of a woman who came of age in Nazi - occupied Austria.
It was chilling.
To hear her tell of how Hitler was literally welcomed into Austria with open arms (98% of the vote, friends) and then methodically turned it into the horrible dictatorship it became, did indeed give me pause. However, this is not going to be a blog about how America is headed down that same path. It won't be for several reasons, not the least of which is that I don't completely buy in to that train of thought. I have many friends on both sides of that argument and both sides have many valid arguments. Alas, I don't want to argue.
The reason I mention the account is because one of the things she said really struck a chord with me and it was this: at some point along the awful chain of events, all men and women were required to work full time (or be denied a ration card) and the government offered childcare 24/7 - free of charge. The woman made a comment to this effect, "There were no mothers around to nurture. The kids were raised by the government."
I stopped reading for several seconds and let that soak in. No mothers around to nurture. Infants who were not cooed at and did not have their toes counted. Toddlers who had no one around to care when they took their first steps. Preschoolers who didn't have a lap to climb up in when their fledgling independence failed them. Elementary aged children with no fan club. Teenagers with no one to walk the tricky line of holding onto them and letting them go.
Oh my God. With the just the little bit of study that I have done in regards to child development and the human psyche in general, I cannot imagine a worse scenario...for the children or the mothers.
When we start to feel weary along the road of parenting, and yes, we all do; a story like this can whip our lives right back into perspective. Sure, our days can be long and monotonous, but not one of them is insignificant in the grand scheme of our children's lives. Each day is a building block on the last and it will all add up to kids who turn into adults that have been well-loved. Adults who were nurtured.
That dream is our staying power and those adults will, one day, be our gift to society.