I’ve always loved history. Specifically modern history (which always struck me as somewhat of an oxymoron).
At 15, I learned of the Berlin Wall coming down in 1989 – the year I was born – & I asked Mom about it. I was shocked, & somewhat disappointed, to discover she didn’t really remember it. This huge, historic moment in time simply hadn’t featured in her life. It turned out, she said, she didn’t even bother to watch the news in 1989! Apparently, a new tiny human to look after caused her to forget the world existed. I was horrified.
Well. Wasn’t I 15 & clueless.
A few weeks ago, the Other Half was shocked & appalled when I uttered the sentence, “wait, what’s ISIS?’. I thought his eyes were actually going to pop out of his head. It turns out, that looking after a new tiny human is indeed a good excuse to forget the world exists. Or so I thought. The Other Half did not (does not) agree.
Since then, he’s taken it upon himself to send me one or two key articles each week to ensure I don’t totally lose touch.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a cheery article about how a Russian sub had supposedly invited itself into Swedish waters. As a result, the usually relatively neutral Swedish government had begun a witch hunt for the submarine.
Then came another spirit-lifting article regarding a second encounter; this time a chance sighting on the polar ice cap by two scientists of a former ballistic missile bomber apparently now used for classified research. (We hope.)
As I read these articles, Baby Girl is playing next to me on the mat, babbling at Mr. Dragon & Bunny. I’m struck by a sudden unease. I’ve been on this earth nearly 26 years & I am grateful I can say I’ve never really been touched by war. I’ve grown up in a relatively secure version of our world.
But what of Baby Girl?
These incidents, the UK deploying tanks to Poland, an Estonian intelligence agent apparently being abducted… The list goes on & (as the papers seem to paint it) Russia is hanging over it all like a black cloud rolling in from the East.
In my American History seminars at University, we discussed the ‘small’ events that snowballed into WWI, WWII & the Cold War. I can’t help but wonder if this is exactly what we’re reading about now, only the twenty-first century version. Which begs the question, will Baby Girl grow up in a world more akin to her Grandmother’s or Great-Grandmother’s than mine?
And what are we going to do about it?