JUNE 14, 1943
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I received three ambassadors, who represent the governments of some of our neighbors to the south, and their wives Friday afternoon in Washington. Then some friends came in for tea and for dinner.
Yesterday, I came up to Hyde Park. The sun was shining, and for the first time, it was really tempting to swim in the pool and to lie in the sun. We did that for nearly an hour before lunch and then walked for an hour-and-a-half through the wood, each of us saying at intervals: "How wonderful it is to be in the country and how remote the strife of the world seems."
We visited the library before taking a guest, who had come up for lunch, to the afternoon train. At supper on the porch, we watched the sun go down and listened to the sleepy chirp of the birds, and I again thought of those we love—two off North Africa somewhere and one in the Southwest Pacific. I think we prayed for the day when they might see the sun go down with us without that constant sense of alertness, which being near a fighting front requires.
I know for these men it will be hard to settle down and relax and to find joy in the simple things of life. That is something which those of us who are at home will have to remember. The gap between war and peace is a difficult one to bridge. All the energy and tension which has gone into fighting a war must disappear if one is to relax enough to build up the necessary strength and determination to fight the battles of peace, and really make the things for which one has fought come true in a world of flux.
Lately, I have been reading with interest the efforts being made to find foster homes in New York City for children whose parents do not wish to give them up permanently, but who must be relieved of their care for a time because of some particular difficulty which has arisen in the family. It is difficult to get good foster homes, it is far easier to adopt children because then you know you are building a permanent relationship and everything you do counts for happiness in the future.
I have often thought, however, that young people with children of their own who need companionship, could make a real contribution by giving a home for a period of time to one or two children. People living in cities will find it harder than people living in the country, where problems of space and food are not so complicated. Naturally, one has to live up to certain rules and regulations, but it might be a valuable way of teaching children in one's own family a sense of obligation to their fellows. The earlier we learn that lesson the better it is for society.