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If it weren’t for the Soviet invasion, you wouldn’t be

Wouldn’t be American; and wouldn’t be, at all.

K has a love of history that we’ve been able to indulge by getting the Story Of the World audiobooks from the library.  She’s listened to all four volumes, from prehistory through about 1995.  (I was a bit reluctant to let her have modern history, 1860-1995, what with the various genocides that cloud the 20th century.  But Danielle and I talked about it, and K and I talked about it, and we decided to go ahead.  Not too many nightmares so far, though I never expected to be discussing the Holocaust in moderate depth with my 6-year-old.)

She was listening to Cold War history the other night when as I was passing by her room and I happened to hear that the topic was the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.  I walked in and paused the narration.

“Your grandma and grandpa were there, you know.  And your two aunts, but they were little kids then.”

“Did they see the soliders coming down from the sky?”

“The paratroops?  No, I think that happened at night, they were in bed.  But I remember my mom saying that N saw a tank in the street and it scared her.”

She paused to digest that.

“Y’know, if it weren’t for the Soviet invasion, my parents probably wouldn’t have left and come to America.  And I would have been a Czech, like my cousins – the children of my mom’s brothers who stayed.  And then you wouldn’t exist.”

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