remember to respect youth.

She makes an excellent point, "Remember that your little one is entirely at your mercy, powerless to defend itself against your nerves and temper except in a like display of emotion." A little further on is this excellent advice: "Never scare a child into an untruth. No facts between people who love each other could possibly merit the injustice of an untruthful handling." And again: "Never drive the child to do a thing your way when his way may be practically as good as yours." I do not wonder her son is doing well, for anyone who believed in these precepts and lived up to them would give her child a very fair deal.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL