JUNE 26, 1943
HYDE PARK, Friday—Now that it has finally appeared in the newspapers that my husband was here for last weekend, and that the Queen of the Netherlands was our guest, I can say a little more about the weekend than I was able to say before.
I am here so often alone, or with guests of my own, that it is quite easy to write about whatever goes on without even mentioning whether the President is here or not, for his visits are rare indeed. I only wish that they could be more frequent, for it is beautiful here now and I think one needs, every now and then, when one is trying to solve great problems, to feel the calm of nature around one.
The Queen of the Netherlands spent two mornings lying on a rug out under the big trees on the lawn, reading papers that she carries around in a briefcase she never lets anybody else take away. She is evidently a lady who likes to feel a certain independence, because everyone around her dashes to carry her rug or bag, but she seldom relinquishes them. I got the feeling that she much prefers to go strolling out by herself, choosing her own tree to sit under, and is glad to be left alone.
Here is another case, I think, where the burden of serious questions and the responsibility for final decisions, no matter how much advice and information may be sought, weighs heavily on the individual.
It was fun last Saturday evening planning an unrationed buffet supper, and I only hope our guests, who had to come up by train and go back by train, had enough to eat.
The baby who has been staying with us for the last few days, left us yesterday and I must say we miss him very much. Perhaps there is nothing as reassuring in time of war as contemplation of the kingdom of babyhood. Here is a perfectly unselfconscious and appealing person before whom the immediate world around him, bows down. Everything he does is miraculous and he is to every human being who approaches him, the tangible promise of eternity.
As long as we have babies we renew our sense of security that the world we know is going to survive. There is only one sad thing which comes to me every time I look at our own well fed and well cared for children, and that is the thought of what is happening to babies and children in the occupied countries of Europe and in the Far East, day by day. When the war comes to an end, our first help must be for them.