A Daughter Birthday Quotes

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Your daughter is ugly. She knows loss intimately, carries whole cities in her belly. As a child, relatives wouldn’t hold her. She was splintered wood and sea water. They said she reminded them of the war. On her fifteenth birthday you taught her how to tie her hair like rope and smoke it over burning frankincense. You made her gargle rosewater and while she coughed, said macaanto girls like you shouldn’t smell of lonely or empty. You are her mother. Why did you not warn her, hold her like a rotting boat and tell her that men will not love her if she is covered in continents, if her teeth are small colonies, if her stomach is an island if her thighs are borders? What man wants to lay down and watch the world burn in his bedroom? Your daughter’s face is a small riot, her hands are a civil war, a refugee camp behind each ear, a body littered with ugly things but God, doesn’t she wear the world well.
Warsan Shire
Ego Tripping I was born in the congo I walked to the fertile crescent and built the sphinx I designed a pyramid so tough that a star that only glows every one hundred years falls into the center giving divine perfect light I am bad I sat on the throne drinking nectar with allah I got hot and sent an ice age to europe to cool my thirst My oldest daughter is nefertiti the tears from my birth pains created the nile I am a beautiful woman I gazed on the forest and burned out the sahara desert with a packet of goat's meat and a change of clothes I crossed it in two hours I am a gazelle so swift so swift you can't catch me For a birthday present when he was three I gave my son hannibal an elephant He gave me rome for mother's day My strength flows ever on My son noah built new/ark and I stood proudly at the helm as we sailed on a soft summer day I turned myself into myself and was jesus men intone my loving name All praises All praises I am the one who would save I sowed diamonds in my back yard My bowels deliver uranium the filings from my fingernails are semi-precious jewels On a trip north I caught a cold and blew My nose giving oil to the arab world I am so hip even my errors are correct I sailed west to reach east and had to round off the earth as I went The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid across three continents I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal I cannot be comprehended except by my permission I mean...I...can fly like a bird in the sky...
Nikki Giovanni
The circumstances surrounding your birth are not as important as the opportunity to live life.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Interrupting what promised to be a long spate of fatherly advice, St. Vincent said in a clipped voice, “It’s not a love match. It’s a marriage of convenience, and there’s not enough warmth between us to light a birthday candle. Get on with it, if you please. Neither of us has had a proper sleep in two days.” Silence fell over the scene, with MacPhee and his two daughters appearing shocked by the brusque remarks. Then the blacksmith’s heavy brows lowered over his eyes in a scowl. “I don’t like ye,” he announced. St. Vincent regarded him with exasperation. “Neither does my bride-to-be. But since that’s not going to stop her from marrying me, it shouldn’t stop you either. Go on.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Louise Wolcott slipped out of her granddaughters’ lives as easily as she had slipped into them, becoming a distant name that sent birthday cards and the occasional gift (most confiscated by her son and daughter-in-law), and was one more piece of final, irrefutable proof that adults, in the end, were not and never to be trusted. There were worse lessons for the girls to learn.
Seanan McGuire (Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2))
Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. No, no, wait. Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods. Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the road after the war. Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Once upon a time there were three brothers. No, this is it. This is the variation I want. Once upon a time there were three Beautiful children, two boys and a girl. When each baby was born, the parents rejoiced, the heavens rejoiced, even the fairies rejoiced. The fairies came to christening parties and gave the babies magical gifts. Bounce, effort, and snark. Contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. Sugar, curiosity, and rain. And yet, there was a witch. There's always a witch. This which was the same age as the beautiful children, and as she and they grew, she was jealous of the girl, and jealous of the boys, too. They were blessed with all these fairy gifts, gifts the witch had been denied at her own christening. The eldest boy was strong and fast, capable and handsome. Though it's true, he was exceptionally short. The next boy was studious and open hearted. Though it's true, he was an outsider. And the girl was witty, Generous, and ethical. Though it's true, she felt powerless. The witch, she was none of these things, for her parents had angered the fairies. No gifts were ever bestowed upon her. She was lonely. Her only strength was her dark and ugly magic. She confuse being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them. She confuse being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it. She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts are making them think. Hey magic was all she had, and she used it to destroy what she most admired. She visited each young person in turn in their tenth birthday, but did not harm them out right. The protection of some kind fairy - the lilac fairy, perhaps - prevented her from doing so. What she did instead was cursed them. "When you are sixteen," proclaimed the witch in a rage of jealousy, "you shall prick your finger on a spindle - no, you shall strike a match - yes, you will strike a match and did in its flame." The parents of the beautiful children were frightened of the curse, and tried, as people will do, to avoid it. They moved themselves and the children far away, to a castle on a windswept Island. A castle where there were no matches. There, surely, they would be safe. There, Surely, the witch would never find them. But find them she did. And when they were fifteen, these beautiful children, just before their sixteenth birthdays and when they're nervous parents not yet expecting it, the jealous which toxic, hateful self into their lives in the shape of a blonde meeting. The maiden befriended the beautiful children. She kissed him and took them on the boat rides and brought them fudge and told them stories. Then she gave them a box of matches. The children were entranced, for nearly sixteen they have never seen fire. Go on, strike, said the witch, smiling. Fire is beautiful. Nothing bad will happen. Go on, she said, the flames will cleanse your souls. Go on, she said, for you are independent thinkers. Go on, she said. What is this life we lead, if you did not take action? And they listened. They took the matches from her and they struck them. The witch watched their beauty burn, Their bounce, Their intelligence, Their wit, Their open hearts, Their charm, Their dreams for the future. She watched it all disappear in smoke.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
Your daughter went to bed on the eve of her thirteenth birthday as a sweetheart, and woke up the next morning a bitch. You never stopped loving her, but goddamn, you had a lot of days when you didn’t like her. At all.
Suanne Laqueur (An Exaltation of Larks (Venery, #1))
Touch all of your scars and remember their birthdays, remind yourself how far you’ve come.
Key Ballah (Preparing My Daughter For Rain)
A noble maiden must convey dignity and chastity without appearing to think about either one. Let common-born girls tussle in the hay with their loutish swains. The future of your family's bloodline and your future lord's bloodline should be your greatest concern. Let no man but one of your family embrace you. Let no man but your betrothed kiss any more than your fingertips; let your betrothed kiss you only on fingers, cheek, or forehead, lest he think you unchaste. And never allow yourself to be alone with a man, to safeguard the precious jewel of you reputation. No well-born maiden ever suffered from keeping her suitors at arm's length. Your chastity will make you a prize to you future husband's house and an honor to your own." - form Advice to a Young Noblewoman, by Lady Fronia of Whitehall (in Maren) given to Ally on her twelfth birthday by her godmother, Queen Thayet
Tamora Pierce (Trickster's Choice (Daughter of the Lioness, #1))
Poseidon put his weathered hand on my shoulder. “Percy, lesser beings do many horrible things in the name of the gods. That does not mean we gods approve. The way our sons and daughters act in our names . . . well, it usually says more about them than it does about us. And you, Percy, are my favorite son.” He smiled, and at that moment, just being in the kitchen with him was the best birthday present I ever got.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
Was it tacky to get a cake during a hostage crisis? What was the protocol? She pictured chocolate frosting with white lettering: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOPE YOUR DAUGHTER ISN’T DEAD. But this year was her fiftieth, a year with a zero. Veronica had to do something. So on her way to the condo she’d swung by a bakery and picked up a small German chocolate cake. It was her mom’s favorite—or at least it had been, a decade ago.
Rob Thomas
Doctor Nolan had said, quite bluntly, that a lot of people would treat me gingerly, or even avoid me, like a leper with a warning bell. My mother's face floated to mind, a pale, reproachful moon, at her last and first visit to the asylum since my twentieth birthday. A daughter in an asylum! I had done that to her. Still, she had obviously decided to forgive me.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
I was sent forth from the power, and I have come to those who reflect upon me, and I have been found among those who seek after me. Look upon me, you who reflect upon me, and you hearers, hear me. You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves. And do not banish me from your sight. And do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing. Do not be ignorant of me anywhere or any time. Be on your guard! Do not be ignorant of me. For I am the first and the last. I am the honored one and the scorned one. I am the whore and the holy one. I am the wife and the virgin. I am and the daughter. I am the members of my mother. I am the barren one and many are her sons. I am she whose wedding is great, and I have not taken a husband. I am the midwife and she who does not bear. I am the solace of my labor pains. I am the bride and the bridegroom, and it is my husband who begot me. I am the mother of my father and the sister of my husband and he is my offspring. I am the slave of him who prepared me. I am the ruler of my offspring. But he is the one who begot me before the time on a birthday. And he is my offspring in (due) time, and my power is from him. I am the staff of his power in his youth, and he is the rod of my old age. And whatever he wills happens to me. I am the silence that is incomprehensible and the idea whose remembrance is frequent. I am the voice whose sound is manifold and the word whose appearance is multiple. I am the utterance of my name. -The Thunder, Perfect Mind
George W. MacRae
Was it tacky to get a cake during a hostage crisis? What was the protocol? She pictured chocolate frosting with white lettering: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOPE YOUR DAUGHTER ISN’T DEAD. But this year was her fiftieth, a year with a zero. Veronica had to do something. So on her way to the condo she’d swung by a bakery and picked up a small German chocolate cake. It was her mom’s favorite—or at least it had been, a decade ago.-page 218 of The Thousand Dollar Tan Line
Rob Thomas
The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it. Not when you’re in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
Andy: Andrew Makepeace Ladd, the Third, accepts with pleasure the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Channing Gardner for a birthday party in honor of their daughter Melissa on April 19th, 1937 at half past three o'clock. Melissa: Dear Andy: Thank you for the birthday present. I have a lot of Oz books, but not 'The Lost Princess of Oz.' What made you give me that one? Sincerely yours, Melissa. Andy: I'm answering your letter about the book. When you came into second grade with that stuck-up nurse, you looked like a lost princess. Melissa: I don't believe what you wrote. I think my mother told your mother to get that book. I like the pictures more than the words. Now let's stop writing letters.
A.R. Gurney (Love Letters)
But I could end up in prison.” He waved off her concern. “I’d break you out.” “You’d do that for me?” “You’re my daughter, aren’t you?” Kate smiled. Sure, he’d missed a lot of Christmases and birthdays during her childhood, but not many fathers could be counted on to mount a prison break.
Janet Evanovich (The Heist (Fox and O'Hare, #1))
Your daughter went to bed on the eve of her thirteenth birthday as a sweetheart, and woke up the next morning a bitch. You never stopped loving her, but goddamn, you had a lot of days when you didn’t like her. At all. Eighth grade to sophomore year, Alex often referred to Deane as “the exchange student.
Suanne Laqueur (An Exaltation of Larks (Venery #1))
I always listen,” Ranger said. “I don’t always agree. I have a problem right now that I can’t seem to solve by myself. I need you to help me find my daughter. And there’s an even bigger problem involved. I feel a financial and moral obligation to my daughter. I send child support, I send birthday and Christmas presents, I visit when I’m invited. But I’ve kept myself emotionally distanced. I’m not emotionally distanced from you. I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to you because I was using you to find someone . . . even if that someone was my daughter. So I have to make every effort to keep you safe.” “You’re a little smothering.
Janet Evanovich (Twelve Sharp (Stephanie Plum, #12))
Life begins at the day of birth. Birthday is a great day of honour.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Speech therapy is an art that deserves to be more widely known. You cannot imagine the acrobatics your tongue mechanically performs in order to produce all the sounds of a language. Just now I am struggling with the letter l, a pitiful admission for an editor in chief who cannot even pronounce the name of his own magazine! On good days, between coughing fits, I muster enough energy and wind to be able to puff out one or two phonemes. On my birthday, Sandrine managed to get me to pronounce the whole alphabet more or less intelligibly. I could not have had a better present. It was as if those twenty-six letters and been wrenched from the void; my own hoarse voice seemed to emanate from a far-off country. The exhausting exercise left me feeling like a caveman discovering language for the first time. Sometimes the phone interrupts our work, and I take advantage of Sandrine's presence to be in touch with loved ones, to intercept and catch passing fragments of life, the way you catch a butterfly. My daughter, Celeste, tells me of her adventures with her pony. In five months she will be nine. My father tells me how hard it is to stay on his feet. He is fighting undaunted through his ninety-third year. These two are the outer links of the chain of love that surrounds and protects me. I often wonder about the effect of these one-way conversations on those at the other end of the line. I am overwhelmed by them. How dearly I would love to be able to respond with something other than silence to these tender calls. I know that some of them find it unbearable. Sweet Florence refuses to speak to me unless I first breathe noisily into the receiver that Sandrine holds glued to my ear. "Are you there, Jean-Do?" she asks anxiously over the air. And I have to admit that at times I do not know anymore.
Jean-Dominique Bauby (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
In a windowless nook of a downtown Roanoke funeral parlor, not far from where Tess once roamed the streets, Patricia caressed the back of the scar, as if cupping a baby's head, and told her poet goodbye. It was January 2, Tess's birthday. She would have been twenty-nine. Patricia tucked the treasures of her daughter's life inside the vest--a picture of her boy and one of his cotton onesies that was Tess's favorite, some strands of Koda's hair, and a sand dollar.
Beth Macy (Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America)
My birthday cake was her latest project because it was not from a mix but instead built from scratch- the flour, the baking soda, lemon-flavored because at eight that had been my request; I had developed a strong love for sour. We'd looked through several cookbooks together to find just the right one, and the smell in the kitchen was overpoweringly pleasant. To be clear: the bite I ate was delicious. Warm citrus-baked batter lightness enfolded by cool deep dark swirled sugar.
Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake)
In my land, in the event of a divorce, the mother has the right to retain her children if they are still suckling. But in most cases, a mother maintains custody of daughters until a girl child reaches puberty. In the case of male children, the boy should be allowed to remain with his mother until he is seven. When he reaches his seventh birthday, he is supposed to have the option to choose between his mother or father. Generally it is accepted that the father have his sons at age seven. A son must go with his father at the age of puberty, regardless of the child's wishes. Often, in the case of male children, many fathers will not allow the mother to retain custody of a son, no matter what the age of the child.
Jean Sasson (Princess Sultana's Daughters)
Cixi’s lack of formal education was more than made up for by her intuitive intelligence, which she liked to use from her earliest years. In 1843, when she was seven, the empire had just finished its first war with the West, the Opium War, which had been started by Britain in reaction to Beijing clamping down on the illegal opium trade conducted by British merchants. China was defeated and had to pay a hefty indemnity. Desperate for funds, Emperor Daoguang (father of Cixi’s future husband) held back the traditional presents for his sons’ brides – gold necklaces with corals and pearls – and vetoed elaborate banquets for their weddings. New Year and birthday celebrations were scaled down, even cancelled, and minor royal concubines had to subsidise their reduced allowances by selling their embroidery on the market through eunuchs. The emperor himself even went on surprise raids of his concubines’ wardrobes, to check whether they were hiding extravagant clothes against his orders. As part of a determined drive to stamp out theft by officials, an investigation was conducted of the state coffer, which revealed that more “than nine million taels of silver had gone missing. Furious, the emperor ordered all the senior keepers and inspectors of the silver reserve for the previous forty-four years to pay fines to make up the loss – whether or not they were guilty. Cixi’s great-grandfather had served as one of the keepers and his share of the fine amounted to 43,200 taels – a colossal sum, next to which his official salary had been a pittance. As he had died a long time ago, his son, Cixi’s grandfather, was obliged to pay half the sum, even though he worked in the Ministry of Punishments and had nothing to do with the state coffer. After three years of futile struggle to raise money, he only managed to hand over 1,800 taels, and an edict signed by the emperor confined him to prison, only to be released if and when his son, Cixi’s father, delivered the balance. The life of the family was turned upside down. Cixi, then eleven years old, had to take in sewing jobs to earn extra money – which she would remember all her life and would later talk about to her ladies-in-waiting in the court. “As she was the eldest of two daughters and three sons, her father discussed the matter with her, and she rose to the occasion. Her ideas were carefully considered and practical: what possessions to sell, what valuables to pawn, whom to turn to for loans and how to approach them. Finally, the family raised 60 per cent of the sum, enough to get her grandfather out of prison. The young Cixi’s contribution to solving the crisis became a family legend, and her father paid her the ultimate compliment: ‘This daughter of mine is really more like a son!’ Treated like a son, Cixi was able to talk to her father about things that were normally closed areas for women. Inevitably their conversations touched on official business and state affairs, which helped form Cixi’s lifelong interest. Being consulted and having her views acted on, she acquired self-confidence and never accepted the com“common assumption that women’s brains were inferior to men’s. The crisis also helped shape her future method of rule. Having tasted the bitterness of arbitrary punishment, she would make an effort to be fair to her officials.
Jung Chang (Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China)
One day, I’d stop twisting my hair, and wearing running shoes all the time, and eating exactly the same food every day. I’d remember my friends’ birthdays, I’d learn Photoshop, I wouldn’t let my daughter watch TV during breakfast. I’d read Shakespeare. I’d spend more time laughing and having fun, I’d be more polite, I’d visit museums more often, I wouldn’t be scared to drive.
Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project)
Let us suppose you give your three-year-old daughter a coloring book and a box of crayons for her birthday. The following day, with the proud smile only a little once can muster, she presents her first pictures for inspection. She has colored the sun black, the grass purple, and the sky green. In the lower right-hand corner, she has added woozy wonders of floating slabs and hovering rings; on the left, a panoply of colorful, carefree squiggles. You marvel at her bold strokes and intuit that her psyche is railing against its own cosmic punniness in the face of a big, ugly world. Later at the office, you share with your staff your daughter's first artistic effort and you make veiled references to the early work of van Gogh. A little child can not do a bad coloring; nor can a child of God do bad prayer. "A father is delighted when hi little one, leaving off her toys and friends, runs to him and climbs into his arms. AS he hold shi little one close to him, he cared little whether the child is looking around, her attention flittering from one thing to another or just settling down to sleep. Essentially the child is choosing to be with the father, confident of the love, the care, the security that is hers in those arms. Our prayer is much like that. We settle down in our Father's arms, in his loving hands. Our minds, our thougths, our imagination may flit about here and there; we might even fall asleep; but essentially we are choosing for thi time to remian intimately wiht our Father, giving ourselves to him, receiving his love and care, letting him enjoy us as he will. It is very simple prayer. It is very chldlike prayer. It is prayer that opens us out to all the delights of the kingdom.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
A prison chaplain in the West of England confessed he had given up one prisoner as hopeless, so stubborn was he against any approach by him, and known throughout the jail as the most truculent and obstinate troublemaker. But one day the governor was told of a visitor who insisted on seeing him. To his surprise, it was a little girl. "He's my daddy," she explained, "It's his birthday." The governor allowed the prisoner to be sent for. "Daddy," said the child as he was brought in, "this was your birthday, so I wanted to come and see you." Then taking a lock of hair out of her pocket, she offered it to him. "I had no money to buy a present for you. But I brought this, a lock of my own hair." The prisoner broke down and clasped her in his arms, sobbing. He became a changed man after that and guarded, as his most precious possession, the lock of hair that reminded him that somebody still loved him.
Francis Gay
It had taken Nick most of his life and mine, but he’d finally quit drinking. After he got sober he began to send me birthday cards—signed with many Xs and Os, pink and flowery with effusive definitions of wonderful daughters. He’d send me these cards even though I had never been a wonderful daughter to him. Did he know from my mother that I could be when I wanted to? Or was it just the kind of magical thinking he and I had always been so good at—conjuring up a story and believing it in an attempt to make it true?
Andrea Jarrell (I'm the One Who Got Away)
Stewart and his producers put their heads together and handpicked a roundtable of first responders to appear on a panel to tell their stories. A few days later, Congress ferried the bill through a vote and passed it. The local firemen were so thrilled that they threw a birthday party for Stewart’s daughter at the firehouse—complete with a fire truck–shaped birthday cake—and Robert J. Thompson, a professor at Syracuse University, instantly vaulted him to having the same status and influence as both Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow, veteran newsmen who used their influence to turn around, respectively, a war and a government witch hunt.
Lisa Rogak (Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart)
Think of all the love poured into him. Think of the tuitions for Montessori and music lessons. Think of the gasoline expended, the treads worn carting him to football games, basketball tournaments, and Little League. Think of the time spent regulating sleepovers. Think of the surprise birthday parties, the daycare, and the reference checks on babysitters. Think of World Book and Childcraft. Think of checks written for family photos. Think of credit cards charged for vacations. Think of soccer balls, science kits, chemistry sets, racetracks, and model trains. Think of all the embraces, all the private jokes, customs, greetings, names, dreams, all the shared knowledge and capacity of a black family injected into that vessel of flesh and bone. And think of how that vessel was taken, shattered on the concrete, and all its holy contents, all that had gone into him, sent flowing back to the earth. Think of your mother, who had no father. And your grandmother, who was abandoned by her father. And your grandfather, who was left behind by his father. And think of how Prince's daughter was now drafted into those solemn ranks and deprived of her birthright — that vessel which was her father, which brimmed with twenty-five years of love and was the investment of her grandparents and was to be her legacy.
Ta-Nehisi Coates
You don’t listen.” “I always listen,” Ranger said. “I don’t always agree. I have a problem right now that I can’t seem to solve by myself. I need you to help me find my daughter. And there’s an even bigger problem involved. I feel a financial and moral obligation to my daughter. I send child support, I send birthday and Christmas presents, I visit when I’m invited. But I’ve kept myself emotionally distanced. I’m not emotionally distanced from you. I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to you because I was using you to find someone . . . even if that someone was my daughter. So I have to make every effort to keep you safe.” “You’re a little smothering.
Janet Evanovich (Twelve Sharp (Stephanie Plum, #12))
Click. Everyone briefly gathered and posed and smiling at their future selves. Beaches and cathedrals, bumper cars and birthday parties, glasses raised around a dining table. Each picture a little pause between events. No tantrums, no illness, no bad news, all the big stuff happening before and after and in between. The true magic happening only when the lesser magic fails, the ghost daughter who moved during the exposure, her face unreadable but more alive than all her frozen family. Double exposures, as if a little strip of time had been folded back on itself. Scratches and sun flares. Photos torn postdivorce, faces scratched out or Biroed over. The camera telling the truth only when something slips through its silver fingers.
Mark Haddon (The Red House)
I close my eyes and hear wind rushing through palm trees again. And then laughter. The scene is foggy at first, and then it comes into sharp focus. I am standing in a kitchen. It's one of those big, well-appointed spaces you see in magazines, but this one is well loved, not just staged. A cake bakes in the oven. Carrot. There are matches and a box of birthday candles at the ready by the stove. Stan Getz's smoky-sweet saxophone filters from a speaker somewhere nearby. I'm stirring a pot of marinara sauce; a bit has splattered onto the marble countertop, but I don't care. I take a sip of wine and sway to the music. A little girl giggles on the sofa. I don't see her face, just her blond ponytail. And then warm, strong arms around my waist as he presses his body against me. I breathe in the scent of rugged spice, fresh cotton, and love.
Sarah Jio (All the Flowers in Paris)
We drove in silence for a while. Then out of nowhere, Nancy quietly said, 'I'm going to die very soon. Before my twenty-first birthday. I won't live to be twenty-one. I'm never gonna be old. I don't ever want to be ugly and old. I'm an old lady now anyhow. I'm eighty. There's nothing left. I've already lived a whole lifetime. I'm going out. In a blaze of glory.' Then she was quiet. Her words just lay there like a bombshell. No one wanted to touch them. She hadn't issued a threat, simply made a flat statement. We all believed her. Even Sid. [...] 'I honestly can't understand her,' David [Nancy's brother] said as we drove home. 'She's dying. She knows it. Why won't she stop herself?' 'She doesn't want to,' Frank [Nancy's father] ]said sadly. 'She wants to die. She has for a long, long time. It's been her goal.' 'But why?' asked David. 'She hates being alive,' I said. 'She hates her pain. She hates herself. She wants to destroy herself.' 'Isn't there anything you guys can do?' asked David. 'Yes,' I said. 'What?' 'Watch her die.
Deborah Spungen (And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder)
But Hock Seng doesn’t contest the foreigner’s words. He’ll put out the bounty, regardless. If the cats are allowed to stay, the workers will start rumors that Phii Oun the cheshire trickster spirit has caused the calamity. The devil cats flicker closer. Calico and ginger, black as night—all of them fading in and out of view as their bodies take on the colors of their surroundings. They shade red as they dip into the blood pool.  Hock Seng has heard that cheshires were supposedly created by a calorie executive—some PurCal or AgriGen man, most likely—for a daughter’s birthday. A party favor for when the little princess turned as old as Lewis Carroll’s Alice.  The child guests took their new pets home where they mated with natural felines, and within twenty years, the devil cats were on every continent and Felis domesticus was gone from the face of the world, replaced by a genetic string that bred true ninety-eight percent of the time. The Green Headbands in Malaya hated Chinese people and cheshires equally, but as far as Hock Seng knows, the devil cats still thrive there. 
Paolo Bacigalupi (The Windup Girl)
One of the things I loved about Chris was his sense of humor, which seemed perfectly matched with mine, even at its most offbeat. April Fools’ Day was always a major highlight. A month before our daughter was due, I woke him up in the middle of the night. “Don’t panic,” I told him, “but I think I’m going into labor.” “Do we have a bag?” he asked, jumping up immediately. “No, no, don’t worry.” I slipped out of bed and went to take a shower. Chris immediately got dressed and, calmly but very quickly, gathered my clothes and packed a suitcase. “I’m ready!” he announced, barging into the bathroom. “Babe, do you know what day it is?” I asked sweetly. It was two A.M., April 1. “Are you kidding me?” he said, disbelieving. I laughed and plunged back into the shower. He quickly got revenge by flushing the toilet, sending a burst of cold water across my body. In retrospect, maybe I’d been a little cruel, but we did love teasing each other. At our wedding, we’d smooshed cake into each other’s faces. That began a tradition that continued at each birthday--whether it was ours or not. The routine never seemed to get old. We’d giggle and laugh, chasing each other as if we were crazy people. Our friends and neighbors got used to it--and learned to stay out of the line of fire.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
DAY 137 Laser Tag “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” ROMANS 8:31 A few years ago my daughter was invited to a laser tag birthday party. She was little, and the laser tag vest and gun were huge, which made it hard for her to play. The first time through, she didn’t do well at all. She was an easy target for the more experienced players, and she got shot—a lot! She was pretty discouraged, but before the next round started, one of the dads handed me a vest and said, “Go get ’em, Dad.” I got the message. I followed close behind my daughter and picked off any kids foolish enough to come near her. By the end of the round, the kids knew that she was no longer an easy target. Her daddy was there, and he was not to be messed with. It was awesome. Her score that round vastly improved, bringing a big smile to her face. When we go into the arena alone, it’s easy to get picked on, singled out, and told that we are destined to fail. But when we go into battle with our heavenly Father’s protection and covering, everything changes. Not only do we have a chance to stay alive, we have a guaranteed win. PRAYER Thank you, Father, for fighting for me, keeping me safe, and helping me come through as a victor. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
John Baker (Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional: 366 Devotionals)
A Lake Charles-based artist, Sally was a progressive Democrat who in 2016 primary favored Bernie Sanders. Sally's very dear friend and worl-traveling flight attendant from Opelousas, Louisiana, Shirley was an enthusiast for the Tea Party and Donald Trump. Both woman had joined sororities at LSU. Each had married, had three children, lived in homes walking distance apart in Lake Charles, and had keys to each other's houses. Each loved the other's children. Shirley knew Sally's parents and even consulted Sally's mother when the two go to "fussing to much." They exchanged birthday and Christmas gifts and jointly scoured the newspaper for notices of upcoming cultural events they had, when they were neighbors in Lake Charles, attended together. One day when I was staying as Shirley's overnight guest in Opelousas, I noticed a watercolor picture hanging on the guestroom wall, which Sally had painted as a gift for Shirley's eleven-year-old daughter, who aspired to become a ballerina. With one pointed toe on a pudgy, pastel cloud, the other lifted high, the ballerina's head was encircled by yellow star-like butterflies. It was a loving picture of a child's dream--one that came true. Both women followed the news on TV--Sally through MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, and Shirley via Fox News's Charles Krauthammer, and each talked these different reports over with a like-minded husband. The two women talk by phone two or three times a week, and their grown children keep in touch, partly across the same politcal divide. While this book is not about the personal lives of these two women, it couldn't have been written without them both, and I believe that their friendship models what our country itself needs to forge: the capacity to connect across difference.
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
What’s the most frightening thing to a child? The pain of being the outsider, of looking ridiculous to others, of being teased or picked on in school. Every child burns with fear at the prospect. It’s a primal instinct: to belong. McDonald’s has surely figured this out—along with what specific colors appeal to small children, what textures, and what movies or TV shows are likely to attract them to the gray disks of meat. They feel no compunction harnessing the fears and unarticulated yearnings of small children, and nor shall I. “Ronald has cooties,” I say—every time he shows up on television or out the window of the car. “And you know,” I add, lowering my voice, “he smells bad, too. Kind of like … poo!” (I am, I should say, careful to use the word “alleged” each and every time I make such an assertion, mindful that my urgent whisperings to a two-year-old might be wrongfully construed as libelous.) “If you hug Ronald … can you get cooties?” asks my girl, a look of wide-eyed horror on her face. “Some say … yes,” I reply—not wanting to lie—just in case she should encounter the man at a child’s birthday party someday. It’s a lawyerly answer—but effective. “Some people talk about the smell, too… I’m not saying it rubs off on you or anything—if you get too close to him—but…” I let that hang in the air for a while. “Ewwww!!!” says my daughter. We sit in silence as she considers this, then she asks, “Is it true that if you eat a hamburger at McDonald’s it can make you a ree-tard? I laugh wholeheartedly at this one and give her a hug. I kiss her on the forehead reassuringly. “Ha. Ha. Ha. I don’t know where you get these ideas!” I may or may not have planted that little nugget a few weeks ago, allowing her little friend Tiffany at ballet class to “overhear” it as I pretended to talk on my cell phone.
Anthony Bourdain (Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook)
to look at Louisa, stroked her cheek, and was rewarded by a dazzling smile. She had been surprised by how light-skinned the child was. Her features were much more like Eva’s than Bill’s. A small turned-up nose, big hazel eyes, and long dark eyelashes. Her golden-brown hair protruded from under the deep peak of her bonnet in a cascade of ringlets. “Do you think she’d come to me?” Cathy asked. “You can try.” Eva handed her over. “She’s got so heavy, she’s making my arms ache!” She gave a nervous laugh as she took the parcel from Cathy and peered at the postmark. “What’s that, Mam?” David craned his neck and gave a short rasping cough. “Is it sweets?” “No, my love.” Eva and Cathy exchanged glances. “It’s just something Auntie Cathy’s brought from the old house. Are you going to show Mikey your flags?” The boy dug eagerly in his pocket, and before long he and Michael were walking ahead, deep in conversation about the paper flags Eva had bought for them to decorate sand castles. Louisa didn’t cry when Eva handed her over. She seemed fascinated by Cathy’s hair, and as they walked along, Cathy amused her by singing “Old MacDonald.” The beach was only a short walk from the station, and it wasn’t long before the boys were filling their buckets with sand. “I hardly dare open it,” Eva said, fingering the string on the parcel. “I know. I was desperate to open it myself.” Cathy looked at her. “I hope you haven’t built up your hopes, too much, Eva. I’m so worried it might be . . . you know.” Eva nodded quickly. “I thought of that too.” She untied the string, her fingers trembling. The paper fell away to reveal a box with the words “Benson’s Baby Wear” written across it in gold italic script. Eva lifted the lid. Inside was an exquisite pink lace dress with matching bootees and a hat. The label said, “Age 2–3 Years.” Beneath it was a handwritten note:   Dear Eva, This is a little something for our baby girl from her daddy. I don’t know the exact date of her birthday, but I wanted you to know that I haven’t forgotten. I hope things are going well for you and your husband. Please thank him from me for what he’s doing for our daughter: he’s a fine man and I don’t blame you for wanting to start over with him. I’m back in the army now, traveling around. I’m due to be posted overseas soon, but I don’t know where yet. I’ll write and let you know when I get my new address. It would be terrific if I could have a photograph of her in this little dress, if your husband doesn’t mind. Best wishes to you all, Bill   For several seconds they sat staring at the piece of paper. When Eva spoke, her voice was tight with emotion. “Cathy, he thinks I chose to stay with Eddie!” Cathy nodded, her mind reeling. “Eddie showed me the letter he sent. Bill wouldn’t have known you were in Wales, would he? He would have assumed you and Eddie had already been reunited—that he’d written with your consent on behalf of you both.” She was afraid to look at Eva. “What are you going to do?” Eva’s face had gone very pale. “I don’t know.” She glanced at David, who was jabbing a Welsh flag into a sand castle. “He said he was going to be posted overseas. Suppose they send him to Britain?” Cathy bit her lip. “It could be anywhere, couldn’t it? It could be the other side of the world.” She could see what was going through Eva’s mind. “You think if he came here, you and he could be together without . . .” Her eyes went to the boys. Eva gave a quick, almost imperceptible nod, as if she was afraid someone might see her. “What about Eddie?” “I don’t know!” The tone of her voice made David look up. She put on a smile, which disappeared the
Lindsay Ashford (The Color of Secrets)
She gestured toward her daughter. “This strange child of mine wants to have read the entire thing before she turns twenty-one. Okay, I said, she can have the enclyco…encloped…oh, all these reference books, but she won’t be getting any more birthday presents. And nothing for Christmas either.” Perdu acknowledged the seven-year-old girl with a nod. The child nodded earnestly back. “Do you think that’s normal?” the mother asked anxiously. “At her age?” “I think she’s brave, clever and right.” “As long as she doesn’t turn out too smart for men.” “For the stupid ones, she will, Madame. But who wants them anyway? A stupid man is every woman’s downfall.
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
Making rude comments or sounds when you'd bend over . Making fun of you in front of others just to get a laugh . Throwing our alarm clock at the wall during an argument . Treating you as a subservient person . Never supporting your decisions . Making you move to a new house without considering your needs . Telling you, "She's fine hon" when our daughter fell off the swing set backwards and you were in anguish . Trying to get a laugh by calling you an asshole when you went to all of the trouble to give me a surprise birthday party .
Austin F. James (Emotional Abuse: Silent Killer of Marriage - A Recovering Abuser Speaks Out)
When I moved to the U.S. at six, I was unrecognizable to my mother. I was angry, chronically dissatisfied, bratty. On my second day in America, she ran out of the room in tears after I angrily demanded that she buy me a pack of colored pencils. You're not you! she sputtered between sobs, which brought me to a standstill. She couldn't recognize me. That's what she told me later, that this was not the daughter she had last seen. Being too young, I didn't know enough to ask: But what did you expect? Who am I supposed to be to you? But if I was unrecognizable to her, she was also unrecognizable to me. In this new country, she was disciplinarian, restrictive, prone to angry outbursts, easily frustrated, so fascist with arbitrary rules that struck me, even as a six-year-old, as unreasonable. For most of my childhood and adolescence, my mother was my antagonist. Whenever she'd get mad, she'd take her index finger and poke me in the forehead. You you you you you, she'd say, as if accusing me of being me. She was quick to blame me for the slightest infractions, a spilled glass, a way of sitting while eating, my future ambitions (farmer or teacher), the way I dressed, what I ate, even the way I practiced English words in the car..She was the one to deny me: the extra dollar added to my allowance; an extra hour to my curfew; the money to buy my friends' birthday presents, so that I was forced to gift them, no matter what the season, leftover Halloween candy. In those early days, we lived so frugally that we even washed, alongside the dishes in the sink, used sheets of cling wrap for reuse. She was the one to punish me, sending me to kneel in the bathtub of the darkened bathroom, carrying my father's Casio watch with an alarm setting to account for when time was up. Yet it was I who would kneel for even longer, going further and further, taking more punishment just to spite her, just to show that it meant nothing. I could take more. The sun moved across the bathroom floor, from the window to the door.
Ling Ma (Severance)
The birth of a child is supernatural spiritual event.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
On the Birthday of Murtaza Bhutto My nephew drives on a route that crosses alongside 70 Clifton every day since I am in Karachi. It reminds me that when I was a working journalist. I visited the last 70 Clifton in 1977, the resident of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Later, Benazir Bhutto and then Murtaza Bhutto and Fatima Bhutto, during the driving towards Karachi Press Club, I asked my nephew to stop near 70 Clifton, so that we can click a few pics of it. Today is Murtaza Bhutto's Birthday, who became the victim of armed-evil and murdered. I stood outside 70 Clifton, remembering inside the conversations, discussions, and delightful atmosphere, in the Bhutto era. I felt sadness and pain, imagining that time when pleasure, joy, and mob walked around it, but today it was dead-quiet and displayed sadness on its walls, the Birthday existed; however, the figure held that day was not there, and his daughter far away from Pakistan, in exile-life, though, the justice has failed but not the God.
Ehsan Sehgal
Chris explained. Beginning on the day after Regan’s birthday—and following Howard’s failure to call—she had noticed a sudden and dramatic change in her daughter’s behavior and disposition. Insomnia. Quarrelsome. Fits of temper. Kicked things. Threw things. Screamed. Wouldn’t eat. In addition, her energy seemed abnormal. She was constantly moving, touching, turning
William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist)
The Y Not had a waitress named Shirley who was the most disagreeable person I have ever met. Whatever you ordered, she would look at you as if you had asked to borrow her car to take her daughter to Tijuana for a filthy weekend. ‘You want what?’ she would say. ‘A pork tenderloin and onion rings,’ you would repeat apologetically. ‘Please, Shirley. If it’s not too much trouble. When you get a minute.’ Shirley would stare at you for up to five minutes, as if memorizing your features for the police report, then scrawl your order on a pad and shout out to the cook in that curious dopey lingo they always used in diners, ‘Two loose stools and a dead dog’s schlong,’ or whatever. In a Hollywood movie Shirley would have been played by Marjorie Main. She would have been gruff and bossy, but you would have seen in an instant that inside her ample bosom there beat a heart of pure gold. If you unexpectedly gave her a birthday present she would blush and say, ‘Aw, ya shouldana oughtana done it, ya big palooka.’ If you gave Shirley a birthday present she would just say, ‘What the fuck's this?' Shirley, alas, didn’t have a heart of gold.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
In last month’s photo, a front tooth dangled over her bottom lip and Iris laughed out loud, wanting to reach into the picture and yank the loose tooth from her daughter’s mouth. She wondered about the conversations she missed with the child—the fights they must have had over Melody’s need to keep that tooth a day, a week, a month, longer. Why hadn’t Aubrey snuck into her room in the middle of the night and yanked it the way her own father had done—Iris waking in the morning with that new space in her mouth and a crisp dollar bill beneath her pillow. But now the tooth was gone. Had Melody gotten a dollar for it too? Iris studied the space—the pink half circle of gum beside a tiny front tooth that hung at a slight angle as though it too was loose now. Iris shivered. Ran her tongue along her own straight teeth. She had missed the child’s birthday but had called, only to have Melody say, It’s my birthday and it’s party day. Bye! Daddy got me a bicycle. Bye again. And when she reminded the child that the bicycle was from both of them, Melody said, But Daddy put it together. And Daddy’s gonna teach me to ride. Always the phone calls were Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, and TV shows she’d watched. When she tried to ask Melody what she was reading, the child laughed. Everything, she said. I read everything. Now, staring at the picture of her daughter, she remembered again how her own mother had said more than once that there was nothing at all maternal about Iris and wondered if the maternal gene kicked in later. Iris wondered if it would happen in her twenties or thirties. And if it did, would she want more children?
Jacqueline Woodson (Red at the Bone)
HETTA’S BIRTHDAY. In accordance with my custom, I went to All Souls Church to give thanks for the daughter they told me would never come. I say I am giving thanks. But deep down, I wonder. Am I praising God or serving a penance? For each time I step into the church there is a nagging guilt at the core of me. When I pray, there are two voices inside my head, gabbling over one another. One cries thank you; the other forgive me. Today I felt, more powerful than ever, the weight of God’s disapproval pressing down on me as I slipped into the deserted church and took a pew. A force loving but sad, intolerably heavy. Saints gazed upon me from the old stained-glass windows left from Queen Mary’s reign. They seemed to shake their heads. I clasped my hands tighter. And as I closed my eyes, the words came to me in a torrent: How dare you? My eyelids snapped open. I felt suddenly very small. But even as I dropped to my knees, the voice came again. How dare you? My gaze flew to the front of the church, to the cross, soaring up before the altar. Who are you to create a life where I have refused it? I knew then that it was an answer to my prayers, to the nights I have spent on my knees asking why our family has suffered such humiliation: it was my fault. And I see it now. God has a plan for each and every one of us He creates. His plan for Josiah was a brilliant one, set at the centre of court. But that plan did not account for one factor: Hetta. Hetta befriended the gypsy and I, weak again, gave in to her demands. My sin looms so large that it has changed the path of my life. This idea haunted me all the way home. As I walked through the swirling leaves, as I tasted the musk of late October on the air, I kept asking myself why I had done it. I had three boys. Three! My mother would have given her right arm for only one. But I had wanted a girl. Another Mary to sit with me and walk with me, a mirror of my own childhood springing up at my feet. And wrong as it may be, I want her still.
Laura Purcell (The Silent Companions)
•    Be an intentional blessing to someone. Devote yourself to caring for others. Even when your own needs begin to dominate your attention, set aside time daily to tune in to others. Pray for their specific needs and speak blessings to those you encounter each day. Make them glad they met you.     •    Seek joy. Each morning ask yourself, “Where will the joy be today?” and then look for it. Look high and low—in misty sunbeams, your favorite poem, the kind eyes of your caretaker, dew-touched spiderwebs, fluffy white clouds scuttling by, even extra butterflies summoned by heaven just to make you smile.     •    Prepare love notes. When energy permits, write, videotape, or audiotape little messages of encouragement to children, grandchildren, and friends for special occasions in their future. Reminders of your love when you won’t be there to tell them yourself. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to present your messages at the right time, labeled, “For my granddaughter on her wedding day,” “For my beloved friend’s sixty-fifth birthday,” or “For my dear son and daughter-in-law on their golden anniversary.”     •    Pass on your faith. Purchase a supply of Bibles and in the front flap of each one, write a personal dedication to the child or grandchild, friend, or neighbor you intend to give it to. Choose a specific book of the Bible (the Gospels are a great place to start) and read several chapters daily, writing comments in the margin of how this verse impacted your life or what that verse means to you. Include personal notes or prayers for the recipient related to highlighted scriptures. Your words will become a precious keepsake of faith for generations to come. (*Helpful hint: A Bible with this idea in mind might make a thoughtful gift for a loved one standing at the threshold of eternity. Not only will it immerse the person in the comforting balm of scripture, but it will give him or her a very worthwhile project that will long benefit those he or she loves.)     •    Make love your legacy. Emily Dickinson said, “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.” Ask yourself, “What will people remember most about me?” Meditate on John 15:12: “Love each other as I have loved you” (NIV). Tape it beside your bed so it’s the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning.     •    “Remember that God loves you and will see you through it.
Debora M. Coty (Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate: Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life's Worries)
On Bindi’s first birthday in July 1999, we began a tradition of our own. We threw open the doors of the zoo with free admission to all children. We offered free birthday cake and invited cockatoos, camels, snakes, and lizards to party with us. It poured rain all day, but it didn’t matter. Steve placed a giant birthday cake in front of his daughter. It could have served one hundred people, and we’d ordered up several of them for the celebration. Bindi had never had sugar before, or any kind of dessert or lolly. She carefully took a frosting flower off the top and tasted it. Puzzlement and then joy transformed her face. She dove in headfirst. Cheers and laughter erupted from the crowd of three hundred, all of whom had shown up to celebrate. Steve’s mother, Lyn, looked on that day with a proud smile. I thought back to what it must have been like when Lyn first started the zoo. It was just a small wildlife park, with admission only forty cents for adults and twenty cents for kids. Now it was an expanding enterprise, part of an ambitious conservation effort and a complement to our wildlife documentaries. But her son’s favorite job was still the humble one of being Dad. I could read on Lyn’s face how important it was to her that Steve had started a family. And Bindi had a great day wearing a small pink sweater that her gran had made for her.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Malala then shared her own gratitude story. She told us that after she was shot by the Taliban, her mother started giving her birthday cards dated from the beginning of her recovery. When Malala turned nineteen, the card said, “Happy 4th birthday.” Her mother was reminding her daughter—and herself—that Malala was lucky to be alive. We
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
reality when we are alone in your rooms without any witnesses … this dream is alone for you to know.” As Pakula notes, Vicky intelligently treated these fantasies (which continued until Willy turned seventeen) lightly in her answering letters, trying to direct her son’s passion toward his Hessian cousins. Just after their son’s eighteenth birthday, in 1877, Vicky and Fritz sent Willy to the University of Bonn. Both parents fervently hoped some of that institution’s accumulated centuries of academic merit might rub off on the future emperor. The experience would instead
Jerrold M. Packard (Victoria's Daughters)
The Owl & Moon would never lack for customers. If a person came in for Chocolate Bomb cookies for her daughter's birthday, while she waited to have them boxed she'd smell the paper-thin rosemary-garlic Cheese Pennies, and pick up two dozen. Then she'd ask for a taste of the gleaming slab of Chocolate Cherry Thunder fudge.
Jo-Ann Mapson (The Owl & Moon Cafe)
Your brain is like a sausage casing. It can only hold so much, and if you try to stuff in too much, something important might get pushed out, like your daughter’s birthday.
Adam Steltzner (The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation)
Her Czech was freshly acquired (by wish, not study; Karou collected languages, and that’s what Brimstone always gave her for her birthday) and it had still tasted strange on her tongue, like a new spice.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
The thing about being barren is that you're not allowed to get away from it. Not when you're in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
I look away when the Russian nurse comes in, holding a tray with Mom’s dinner on it. “Good evening, Mrs. Messing,” she says, her accent thick. Mom eyes her suspiciously. “I hope there’s plenty of sauce this time.” The nurse is polite and patient, even goes back to the kitchen to see if they have cracked pepper instead of the little packets. While Mom eats she talks about the parties she and Dad used to throw at the house. Those were the days, she says, sighing. Composers and producers; actresses like her and screenwriters like Dad, all of them vibrating with youth and beauty. The world was going to be ours. I readjust the napkin so that it covers a larger section of her blouse. How cute the two of you were in your matching outfits, she says about Emily and me. I refill her water cup, ask the nurse for more Parmesan cheese. Everyone said I was crazy to have daughters so close in age, but I thought one could watch out for the other. And you were always so mature, so it worked out. I dress her salad, tossing it with the flimsy plastic fork. Do you remember demanding white wine spritzers at your twelfth birthday party? Yes. I nod.
Liska Jacobs (The Worst Kind of Want)
You think you know me me, my daughter-in-law, but you don't. For instance, I bet you don't know I'm a space traveler. But I am. And I do. In my mind, I travel through time and space in ways you cannot even dream of - from Ohio to Bombay to Ohio again; from the land of the living to the land of the dead, where my Rustom resides; from my wallpapered bedroom in this house, to my painted bedroom in Bombay, of which I know every inch - where the embroidered handkerchiefs are kept in the bottom drawer of the chest of drawers, what books are on the bedside table; the color of the frame that holds the painted picture of Lord Zoroaster that Rustom got me for my fiftieth birthday. Yes, I may be older than you, Susan, and my knees my creak when I got up in the morning, but I can run faster and fly higher than you will ever know.
Thrity Umrigar (If Today Be Sweet)
I asked my daughter how many kids would come to her birthday party if all we offered was cake. No games, no entertainment. They could come to the house to spend time with her and bring gifts to celebrate her, but we wouldn’t have anything else for them. She thought for a minute and said, “Maybe just a couple.” Then I asked her how many would come if I rented out Dave & Buster’s and let them have unlimited tokens, food, and prizes. She laughed and said confidently that the whole school would show up. So let’s say that for her birthday party I rent out the arcade and her whole school comes. They’re all going nuts, having the time of their lives. Imagine if I pulled her aside during the party, put my arm around her, and said, “Look at all the people who came to be with you!” Would she actually believe those people were there because they love her and want to spend time with her? Or would my comment actually be insulting? Isn’t this basically what we do with God? We have learned that we can fill church buildings if we bring in the right speaker or band. Make things exciting enough and people will come. We say, “God, look how many people are coming because they love being with You!” But do we really think God is fooled by this? Do we think God is pleased? He knows how many would show up if it was just Him. He knows there might be only a few if all we offered was Communion or prayer.
Francis Chan (Letters to the Church)
When your daughter asks you to be a fairy for her 5th birthday party... you better be a damned fairy.
Tony Hawk
Pancit of some kind is ever present in one's birthday menu for it symbolizes long life, and we continue to celebrate birthdays including Stacy's and Vanessa's (my two caring and loving daughters-in-law) with their choice of pancit and cake. It is also always served in Filipino parties whether it is a town fiesta, an anniversary or any holiday. The
N.T. Alcuaz (Banana Leaves: Filipino Cooking And Much More)
What did he give you?' I asked Rosie. 'A birthday present,' Rosie replied. 'He said not to open it until December 8.' 'You're not going to listen to him, are you?' I asked. 'Of course I am,' Rosie said. 'What would be the point of opening it today?' I could not imagine such willpower ... 'Don't be disappointed,' I said, 'if there's something less than a diamond ring in that box.' 'Oh, I *know* what's in the box,' Rosie replied. 'I told him what I wanted.' 'Oh, my God, Rosie,' I exclaimed. 'You're impossible.' But my curiosity triumphed over my disapproval. 'What is it?' 'It's not a diamond ring,' she said smugly. 'It's a turquoise ring. Turquoise is my birthstone.' 'You're a con artist, Rosie,' I said, feeling equal parts of admiration and dismay. 'Do you think it's very nice of you to wheedle Mr. Jensen into buying you a turquoise ring?' 'He asked me what I wanted and I told him,' Rosie replied. 'I really don't see what's wrong with that. He didn't have to buy it if he didn't want to.' 'Maybe it isn't a turquoise ring at all,' I said. 'Maybe it's two pumpkin seeds.' 'Maybe it is,' Rosie agreed. 'We won't know until my birthday.' She ran off then to Mrs. Dunleigh and Buster, kneeling down beside the poor asthmatic creature and petting him as passionately as if he were the prize dog in the Westminster Kennel Club show.
Barbara Cohen (The Innkeeper's Daughter)
The first page held a picture of a hazel blossom that Catherine had drawn. It had been pulled from its file, laminated with clear plastic, and secured to the album with gold photo corners. Below the drawing was my daughter's name, Hazel Jones-Hastings, in Elizabeth's elegant script, and her birthday, March 1, which wasn't her birthday at all.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh (The Language of Flowers)
in my campaign launch speech on Roosevelt Island, I took the opportunity to talk about my mother. When I thought about the sweep of history, I thought about her. Her birthday had just passed a few days earlier. She was born on June 4, 1919—the exact same day that Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, finally granting women the right to vote. “I really wish my mother could be here tonight,” I told the crowd in Brooklyn. I had practiced this part several times, and each time, I teared up. “I wish she could see what a wonderful mother Chelsea has become, and could meet our beautiful granddaughter, Charlotte.” I swallowed hard. “And, of course, I wish she could see her daughter become the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (What Happened)
Entertaining is a way of life for the Southern girl. We’ve been doing it for over three hundred years now, and we’re not too shy to say we’re just about the best in the world at it. There really doesn’t have to be an occasion to entertain in the South. Just about any excuse will do, from the anniversary of your friend’s divorce (a “comfort” party) to national flag day (Southern girls are always eager to show the flag the respect it’s due). Parties in the South have always been big affairs. In pre--Civil War days, it was a long way between plantations on bad roads (or no roads at all), so parties lasted for days on end. The hostess spared no expense, with lavish dances, beautiful dresses, and meals that went on and on, with all the best dishes the South had to offer: from whole roast pig to wild game stew. After all, plantation parties were a circuit. You might go to twenty parties a year, but you were only going to throw one--so you better make it memorable, darlin’. Grits work hard to keep this tradition alive. The Junior League and Debutante balls are not just coming out parties for our daughters, god bless them, they are the modern version of old Southern plantation balls. The same is true of graduation, important birthdays, yearly seasonal galas, and of course our weddings.
Deborah Ford (Grits (Girls Raised in the South) Guide to Life)
I beg your pardon, my ladies, Mr. Trottenham. I did not realize I’d be intruding unannounced.” “Deene, good day.” Trottenham rose and bowed, smacking his heels together audibly. “The more the merrier, I say, what? Saw your colt beat Islington’s by two lengths. Well done, jolly good and all that. Islington’s made a bit too much blunt off that animal in my opinion.” Trottenham apparently had a nervous affliction of the eyebrows, for they bounced up and down as he spoke, suggesting either a severe tic or an attempt to indicate some sort of shared confidence. “Perhaps the ladies would rather we save the race talk for the clubs?” “The ladies would indeed,” Louisa said. “Sit you down, Deene, and do the pretty. Mr. Trottenham was just leaving.” She gave a pointed look at the clock, while Eve, who had said nothing, busied herself pouring tea, which Deene most assuredly did not want. “Leaving?” Trottenham’s eyebrows jiggled around. “Suppose I ought, but first I must ask Lady Eve to join me at the fashionable hour for a drive around The Ring. It’s a beautiful day, and I’ve a spanking pair of bays to show off.” Deene accepted his cup of tea with good grace. “Afraid she’s not in a position to oblige, Trottenham, at least not today.” He smiled over at Eve, who blinked once then smiled back. Looking just a bit like Louisa when she did. “Sorry, Mr. Trottenham.” She did not sound sorry to Deene. “His lordship has spoken for my time today.” Trottenham’s smile dimmed then regained its strength. “Tomorrow, then?” Jenny spoke up. “We’re supposed to attend that Venetian breakfast with Her Grace tomorrow.” “And the next day is His Grace’s birthday. Couldn’t possibly wander off on such an occasion as that,” Louisa volunteered. “Why don’t I see you out, Mr. Trottenham, and you can tell me where you found these bays.” She rose and took him by the arm, leaving a small silence after her departure, in which Deene spared a moment to pity poor Trottenham. “I have an appointment at the modiste,” Lady Jenny said, getting to her feet. “Lucas, I’m sure you’ll excuse me.” She swanned off, leaving Eve sitting before the tea tray and Deene wondering what had just happened. “Did you tell them I’ve a preference for leeks?” “I did not, but I cannot vouch for the queer starts my sisters take.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Eve's Indiscretion (The Duke's Daughters, #4; Windham, #7))
Ingrid Seward Ingrid Seward is editor in chief of Majesty magazine and has been writing about the Royal Family for more than twenty years. She is acknowledged as one of the leading experts in the field and has written ten books on the subject. Her latest book, Diana: The Last Word, with Simone Simmons, will be published in paperback in 2007 by St. Martin’s Press. Although Diana assured me that she was happy and finally felt she had found a real purpose in her life, I could still sense some of her inner turmoil. When we were gossiping, she was relaxed, but when we moved on to more serious matters, such as her treatment by the media, her body language betrayed her anxiety. She wrung her hands and looked at me out of the corner of her starling blue eyes. “No one understands what it is like to be me,” she said. “Not my friends, not anyone.” She admitted, however, that there was a positive side to her unique situation in that she could use her high profile to bring attention to the causes she cared about, and this, she assured me, was what she was doing now and wanted to do in the future. But it was the darker, negative side that she had to live with every day. After all this time, she explained, it still upset her to read untruths about herself, and it was simply not in her nature to ignore it. “It makes me feel insecure, and it is difficult going out and meeting people when I imagine what they might have read about me that morning.” Diana had no idea how much she was loved. To the poor, the sick, the weak, and the vulnerable, she was a touchstone of hope. But her appeal extended much further than that. She had the ability to engage the affections of the young and the old from all walks of life. That summer, she wrote a birthday letter to my daughter that read, “I hope for your birthday you managed to get those grown-ups to give you a doll’s house and the cardigan and the pony hair brush you wanted. Don’t believe their excuses.” She wrote similar letters to thousands of other people and always in her own hand. The effect was magical. “Please don’t say anything unkind about her. She’s my friend,” our daughter instructed her father. That, I think, explains the extraordinary outpouring of grief we witnessed when Diana died. Her appeal was as simple as it was unique. Diana touched the child in each and every one of us. She wasn’t the “people’s princess”--she was the people’s friend. The words of a London cabbie still ring in my ears when I think about the week after her death. “We’ll never see the like of her again,” he said as he dropped me off near the ocean of flowers outside Buckingham Palace. He was right.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
I'm not saying our daughter shouldn't have a birthday party. I'm just saying I could organize one in an hour. I'd order some pizzas, get a cake at the supermarket, organize some fun party games for little girls - 'Run Around Shrieking,' 'Run Around Shrieking Some More,' etc. - and boom, there's your party. I'm not saying it would be the greatest birthday celebration ever. For one thing, it would be roughly a month after my daughter's actual birthday, because I am not good with dates. But it would get the job done. My wife, on the other hand, believes the party should be along the lines of the Super Bowl halftime show, only more elaborate.
Dave Barry (I'll Mature When I'm Dead: Dave Barry's Amazing Tales of Adulthood)
A Tribute to my Daughter well well well....twenty nine years have come and gone and oh so too quickly.... I tearfully remember my very first child and the dramatic night you came into our lives...you changed us forever Xio...you Blessed our lives....I remember also the first day you looked me straight in my eyes.. you were being held in my right hand after a bath..you turned your head towards me and stared at me like you had never done before...the instant that happened I knew you were acknowledging the fact that I was yours...that's how that look felt... you placed the stamp of your soul in my hands... I knew in that moment that my role as a Father had truly begun... that look told me so... you made it very clear.....no person on this planet ever touched my very soul the way my baby girl did with that first stare..the beautiful brown eyes.. the inquisitive little look that quickly turned in to a very meaningful stare... I actually had to take a sharp breath....I was hooked...hooked for life... now you have grown from the baby we so loved and took care of... the little girl we watched grow...the smart little teenager you became.. I remember our lovely trip to England and Paris.. somehow that trip was meant to be...just the two of us...my little girl and me....you were so very young....I remember the flight...the landing...the excitement in your face...the look in your eyes...and somehow on that trip as we walked along the Champs-Elysees in Paris....I caught a glimpses of the young lady that was in you... I saw the big heart, the loving smiles. the kindness you so openly show... and here we are now.. many years later....you have matured into a very fine young woman.. a bright future... a work of art. At 58 I have met many souls, thousands I think... people of so many types and personalities...so many differences, in so many different places.. yet every time I look at you and especially when I see that beautiful smile...I think to myself... God is real...and man oh man He's really...really....good. I wish you a wonderful Birthday Xio and many many more to come....God Bless you Xio... God Bless you. Love you this much, Dad
Chris Robertson Trinidad
That is their work, they imply, and they also imply that you, and your actual work, are fine but also neglectful and sad. They don’t say that, though. They say, Don’t worry if you can’t be there, at the mid-fall solstice sing-along, the late-winter sledding-song craft fair and potluck. Not a big deal with the mid-spring parent-student doubles badminton under-the-lights evening funmaker. No problem with the mother-daughter pajama party on every third Wednesday movie day Sound of Music bring your own guitar or lyre. No need to bring treats on your child’s birthday. No need to come in for career day. No need to swing by the opening of the new art studio which features real clay-throwing technology. Don’t care about art? Not an issue. No need, no need, no need, it’s fine, no problem, though you really are selfish and your children doomed. When they are first to try crack—they will try it and love it and sell it to our culture-loving children—we will know why.
Dave Eggers (Heroes of the Frontier)
His letter arrives on a Tuesday morning. Edward sees it as he bumps down the stairs in his tatty tartan slippers, the ones Tilly bought him three Christmases ago and he’s worn every day since. He walks past the mail on the mat and heads towards the kitchen. As he steps onto the cold stone floor, he pulls his dressing gown cord tighter round his waist. The gown is still too big (he lost a lot of weight three years ago) and too feminine (paisley silk in shades of purple) in his humble opinion, but Greer made it for him the summer she died so he’ll wear it until it falls off, which won’t be long now. Tilly has sewn so many patches on the threadbare gown that it’s virtually become a quilt, but Edward ignores his daughter every time she begs him to throw it out. He also ignores the two flannel dressing gowns sitting in the bottom drawer of his wardrobe – still in their plastic wrap – birthday gifts from Tilly, gentle attempts to help her father heal and move on
Menna van Praag (The Lost Art of Letter Writing)
1. Washing the brain of an African is a total waste of soup; an African will always remain African. 2. It's hard to turn a wood into a metal but very easy to turn an African into a Whiteman. 3. If the eye cannot see what the heart encounters the mind knows best. 4. If you want to listen to the voice of the market you'll never buy. 5. No man has the power to separate what God has put together. If any man tries to separate people meant to be, he's digging his own grave and will die a miserable death. 6. If you want to die an honorable death, refuse being an honorable. 7. The world is three days: Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow. Forgotten are men who when tested with riches tend to forget their past, who pride themselves pompously, and who remember not their ego and history. 8. If you don't commit any crime, you'll never go to prison. But if you went to prison stop telling us you're not guilty and stop being a son and be a father. 9. If any parent is jealous of his/her daughter's love, let him marry her. 10. Cowards are those who when speaking will always say: "do you know me?" When actually they're nothing but dust. 11. An intelligent fool is better than a jealous father. 12. Nothing is more expensive than the air we breathe for free. 13. Lipsingers are those who mime the words of others. 14. Poverty is the greatest human gossip to be artificially borne and naturally conquered in Africa. 15. Sinners are those who see the faults of others not their own. 16. In Africa every family is destroy by nothing but jealousy and the worst enemy could be in your family. 17. It's the bee that produces the honey but the honey doesn't produce the bee. If haters talk bad about you, sting them or deny them your honey. 18. Don't mind what people say about you. Is an exact reflection of who they are. 19. If you want to know those you're better than in Africa, listen to those who gossip you but don't go down to their level by replying to things they say. Just trash them in the bin of silence. 20. Not all trees fight with their branches, some use their roots. 21. When talkatives talk, liars lie and the gossipers gossip, work hard and proof them wrong. They're not God and can't stop your destiny. 22. Don't fear jinns or the unseen, if they deny your rule kill them one by one. But when they accept to join Islam make them your slaves. For no jinn rule men--ask King Solomon. 23. I don't fear the jinn or person who talk bad about me in my absence. They're those who fight with their tongue. 24. Clappers are those who applaud the success of others but they're never clapped for. 25. A righteous silent is better than a foolish talk. Foolish and irresponsible elders are those who talk immature yet celebrated many birthdays with their son.
Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe
Happy Birthday to my youngest and the only daughter, may God bless you with long life and the desires of your heart. Happy Birthday my darling Brigid. Mummy loves you.
Euginia Herlihy
Sylphid was beginning to play professionally, and she was subbing as second harpist in the orchestra at Radio City Music Hall. She was called pretty regularly, once or twice a week, and she’d also got a job playing at a fancy restaurant in the East Sixties on Friday night. Ira would drive her from the Village up to the restaurant with her harp and then go and pick her and the harp up when she finished. He had the station wagon, and he’d pull up in front of the house and go inside and have to carry it down the stairs. The harp is in its felt cover, and Ira puts one hand on the column and one hand in the sound hole at the back and he lifts it up, lays the harp on a mattress they keep in the station wagon, and drives Sylphid and the harp uptown to the restaurant. At the restaurant he takes the harp out of the car and, big radio star that he is, he carries it inside. At ten-thirty, when the restaurant is finished serving dinner and Sylphid’s ready to come back to the Village, he goes around to pick her up and the whole operation is repeated. Every Friday. He hated the physical imposition that it was—those things weigh about eighty pounds—but he did it. I remember that in the hospital, when he had cracked up, he said to me, ‘She married me to carry her daughter’s harp! That’s why the woman married me! To haul that fucking harp!’ “On those Friday night trips, Ira found he could talk to Sylphid in ways he couldn’t when Eve was around. He’d ask her about being a movie star’s child. He’d say to her, ‘When you were a little girl, when did it dawn on you that something was up, that this wasn’t the way everyone grew up?’ She told him it was when the tour buses went up and down their street in Beverly Hills. She said she never saw her parents’ movies until she was a teenager. Her parents were trying to keep her normal and so they downplayed those movies around the house. Even the rich kid’s life in Beverly Hills with the other movie stars’ kids seemed normal enough until the tour buses stopped in front of her house and she could hear the tour guide saying, ‘This is Carlton Pennington’s house, where he lives with his wife, Eve Frame.’ “She told him about the production that birthday parties were for the movie stars’ kids—clowns, magicians, ponies, puppet shows, and every child attended by a nanny in a white nurse’s uniform. At the dining table, behind every child would be a nanny. The Penningtons had their own screening room and they ran movies. Kids would come over. Fifteen, twenty kids.
Philip Roth (I Married a Communist (The American Trilogy, #2))
But I learned more than you know from Owen Paris. I learned that trying to live up to imagined expectations is a waste of energy. I learned that nothing can replace the time I spend with my daughter every day. I learned much too late that his way of loving me was just his way. I learned too late that he loved me at all. He chose his career over his children. He left us with you, and you are a great mom. But every day he wasn’t there was another day I spent wondering what I had done wrong and why he didn’t care enough to be with me. “My children are never going to wonder that. I’m going to be there for every birthday, every school assembly, every science fair, every bad grade, every fight on the playground, every good-night kiss, every messy, hard, frustrating, perfect moment of it.
Kirsten Beyer (Acts of Contrition (Star Trek: Voyager))
Time travel and parenting are both difficult enough on their own. Combining them . . . ? Let’s just say that when your five-year-old daughter discovers that every day really could be her birthday party, your cupcake and piñata budget is going to need to be revised.”- Journal of Dr. Harold Quickly, 1992   The
Nathan Van Coops (In Times Like These: eBook Boxed Set: Books 1-3)
Sir Richard Branson Sir Richard Branson is the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group of companies. An immensely successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and television star, Sir Richard was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1999. In 2002, Sir Richard was voted one of the “100 Greatest Britons” in a poll sponsored by the BBC. Eighteen years later, my daughter Holly was enjoying Prince William’s twenty-first birthday party at “Grandma’s house.” A giant elephant had been constructed out of ice, and “shots” were being poured down its trunk and young ladies were drinking from it. Holly found herself kneeling with her mouth around it, glancing upward to see the Queen looking down at her disapprovingly. If Diana had still been alive, she would have laughed until she cried.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
That summer, she wrote a birthday letter to my daughter that read, “I hope for your birthday you managed to get those grown-ups to give you a dolls’ house and the cardigan and the pony hair brush you wanted. Don’t believe their excuses.” She wrote similar letters to thousands of other people and always in her own hand. The effect was magical. “Please don’t say anything unkind about her. She’s my friend,” our daughter instructed her father. That, I think, explains the extraordinary outpouring of grief we witnessed when Diana died. Her appeal was as simple as it was unique. Diana touched the child in each and every one of us. She wasn’t the “people’s princess”—she was the people’s friend. The words of a London cabbie still ring in my ears when I think about the week after her death. “We’ll never see the like of her again,” he said as he dropped me off near the ocean of flowers outside Buckingham Palace. He was right. —Ingrid Seward
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
And if he, good Christian, scion of a striving class, patron saint of the twice as good, could be forever bound, who then could not? And the plunder was not just of Prince alone. Think of all the love poured into him. Think of the tuitions for Montessori and music lessons. Think of the gasoline expended, the treads worn carting him to football games, basketball tournaments, and Little League. Think of the time spent regulating sleepovers. Think of the surprise birthday parties, the daycare, and the reference checks on babysitters. Think of World Book and Childcraft. Think of checks written for family photos. Think of credit cards charged for vacations. Think of soccer balls, science kits, chemistry sets, racetracks, and model trains. Think of all the embraces, all the private jokes, customs, greetings, names, dreams, all the shared knowledge and capacity of a black family injected into that vessel of flesh and bone. And think of how that vessel was taken, shattered on the concrete, and all its holy contents, all that had gone into him, sent flowing back to the earth. Think of your mother, who had no father. And your grandmother, who was abandoned by her father. And your grandfather, who was left behind by his father. And think of how Prince’s daughter was now drafted into those solemn ranks and deprived of her birthright—that vessel which was her father, which brimmed with twenty-five years of love and was the investment of her grandparents and was to be her legacy.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
At her ninetieth birthday party, as her three great-granddaughters wove necklaces from daisies, and her grandson tied a hanky around his own son's bleeding knee, and her daughters made sure everyone had cake and tea enough, and someone shouted, "Speech! Speech!," Dorothy Nicolson had smiled beatifically. The late-flowering roses blushed on the bushes behind her, and she clasped her hands together, idly rolling the rings that fell now loosely around her knuckles. And then she sighed. "I'm so fortunate," she said, in a slow, rickety voice. "Look at all of you, look at my children. I'm so thankful, so lucky to have..." Her old lips had trembled then, and her eyelids fluttered shut, and the others had rushed around her with kisses and cries of "Dearest, darling Mummy!" so they'd missed it when she said, "... a second chance." But Laurel had heard it. And she'd stared harder at Ma's lovely, tired, familiar secretive face. Scouring it for answers. Answers she knew were there to be found. Because people who'd led dull and blameless lives did not give thanks for second chances.
Kate Morton (The Secret Keeper)
A woman's world has always revolved around children and other women. At least as long as I've been around, and I'm almost 60." she smoothed the sheet draped across Ellie as she talked, tucking it in around the sides of her body like a cocoon. "Don't get me wrong," she continued. "We love our men, and the idea of a husband is a good thing. What woman wouldn't want that?" Ellie thought of her brave, independent Aunt Nessa, teaching until she was seventy and dying in ehr sleep on a train bound for New Mexico. She'd never wanted to marry, and she was the happiest woman Ellie had ever known. Mrs Drake put the tissue from the box on Ellie's nightstand and blew her nose. "Men need us more than we need them," she said, and then lowered her voice. "Including the doctors around here. They walk around acting like God, but you should see the panic when one of them has to buy a birthday present for his wife. They have no idea what women want." She washed her hands in the small sink in the corner. "That's why we need our women friends. We're with each other from the beginning to the very end, and everything in between. We understand each other. It's instinctual.
Connie Schultz (The Daughters of Erietown)
A dedication to my child. Thank you for inspiring me to reach the depths and the highs of life. I love you forever.
Mitta Xinindlu
Who was I? I played so many roles: daughter, friend, babysitter, runner, girlfriend. I'd been proud when I was elected team captain, but now I wondered who my teammates had thought they'd voted for. And who my classmates had thought they'd elected Homecoming Queen. Sam had said that I was someone who smiled at people in the hallways. In my birthday card just a month ago, Vee had thanked me for always being there to listen. My junior yearbook had been full of notes using words like nice and sweet. But if that was who I was, how had people turned on me so quickly? Take away the people around me and who was I? Just another smiling face? There had to be more.
I.W. Gregorio
This investigation is nothing more to you than a mere crime among the multitude." Matron Kim's upper lip curled slightly. "My daughter died on her birthday. I made a jeogori jacket for her as a gift, sewed the silk pieces together myself, and I knew the length and circumference of her arms, the length and breadth of her torso, all measured meticulously. I knew her. She was my daughter. And from the day of her death, all you saw was a crime to be solved. From that day, you disrespected my affection for my daughter, and even now, you speak to me with a cruel, impatient look in your eyes.
June Hur (The Silence of Bones)
Her relationship with her daughters-in-law was the only stain on Nanny Ogg’s otherwise amiable character. Sons-in-law were different—she could remember their names, even their birthdays, and they joined the family like overgrown chicks creeping under the wings of a broody bantam. And grandchildren were treasures, every one. But any woman incautious enough to marry an Ogg son might as well resign herself to a life of mental torture and nameless domestic servitude.
Terry Pratchett (Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14))
thirty-fifth birthday, and she was in her pajamas and bunny slippers, driving her daughter to school.
Barbara Bretton (The Day We Met (Jersey Strong #1))
Abdul-Rahim has been so lonely trying to avoid stories about the past that Almira wonders whether she knows anything about him at all. She knows his tastes and habits, the cinnamon apple car air fresheners, the roll-on applicator for under-eye puffiness and the economy-size package of antihistamines, his lucky shirt, serious shirt, the birthday and funeral shirts, his illegible signature and small handwriting; but she has no idea how to talk to her father, how to outgrow his air of total secrecy.
Gianni Skaragas (The Lady of Ro)