Ageing Parents Quotes

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A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own even if she never wants to or needs to... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... a youth she's content to leave behind.... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..... a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... a feeling of control over her destiny... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to fall in love without losing herself.. EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... HOW TO QUIT A JOB, BREAK UP WITH A LOVER, AND CONFRONT A FRIEND WITHOUT RUINING THE FRIENDSHIP... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.. EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... what she would and wouldn't do for love or more... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... where to go... be it to her best friend's kitchen table... or a charming inn in the woods... when her soul needs soothing... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... what she can and can't accomplish in a day... a month...and a year...
Pamela Redmond Satran
When a child first catches adults out -- when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just -- his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child's world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
It's not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.
L.R. Knost (Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages)
I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents.
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
As we age, we become our parents; live long enough and we see faces repeat in time.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.
John Wilmot
Dear parents, Jasmine was in a relationship with a dirty homeless boy named Aladdin. Snow White lived alone with 7 men. Pinnochio was a liar. Robin Hood was a thief. Tarzan walked around without clothes on. A stranger kissed sleeping beauty and she married him. Cinderella lied and snuck out at night to attend a party. You can't blame us. We were taught to rebel since a young age.
Walt Disney Company
The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.
Peter De Vries
And Harry saw very clearly as he sat there under the hot sun how people who cared about him had stood in front of him one by one, his mother, his father, his godfather, and finally Dumbledore, all determined to protect him; but now that was over. He could not let anybody else stand between him and Voldemort; he must abandon forever the illusion he ought to have lost at the age of one, that the shelter of a parent’s arms meant that nothing could hurt him. There was no waking from this nightmare, no comforting whisper in the dark that he was safe really, that it was all in his imagination; the last and greatest of his protectors had died, and he was more alone than he had ever been.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.
Tia Walker (The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love)
Of course, everyone's parents are embarrassing. It goes with the territory. The nature of parents is to embarrass merely by existing, just as it is the nature of children of a certain age to cringe with embarrassment, shame, and mortification should their parents so much as speak to them on the street.
Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys)
Make up your mind to this. If you are different, you are isolated, not only from people of your own age but from those of your parents' generation and from your children's generation too. They'll never understand you and they'll be shocked no matter what you do. But your grandparents would probably be proud of you and say: 'There's a chip off the old block,' and your grandchildren will sigh enviously and say: 'What an old rip Grandma must have been!' and they'll try to be like you.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
You’re living off your parent’s money? At your age?” Oh no she didn’t. I took another drink and then smiled at her in warning as if to say, ‘don’t play this game with me, sweetheart, you won’t win.’ She didn’t heed the warning. “So they pay for everything? Doesn’t that make you feel guilty?” Every fucking day. “Was it your money that bought those Louboutin’s… or Braden’s?
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
Parents have this twisted belief that anyone under the age of about twenty simply can’t know what love is, like the age to love is assessed in the same way the law assesses the legal age to drink. They think that the ‘emotional growth’ of a teenager’s mind is too underdeveloped to understand love, to know if it’s ‘real’ or not. That's completely asinine. The truth is that adults love in different ways, not the only way.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
Real love ought to be more like a tree and less like a flower. That's the kind of love my parents had. Not so consuming and more everlasting. And you see that tree over there? Now it's only showing green leaves, but during the spring it's covered in flowers. Because as reliable as trees are, they can also speak of beauty and passion.
Mya Robarts (The V Girl: A Coming of Age Story)
Time does not really exist for mothers, with regard to their children. It does not matter greatly how old the child is-in the blink of an eye, a mother can see the child again as they were when they were born, when they learned how to walk, as they were at any age-at any time, even when the child is fully grown or a parent themselves.
Diana Gabaldon
If one of them (your parents) or both of them attain old age in your life, say not "UF" to them, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour
Anonymous (القرآن الكريم)
The story of my recent life.' I like that phrase. It makes more sense than 'the story of my life', because we get so many lives between birth and death. A life to be a child. A life to come of age. A life to wander, to settle, to fall in love, to parent, to test our promise, to realize our mortality- and in some lucky cases, to do something after that realization.
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
A consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth. Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn't grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights. It's true what they say about women: Women are insatiable. We are greedy. Our appetites do need to be controlled if things are to stay in place. If the world were ours too, if we believed we could get away with it, we would ask for more love, more sex, more money, more commitment to children, more food, more care. These sexual, emotional, and physical demands would begin to extend to social demands: payment for care of the elderly, parental leave, childcare, etc. The force of female desire would be so great that society would truly have to reckon with what women want, in bed and in the world.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Because perhaps it's true what they say, that up to a certain age a child loves you unconditionally and uncontrollably for one simple reason, you're theirs. Your parents and siblings can love you for the rest of your life, too, for precisely the same reason.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
I became quietly seized with that nostalgia that overcomes you when you have reached the middle of your life and your father has recently died and it dawns on you that when he went he took some of you with him.
Bill Bryson (The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America)
It was a bitter moment for us. We weren't two mature parents. We were just two kids playing grown-up. We still needed Mommy and Daddy's permission, blessings, and money to survive.
Erma Bombeck
Piece by piece, my mother is being stolen from me.
Dorothy Allison (Trash)
When you touch a man's body, he will enjoy the moment, when you touch a man's heart he will remember it forever.
Dixie Waters
I only hope that one day I can frighten my daughter this much. Right now, she's not scared of my husband or me at all. I think it's a problem. I was a freshman home from college the first time my dad said, "You're going out at ten p.m.? I don't think so," and I just laughed and said, "It's fine." I feel like my daughter will be doing that to me by age six. How can I give her what Don Fey gave me? The gift of anxiety. The fear of getting in trouble. The knowledge that while you are loved, you are not above the law. The Worldwide Parental Anxiety System is failing if this many of us have made sex tapes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
The twisted inversion that many children of immigrants know is that, at some point, your parents become your children, and your own personal American dream becomes making sure they age and die with dignity in a country that has never wanted them.
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (The Undocumented Americans)
Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn't know possible.
Tia Walker (The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love)
There was once a little girl who was so very intelligent that her parents feared that she would die. But an aged aunt, who had crossed the Atlantic in a sailing-vessel, said, 'My dears, let her marry the first man she falls in love with, and she will make such a fool of herself that it will probably save her life.
Edith Wharton
Instead of raising children who turn out okay despite their childhood, let's raise children who turn out extraordinary because of their childhood.
L.R. Knost (Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages)
The death of a parent, he wrote, “despite our preparation, indeed, despite our age, dislodges things deep in us, sets off reactions that surprise us and that may cut free memories and feelings that we had thought gone to ground long ago. We might, in that indeterminate period they call mourning, be in a submarine, silent on the ocean’s bed, aware of the depth charges, now near and now far, buffeting us with recollections.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
I was the age at which parents suddenly transform from people who know everything into people who know nothing. —
Margaret Atwood (The Testaments (The Handmaid's Tale, #2))
Once upon a time, all children were homeschooled. They were not sent away from home each day to a place just for children but lived, learned, worked, and played in the real world, alongside adults and other children of all ages.
Rachel Gathercole (The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling)
Age is a seasoned trickster. To our parents, we will always be children. Within ourselves, the same yearnings of youth; the same aspirations of adolescence, will last a lifetime. Only to the young - blinded by our grey hair and slowing gait - do we appear old and increasingly beyond the pale.
Alex Morritt (Impromptu Scribe)
In the heart or every caregiver is a knowing that we are all connected. As I do for you, I do for me.
Tia Walker (The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love)
Lucius paused, turning on his heel to face me. "I grow weary of your ignorance." He moved closer to me, leaning down and peering into my eyes. "Because your parents refuse to inform you, I will deliver the news myself,and I shall make this simple for you." He pointed to his chest and announced, as though talking to a child, "I am a vampire." He pointed to my chest. "You are a vampire. And we are to be married, the moment you come of age. This has been decreed since our births." I couldn't even process the "getting married" part, or the thing about "decreed." He'd lost me at "vampire." Nuts. Lucius Vladescu is completely nuts. And I'm alone with him, in an empty barn. So I did what any sane person would do. I jammed the pitchfork in the general direction of his foot and ran like hell for the house, ignoring his yowl of pain.
Beth Fantaskey (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1))
His parents called him Youngster. They did this in the subconcious hope that he might take the hint. Wensleydale gave the impression of having been born with a mental age of 47.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
I love you but I got to love me more.
Peggi Speers (The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love)
believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it. I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting. The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it. I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look. Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted. Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is. You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given Today.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
In every child who is born, under no matter what circumstances, and no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again.
James Agee
The best parenting advice I ever got was from a labor nurse who told me the following: 1. After your baby gets here, the dog will just be a dog. 2. The terrible twos last through age three. 3. Never ask your child an open-ended question, such as "Do you want to go to bed now?" You won't want to hear the answer, believe me. "Do you want me to carry you upstairs, or do you want to walk upstairs to go to bed?" That way, you get the outcome you want and they feel empowered.
Jodi Picoult
I am thinking about the way that life can be so slippery; the way that a twelve-year-old girl looking into the mirror to count freckles reaches out toward herself and that reflection has turned into that of a woman on her wedding day, righting her veil. And how, when that bride blinks, she reopens her eyes to see a frazzled young mother trying to get lipstick on straight for the parent/teacher conference that starts in three minutes. And how after that young woman bends down to retrieve the wild-haired doll her daughter has left on the bathroom floor, she rises up to a forty-seven-year-old, looking into the mirror to count age spots.
Elizabeth Berg (What We Keep)
Most of these students are so conditioned to success that they become afraid to take risks. They have been taught from a young age by zealous parents, schools, and institutional authorities what constitutes failure and success. They are socialized to obey. They obsess over grades and seek to please professors, even if what professors teach is fatuous. The point is to get ahead, and getting ahead means deference to authority. Challenging authority is never a career advancer.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
And Harry remembered his first nightmarish trip into the forest, the first time he had ever encountered the thing that was then Voldemort, and how he had faced him, and how he and Dumbledore had discussed fighting a losing battle not long thereafter. It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated. . . . And Harry saw very clearly as he sat there under the hot sun how people who cared about him had stood in front of him one by one, his mother, his father, his godfather, and finally Dumbledore, all determined to protect him; but now that was over. He could not let anybody else stand between him and Voldemort; he must abandon forever the illusion he ought to have lost at the age of one, that the shelter of a parent’s arms meant that nothing could hurt him. There was no waking from his nightmare, no comforting whisper in the dark that he was safe really, that it was all in his imagination; the last and greatest of his protectors had died, and he was more alone than he had ever been before.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
We have inhabited both the actual and the imaginary realms for a long time. But we don't live in either place the way our parents or ancestors did. Enchantment alters with age, and with the age. We know a dozen Arthurs now, all of them true. The Shire changed irrevocably even in Bilbo's lifetime. Don Quixote went riding out to Argentina and met Jorge Luis Borges there. Plus c'est la même chose, plus ça change.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Tales from Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #5))
So many people think that they are not gifted because they don’t have an obvious talent that people can recognize because it doesn’t fall under the creative arts category—writing, dancing, music, acting, art or singing. Sadly, they let their real talents go undeveloped, while they chase after fame. I am grateful for the people with obscure unremarked talents because they make our lives easier---inventors, organizers, planners, peacemakers, communicators, activists, scientists, and so forth. However, there is one gift that trumps all other talents—being an excellent parent. If you can successfully raise a child in this day in age to have integrity then you have left a legacy that future generations will benefit from.
Shannon L. Alder
Like all motherless girls, Leni would become an emotional explorer, trying to uncover the lost part of her, the mother who carried and nurtured and loved her. Leni would become both mother and child; to her, mama would still grow and age. She would never be gone, not as long as Leni remembered her.
Kristin Hannah (The Great Alone)
you aren’t really an adult until you bury a parent or become one yourself. But what no one ever mentions is that for kids of a certain age, divorce is like both of those happening simultaneously
Edward Snowden (Permanent Record)
Most parents try really hard to give their kids the best possible life. They give them the best food and clothes they can afford, take their own kind of take on training kids to be honest and polite. But what they don't realize is no matter how much they try, their kids will get out there. Out to this complicated little world. If they are lucky they will survive, through backstabbers, broken hearts, failures and all the kinds of invisible insane pressures out there. But most kids get lost in them. They will get caught up in all kinds of bubbles. Trouble bubbles. Bubbles that continuously tell them that they are not good enough. Bubbles that get them carried away with what they think is love, give them broken hearts. Bubbles that will blur the rest of the world to them, make them feel like that is it, that they've reached the end. Sometimes, even the really smart kids, make stupid decisions. They lose control. Parents need to realize that the world is getting complicated every second of every day. With new problems, new diseases, new habits. They have to realize the vast probability of their kids being victims of this age, this complicated era. Your kids could be exposed to problems that no kind of therapy can help. Your kids could be brainwashed by themselves to believe in insane theories that drive them crazy. Most kids will go through this stage. The lucky ones will understand. They will grow out of them. The unlucky ones will live in these problems. Grow in them and never move forward. They will cut themselves, overdose on drugs, take up excessive drinking and smoking, for the slightest problems in their lives. You can't blame these kids for not being thankful or satisfied with what they have. Their mentality eludes them from the reality.
Thisuri Wanniarachchi (COLOMBO STREETS)
The death of a parent, he wrote, 'despite our preparation, indeed, despite our age, dislodges things deep in us, sets off reactions that surprise us and that may cut free memories and feelings that we had thought gone to ground long ago...
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
I think of my parents, not because I miss them, but because sometimes you see a black person above the age of fifty walking down the street, and you just know that they have seen some shit. You know that they are masters of the double consciousness, of the discreet management of fury under the tight surveillance and casual violence of the outside world. You know that they said thank you as they bled, and that despite the roaches and the instant oatmeal and the bruise on your face, you are still luckier than they have ever been, such that losing a bottom-tier job in publishing is not only ridiculous but offensive.
Raven Leilani (Luster)
When we became teenagers boredom grew like a moth in a cocoon fighting to escape, and the peace created by our parents became a prison. We sought excitement and adventure. We sought anything but the sinless, pure, and average of the faux idyllic.
Scott Thompson (Young Men Shall See)
Parents, choose your words wisely, carefully, thoughtfully. In the same way that violence begets violence and anger begets anger, kindness begets kindness and peace begets peace. Sow words of peace, words that build, words that show respect and belief and support.
L.R. Knost (Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood (A Little Hearts Handbook))
For me, the last few years of the postmodern era have seemed a bit like the way you feel when you're in high school and your parents go on a trip, and you throw a party. You get all your friends over and throw this wild disgusting fabulous party. For a while it's great, free and freeing, parental authority gone and overthrown, a cat's-away-let's-play Dionysian revel. But then time passes and the party gets louder and louder, and you run out of drugs, and nobody's got any money for more drugs, and things get broken and spilled, and there's cigarette burn on the couch, and you're the host and it's your house too, and you gradually start wishing your parents would come back and restore some fucking order in your house. It's not a perfect analogy, but the sense I get of my generation of writers and intellectuals or whatever is that it's 3:00 A.M. and the couch has several burn-holes and somebody's thrown up in the umbrella stand and we're wishing the revel would end. The postmodern founders' patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We're kind of wishing some parents would come back. And of course we're uneasy about the fact that we wish they'd come back--I mean, what's wrong with us? Are we total pussies? Is there something about authority and limits we actually need? And then the uneasiest feeling of all, as we start gradually to realize that parents in fact aren't ever coming back--which means we're going to have to be the parents.
David Foster Wallace
Jesus Christ came not to condemn you but to save you, knowing your name, knowing all about you, knowing your weight right now, knowing your age, knowing what you do, knowing where you live, knowing what you ate for supper and what you will eat for breakfast, where you will sleep tonight, how much your clothing cost, who your parents were. He knows you individually as though there were not another person in the entire world. He died for you as certainly as if you had been the only lost one. He knows the worst about you and is the One who loves you the most. If you are out of the fold and away from God, put your name in the words of John 3:16 and say, “Lord, it is I. I’m the cause and reason why Thou didst on earth come to die.” That kind of positive, personal faith and a personal Redeemer is what saves you. If you will just rush in there, you do not have to know all the theology and all the right words. You can say, “I am the one He came to die for.” Write it down in your heart and say, “Jesus, this is me—Thee and me,” as though there were no others. Have that kind of personalized belief in a personal Lord and Savior.
A.W. Tozer (And He Dwelt Among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John)
When did they stop putting toys in cereal boxes? When I was little, I remember wandering the cereal aisle (which surely is as American a phenomenon as fireworks on the Fourth of July) and picking my breakfast food based on what the reward was: a Frisbee with the Trix rabbit's face emblazoned on the front. Holographic stickers with the Lucky Charms leprechaun. A mystery decoder wheel. I could suffer through raisin bran for a month if it meant I got a magic ring at the end. I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA. Here's a secret: those mothers don't exist. Most of us-even if we'd never confess-are suffering through the raisin bran in the hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring. I look very good on paper. I have a family, and I write a newspaper column. In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost for dinner, and plan to have BECAUSE I SAID SO engraved on my tombstone. Real mothers wonder why experts who write for Parents and Good Housekeeping-and, dare I say it, the Burlington Free Press-seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood. Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum. We take the child, dump him in the lady's car, and say, "Great. Maybe YOU can do a better job." Real mothers know that it's okay to eat cold pizza for breakfast. Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed. If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ratio of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt. Real mothers may not speak the heresy, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal. Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they'll be looking and looking for ages. Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.
Jodi Picoult (House Rules)
From the earliest age, we must learn to say good-bye to friends and family. We see our parents and siblings off at the station; we visit cousins, attend schools, join the regiment; we marry or travel abroad. It is part of the human experience that we are constantly gripping a good fellow by the shoulders and wishing him well, taking comfort from the notion that we will hear word of him soon enough.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Most uncomfortable! Did we lose anyone? Head count! Lee Ark, Leetu, and Brunstetter. Three. Should we count the meech egg? No, I think not. Don't drop it, Brunstetter. I'm to take it home and raise it. Ridiculous. Being a parent at my age. Where were we? Oh, yes, three. One o'rant, two kimens, two minor dragons. Eight. A librarian and a diplomat. Ten.
Donita K. Paul
Thus he spent his whole life searching for his own truth, but it remained hidden to him because he had learned at a very young age to hate himself for what his mother had done to him. (...) But not once did he allow himself to direct his endless, justified rage at the true culprit, the woman who had kept him locked up in her prison for as long as she could. All his life he attempted to free himself of that prison, with the help of drugs, travel, illusions, and above all poetry. But in all these desperate efforts to open the doors that would have led to liberation, one of them remained obstinently shut, the most important one: the door to the emotional reality of his childhood, to the feelings of the little child who was forced to grow up with a severely disturbed, malevolent woman, with no father to protect him from her.
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting)
Two parents, to say nothing of one, cannot possibly satisfy all the needs of a family-household. A community is needed as well, for raising children, and also to keep adults reasonably sane and cheerful. A community is a complex organism with complicated resources that grow gradually and organically.
Jane Jacobs (Dark Age Ahead)
From the earliest age, we must learn to say good-bye to friends and family. We see our parents and siblings off at the station; we visit cousins, attend schools, join the regiment; we marry, or travel abroad. It is part of the human experience that we are constantly gripping a good fellow by the shoulders and wishing him well, taking comfort from the notion that we will hear word of him soon enough. But experience is less likely to teach us how to bid our dearest possessions adieu. And if it were to? We wouldn’t welcome the education. For eventually, we come to hold our dearest possessions more closely than we hold our friends. We carry them from place to place, often at considerable expense and inconvenience; we dust and polish their surfaces and reprimand children for playing too roughly in their vicinity—all the while, allowing memories to invest them with greater and greater importance. This armoire, we are prone to recall, is the very one in which we hid as a boy; and it was these silver candelabra that lined our table on Christmas Eve; and it was with this handkerchief that she once dried her tears, et cetera, et cetera. Until we imagine that these carefully preserved possessions might give us genuine solace in the face of a lost companion.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
I'm a licensed private investigator and have been for quite a while. I'm a lone wolf, unmarried, getting middle-aged, and not rich. I've been in jail more than once and I don't do divorce business. I like liquor and women and chess and a few other things. The cops don't like me too well, but I know a couple I get along with. I'm a native son, born in Santa Rosa, both parents dead, no brothers or sisters, and when I get knocked off in a dark alley sometime, if it happens, as it could to anyone in my business, nobody will feel that the bottom has dropped out of his or her life.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
At a certain age our parents offhandedly start telling us things we’ve never heard before, about themselves and their families, their upbringing and history. They’re turning their lives into stories, trying to make sense of them in retrospect and pass them on while there’s still time. You begin, embarrassingly belatedly, to see them as people with lives long preceding your own.
Tim Kreider (We Learn Nothing)
Life is a series of losses," says my father-in-law one afternoon...."What Dad?"..."oh, I was just thinking about how, with age, it is one loss after another, " he replies. "Huh." He is right. With age we slowly lose our senses and even our pleasures, our parents and then our friends, preparing us for our own absence. An interesting thought.
Kate Bowler (Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved)
In my parents' day and age, it used to be the person who fell short. Now it's the discipline. Reading the classics is too difficult, therefore it's the classics that are to blame. Today the student asserts his incapacity as a privilege. I can't learn it, so there is something wrong with it. And there is something especially wrong with the bad teacher who wants to teach it. There are no more criteria, Mr. Zuckerman, only opinions.
Philip Roth (The Human Stain (The American Trilogy, #3))
Youth was the time for happiness, its only season; young people, leading a lazy, carefree life, partially occupied by scarcely absorbing studies, were able to devote themselves unlimitedly to the liberated exultation of their bodies. They could play, dance, love, and multiply their pleasures. They could leave a party, in the early hours of the morning, in the company of sexual partners they had chosen, and contemplate the dreary line of employees going to work. They were the salt of the earth, and everything was given to them, everything was permitted for them, everything was possible. Later on, having started a family, having entered the adult world, they would be introduced to worry, work, responsibility, and the difficulties of existence; they would have to pay taxes, submit themselves to administrative formalities while ceaselessly bearing witness--powerless and shame-filled--to the irreversible degradation of their own bodies, which would be slow at first, then increasingly rapid; above all, they would have to look after children, mortal enemies, in their own homes, they would have to pamper them, feed them, worry about their illnesses, provide the means for their education and their pleasure, and unlike in the world of animals, this would last not just for a season, they would remain slaves of their offspring always, the time of joy was well and truly over for them, they would have to continue to suffer until the end, in pain and with increasing health problems, until they were no longer good for anything and were definitively thrown into the rubbish heap, cumbersome and useless. In return, their children would not be at all grateful, on the contrary their efforts, however strenuous, would never be considered enough, they would, until the bitter end, be considered guilty because of the simple fact of being parents. From this sad life, marked by shame, all joy would be pitilessly banished. When they wanted to draw near to young people's bodies, they would be chased away, rejected, ridiculed, insulted, and, more and more often nowadays, imprisoned. The physical bodies of young people, the only desirable possession the world has ever produced, were reserved for the exclusive use of the young, and the fate of the old was to work and to suffer. This was the true meaning of solidarity between generations; it was a pure and simple holocaust of each generation in favor of the one that replaced it, a cruel, prolonged holocaust that brought with it no consolation, no comfort, nor any material or emotional compensation.
Michel Houellebecq (The Possibility of an Island)
If you were offered the chance to live your own life again, would you seize the opportunity? The only real philosophical answer is automatically self-contradictory: 'Only if I did not know that I was doing so.' To go through the entire experience once more would be banal and Sisyphean—even if it did build muscle—whereas to wish to be young again and to have the benefit of one's learned and acquired existence is not at all to wish for a repeat performance, or a Groundhog Day. And the mind ought to, but cannot, set some limits to wish-thinking. All right, same me but with more money, an even sturdier penis, slightly different parents, a briefer latency period… the thing is absurd. I seriously would like to know what it was to be a woman, but like blind Tiresias would also want the option of re-metamorphosing if I wished. How terrible it is that we have so many more desires than opportunities.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
If you grew up in a house where you weren't loved, you didn't know there was an alternative. If you grew up with emotionally stunted parents, who were unhappy in their marriage and prone to visit that unhappiness on their children, you didn't know they were doing this. It was just your life. If you had an accident, at the age of four, when you were supposed to be a big boy, and were later served a plate of feces at the dinner table - if you were told to eat it because you liked it, didn't you, you must like it or you wouldn't have so many accidents - you didn't know that this wasn't happening in the other houses in your neighborhood. If your father left your family, and disappeared, never to return, and your mother seemed to resent you, as you grew older, for being the same sex as your father, you had no one to turn to. In all these cases, the damage was done before you knew you were damaged. The worst part was that, as the years passed, these memories became, in the way you kept them in a secret box in your head, taking them out every so often to turn them over and over, something like dear possessions. They were the key to your unhappiness. The were the evidence that life wasn't fair. If you weren't a lucky child, you didn't know you weren't lucky until you got older. And then it was all you ever thought about.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
It is, I suppose, the common grief of children at having to protect their parents from reality. It is bitter for the young to see what awful innocence adults grow into, that terrible vulnerability that must be sheltered from the rodent mire of childhood. Can we blame the child for resenting the fantasy of largeness? Big, soft arms and deep voices in the dark saying, "Tell Papa, tell Mama, and we'll make it right." The child, screaming for refuge, senses how feeble a shelter the twig hut of grown-up awareness is. They claim strength, these parents, and complete sanctuary. The weeping earth itself knows how desperate is the child's need for exactly that sanctuary. How deep and sticky is the darkness of childhood, how rigid the blades of infant evil, which is unadulterated, unrestrained by the convenient cushions of age and its civilizing anesthesia. Grownups can deal with scraped knees, dropped ice-cream cones, and lost dollies, but if they suspected the real reasons we cry they would fling us out of their arms in horrified revulsion. Yet we are small and as terrified as we are terrifying in our ferocious appetites. We need that warm adult stupidity. Even knowing the illusion, we cry and hide in their laps, speaking only of defiled lollipops or lost bears, and getting lollipop or a toy bear'd worth of comfort. We make do with it rather than face alone the cavernous reaches of our skull for which there is no remedy, no safety, no comfort at all. We survive until, by sheer stamina, we escape into the dim innocence of our own adulthood and its forgetfulness.
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
The year 2100 will see eugenics universally established. In past ages, the law governing the survival of the fittest roughly weeded out the less desirable strains. Then man's new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. As a result, we continue to keep alive and to breed the unfit. The only method compatible with our notions of civilization and the race is to prevent the breeding of the unfit by sterilization and the deliberate guidance of the mating instinct, Several European countries and a number of states of the American Union sterilize the criminal and the insane. This is not sufficient. The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny. A century from now it will no more occur to a normal person to mate with a person eugenically unfit than to marry a habitual criminal.
Nikola Tesla
The phrase 'Love one another' is so wise. By loving one another, we invest in each other and in ourselves. Perhaps someday, when we need someone to care for us, it may not come from the person we expect, but from the person we least expect. It may be our sons or daughter-in-laws, our neighbors, friends, cousins, stepchildren, or stepparents whose love for us has assigned them to the honorable, yet dangerous position of caregiver.
Peggi Speers (The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love)
GUIL: It [Hamlet's madness] really boils down to symptoms. Pregnant replies, mystic allusions, mistaken identities, arguing his father is his mother, that sort of thing; intimations of suicide, forgoing of exercise, loss of mirth, hints of claustrophobia not to say delusions of imprisonment; invocations of camels, chameleons, capons, whales, weasels, hawks, handsaws -- riddles, quibbles and evasions; amnesia, paranoia, myopia; day-dreaming, hallucinations; stabbing his elders, abusing his parents, insulting his lover, and appearing hatless in public -- knock-kneed, droop-stockinged and sighing like a love-sick schoolboy, which at his age is coming on a bit strong. ROS: And talking to himself. GUIL: And talking to himself.
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
Wintering is a season in the cold. It is a fallow period in life when you’re cut off from the world, feeling rejected, sidelined, blocked from progress, or cast into the role of an outsider. Perhaps it results from an illness or a life event such as a bereavement or the birth of a child; perhaps it comes from a humiliation or failure. Perhaps you’re in a period of transition and have temporarily fallen between two worlds. Some winterings creep upon us more slowly, accompanying the protracted death of a relationship, the gradual ratcheting up of caring responsibilities as our parents age, the drip-drip-drip of lost confidence. Some are appallingly sudden, like discovering one day that your skills are considered obsolete, the company you worked for has gone bankrupt, or your partner is in love with someone new. However it arrives, wintering is usually involuntary, lonely, and deeply painful.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
The child, screaming for refuge, senses how feeble a shelter the twig hut of grown-up awareness is. They claim strength, these parents, and complete sanctuary. The weeping earth itself knows how desperate is the child's need for exactly that sanctuary. How deep and sticky is the darkness of childhood, how rigid the blades of infant evil, which is unadulterated, unrestrained by the convenient cushions of age and its civilizing anesthesia. Grownups can deal with scraped knees, dropped ice-cream cones, and lost dollies, but if they suspected the real reasons we cry they would fling us out of their arms in horrified revulsion. Yet we are small and as terrified as we are terrifying in our ferocious appetites.
Katherine Dunn
In my heart, I knew that Whorf was right. I knew I thought differently in Turkish and English - not because thought and language were the same, but because different languages forced you to think about different things. Turkish, for example, had a suffix, -mis, that you put on verbs to report anything you didn't witness personally. You were always stating your degree of subjectivity. You were always thinking about it, every time you opened your mouth. The suffix -mis had not exact English equivalent. It could be translated as "it seems" or "I heard" or "apparently." I associated it with Dilek, my cousin on my father's side - tiny, skinny, dark-complexioned Dilek, who was my age but so much smaller. "You complained-mis to your mother," Dilek would tell me in her quiet, precise voice. "The dog scared-mis you." "You told-mis your parents that if Aunt Hulya came to America, she could live in your garage." When you heard -mis, you knew that you had been invoked in your absence - not just you but your hypocrisy, cowardice, and lack of generosity. Every time I heard -mis, I felt caught out. I was scared of the dogs. I did complain to my mother, often. The -mis tense was one of the things I complained to my mother about. My mother thought it was funny.
Elif Batuman (The Idiot)
From the shadows, the young heir to the throne came forward, his expression far older than his seven years. Wrath, son of Wrath, was, like Tohrment, the spitting image of his sire, but there the comparison between the two pairs ended. The regent king was sacred, not just to his parents, but to the race. This small male was the future, the leader to come...evidence that in spite of the affronts committed by the Lessening Society, the vampires would survive. And he was fearless. Whereas many a wee one had shrunk back behind a parent when facing a single Brother, the young Wrath stood his own, staring up at the males before him as if he knew, regardless of his tender age, that he would command the strong backs and fighting arms of those before him.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
I wish there was a song called “Nguyen and Ari,” a little ditty about a hardworking Vietnamese girl who helps her parents withthe franchised Holiday Inn they run, and does homework in thelobby, and Ari, a hardworking Jewish boy who does volunteerwork at his grandmother’s old-age home, and they meet afterschool at Princeton Review. They help each other study for theSATs and different AP courses, and then, after months of study-ing, and mountains of flashcards, they kiss chastely upon hear-ing the news that they both got into their top college choices.This is a song teens need to inadvertently memorize. Now that’sa song I’d request at Johnny Rockets!
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
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)
but it wasn't just about my feelings. The more I got to know you, the more I was certain that you'd do whatever it took to provide for your family. That was important to me. You have to understand that back then, a lot of people our age wanted to change the world. Even though it's a noble idea, I knew I wanted something more traditional. I wanted a family like my parents had, and I wanted to concentrate on my little corner of the world. I wanted someone who wanted to marry a wife and a mother, and someone who would respect my choice.
Nicholas Sparks (The Wedding (The Notebook, #2))
The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. … I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.
Anna Quindlen (Loud and Clear)
Ground rules, Tanner,” he growled. Tanner paled. More good. “No alcohol. No smoking. No drugs. No looking at other girls. You can dance with my daughter. Your hands will avoid the danger zones, which are here, here and here.” Liam gestured to his chest, groin and ass. “You can kiss her. Once. At 10:59 p.m. tonight, when you’ll be standing here once again. I will be on the other side of this door, waiting for her. Am I clear?” “Yes, sir,” Tanner whispered. “I was your age once, too,” Liam said. “I’m aware of that, sir.” “I know what you think about.” “I’m sorry.” “You can think it. You can’t do it.” “Okay.” “I have many sharp tools in my garage.” “Yes, sir.” “We’re clear, then?” “Very, sir.” “Good!” Liam smiled, then grabbed the boy by the shoulder and dragged him in. “Nicole! Your date’s here.
Kristan Higgins (Until There Was You)
Parents and schoolteachers counsel black children that, if they ever hope to escape this system and avoid prison time, they must be on their best behavior, raise their arms and spread their legs for the police without complaint, stay in failing schools, pull up their pants, and refuse all forms of illegal work and moneymaking activity, even if jobs in the legal economy are impossible to find. Girls are told not to have children until they are married to a "good" black man who can help provide for a family with a legal job. They are told to wait and wait for Mr. Right even if that means, in a jobless ghetto, never having children at all.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
But doesn't every precious era feel like fiction once it's gone? After a while, certain vestigial sayings are all that remain. Decades after the invention of the automobile, for instance, we continue to warn each other not to 'put the cart before the horse'. So, too, we do still have 'day'dreams and 'night'mares, and the early-morning clock hours are still known colloquially (if increasing mysteriously) as 'the crack of dawn'. Similarly, even as they grew apart, my parents never stopped calling each other 'sweetheart'.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
The most effective weapon a parent has to control a child is the withdrawal of love or its threat. A young child between the ages of three and six is too dependent on parental love and approval to resist this pressure. Robert's mother, as we saw earlier, controlled him by "cutting him out." Margaret's mother beat her into submission, but it was the loss of her father's love that devastated her. Whatever the means parents use, the result is that the child is forced to give up his instinctual longing, to suppress his sexual desires for one parent and his hostility toward the other. In their place he will develop feelings of guilt about his sexuality and fear of authority figures. This surrender constitutes an acceptance of parental power and authority and a submission to the parents' values and demands. The child becomes "good", which means that he gives up his sexual orientation in favor of one directed toward achievement. Parental authority is introjected in the form of a superego, ensuring that the child will follow his parents' wishes in the acculturation process. In effect, the child now identifies with the threatening parent. Freud says, "The whole process, on the one hand, preserves the genital organ wards off the danger of losing it; on the other hand, it paralyzes it, takes its function away from it.
Alexander Lowen (Fear Of Life)
As soon as the child is born, the mother who has just brought him into the world must console him, quiet his crying, and lighten the burden of the existence she has given him. And one of the principal duties of good parents in the childhood and early youth of their children is to comfort them, to encourage them to live,1 because sorrows and ills and passions are at that age much heavier than they are to those who through long experience, or simply because they have lived longer, are used to suffering. And in truth it is only fitting that the good father and the good mother, in trying to console their children, correct as best they can, and ease, the damage they have done by procreating them. Good God! Why then is man born? And why does he procreate? To console those he has given birth to for having been born?
Giacomo Leopardi (Zibaldone)
there was a song i heard when i was in los angeles by a local group. the song was called "los angeles" and the words and images were so harsh and bitter that the song would reverberate in my mind for days. the images, i later found out, were personal and no one i knew shared them. the images i had were of people being driven mad by living in the city. images of parents who were so hungry and unfulfilled that they ate their own children. images of people, teenagers my own age, looking up from the asphalt and being blinded by the sun. these images stayed with me even after i left the city. images so violent and malicious that they seemed to be my only point of reference for a long time afterwards. after i left.
Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero)
I can not remember telling my parents that I was studying classics, they might well have found out for the first time on graduation day. Of all the subjects on this planet, I think they would have been hard-put to name one less useful in Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys of an executive bathroom. Now I would like to make it clear in parenthesis, that I do not blame my parents for their point of view. There is an expiry date for blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction. The moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. What is more, I can not criticize my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor. And I quite agree with them, that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty, entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression, It means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is something by which to pride yourself, but poverty itself, is romanticized only by fools. But I feared at your age was not poverty, but failure... Now, I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted, and well educated, that you have never known heartbreak, hardship, or heartache. Talent and intelligence, never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the fates... ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure.
J.K. Rowling (Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination)
I remember your parents' funeral, JJ. It was the hardest one I'd ever done in my career... I didn't think I was going to make it through the service, but I looked out and saw you, JJ, standing there in the pew. Your eyes were dry. Your chin was up. I saw such strength. I wondered what your parents did that made you so strong at such a young age. But then I noticed you were holding Phillip's hand tightly, just like you are now, and I knew where all that strength came from. It's from each other. You get strength from each other. Whatever you face in life, I hope you face it like you are now. Han in hand. United. If you do that, you'll make it. You'll have a wonderful marriage.
Jillian Dodd (That Wedding (That Boy, #2))
Intensive mothering is the ultimate female Olympics: We are all in powerful competition with each other, in constant danger of being trumped by the mom down the street, or in the magazine we're reading. The competition isn't just over who's a good mother--it's over who's the best. We compete with each other; we compete with ourselves. The best mothers always put their kids' needs before their own, period. The best mothers are the main caregivers. For the best mothers, their kids are the center of the universe. The best mothers always smile. They always understand. They are never tired. They never lose their temper. They never say, "Go to the neighbor's house and play while Mommy has a beer." Their love for their children is boundless, unflagging, flawless, total. Mothers today cannot just respond to their kids' needs, they must predict them--and with the telepathic accuracy of Houdini. They must memorize verbatim the books of all the child-care experts and know which approaches are developmentally appropriate at different ages. They are supposed to treat their two-year-olds with "respect." If mothers screw up and fail to do this on any given day, they should apologize to their kids, because any misstep leads to permanent psychological and/or physical damage. Anyone who questions whether this is the best and the necessary way to raise kids is an insensitive, ignorant brute. This is just common sense, right?
Susan J. Douglas
Dad on Child-rearing: "There's no education superior to travel. Think of The Motorcycle Diaries, or what Montrose St. Millet wrote in Ages of Exploration: 'To be still is to be stupid. To be stupid is to die.' And so we shall live. Every Betsy sitting next to you in a classroom will only know Maple Street on which sits her boxy white house, inside of which whimper her boxy white parents. After your travels, you'll know Maple Street, sure, but also wilderness and ruins, carnivals and the moon. You'll know the man sitting on an apple crate outside a gas station in Cheerless, Texas, who lost his legs in Vietnam, the woman in the tollboth outside Dismal, Delaware, in possession of six children, a husband with black lung but no teeth. When a teacher asks the class to interpret Paradise Lost, no one will be able to grab your coattails, sweet, for you will be flying far, far out in front of them all. For them, you will be a speck somewhere above the horizon. And thus, when you're ultimately set loose upon the world..." He shrugged, his smile lazy as an old dog. "I suspect you'll have no choice but to go down in history.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
When you least expect it, nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot. Just remember I’m here. Right now, you may not want to feel anything. Maybe you’ll never want to feel anything. And, maybe it’s not to me you want to speak about these things, but I feel something you obviously did. Look, you had a beautiful friendship. Maybe more than a friendship. And I envy you. In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their sons land on their feet. But I am not such a parent. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster that we go bankrupt by the age of 30 and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste! And I’ll say one more thing… it’ll clear the air. I may have come close, but I never have what you two have. Something always held me back or stood in the way. How you live your life is your business. Just remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once, and before you know it, your heart’s worn out. And as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now, there’s sorrow, pain; don’t kill it, and with it, the joy you’ve felt.
André Aciman (Call Me By Your Name (Call Me By Your Name, #1))
Mr Babbington,' he said, suddenly stopping in his up and down. 'Take your hands out of your pockets. When did you last write home?' Mr Babbington was at an age when almost any question evokes a guilty response, and this was, in fact, a valid accusation. He reddened, and said, 'I don't know, sir.' 'Think, sir, think,' said Jack, his good-tempered face clouding unexpectedly...'Never, mind. Write a handsome letter. Two pages at least. And send it in to me with your daily workings tomorrow. Give your father my compliments and tell him my bankers are Hoares.' For Jack, like most other captains, managed the youngsters' parental allowance for them. 'Hoares,' he repeated absently once or twice, 'my bankers are Hoares,' and a strangled ugly crowing noise made him turn. Young Ricketts was clinging to the fall of the main burton-tackle in an attempt to control himself, but without much success.
Patrick O'Brian (Master & Commander (Aubrey & Maturin, #1))
Sometimes I get the feeling [my parents have] asked me to hold this big invisible secret for them, like a backpack full of rocks--all these things they don't want to know about themselves. I'm supposed to wear it as I hike up this trail toward my adulthood. They're already at the summit of Full Grown Mountain. They're waiting for me to get there and cheering me on, telling me I can do it, and sometimes scolding and asking why I'm not hiking any faster or why I'm not having more fun along the way. I know I'm not supposed to talk about this backpack full of their crazy, but sometimes I really wish we could all stop for a second. Maybe they could walk down the trail from the top and meet me. We could unzip that backpack, pull out all of those rocks, and leave the ones we no longer need by the side of the trail. It'd make the walk a lot easier. Maybe then my shoulders wouldn't get so tense when Dad lectures me about money or Mom starts a new diet she saw on the cover of a magazine at the grocery store.
Aaron Hartzler (What We Saw)
Parents embraced “Sesame Street” for several reasons, among them that it assuaged their guilt over the fact that they could not or would not restrict their children’s access to television. “Sesame Street” appeared to justify allowing a four- or five-year-old to sit transfixed in front of a television screen for unnatural periods of time. Parents were eager to hope that television could teach their children something other than which breakfast cereal has the most crackle. At the same time, “Sesame Street” relieved them of the responsibility of teaching their pre-school children how to read—no small matter in a culture where children are apt to be considered a nuisance.... We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Last year, 4.2 million babies died. That is the most recent number reported by UNICEF of deaths before the age of one, worldwide. We often see lonely and emotionally charged numbers like this in the news or in the materials of activist groups or organizations. They produce a reaction. Who can even imagine 4.2 million dead babies? It is so terrible, and even worse when we know that almost all died from easily preventable diseases. And how can anyone argue that 4.2 million is anything other than a huge number? You might think that nobody would even try to argue that, but you would be wrong. That is exactly why I mentioned this number. Because it is not huge: it is beautifully small. If we even start to think about how tragic each of these deaths is for the parents who had waited for their newborn to smile, and walk, and play, and instead had to bury their baby, then this number could keep us crying for a long time. But who would be helped by these tears? Instead let’s think clearly about human suffering. The number 4.2 million is for 2016. The year before, the number was 4.4 million. The year before that, it was 4.5 million. Back in 1950, it was 14.4 million. That’s almost 10 million more dead babies per year, compared with today. Suddenly this terrible number starts to look smaller. In fact the number has never been lower.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
Children killing children. That's a terrible thing." "What do you think has gone wrong?" "It's not just the children. It's the grown-ups too. Some people are growing children, not raising children, and there's a big difference." "What do you mean?" "Well, people grow hogs. You give them a place to live, give them all the food they need to keep growing, and make sure that they don't get sick on you. With children you got to raise them. Of course, you feed and clothe them. But a parent has to take the time to teach them right and wrong. A parent has to discipline them. And a parent got to be there to listen to them, help them with their problems. I think most people do their best, but there are some parents these days that are growing children, not raising children. "It's a sad thing. These children have everything they need to grow up, but they are missing something inside. They must hurt awful bad and no one has shown them the way to live. Buying them their food or even fancy clothes or a car ain't going to help if a child is hurting inside. We all need the same things.
George Dawson (Life Is So Good: One Man's Extraordinary Journey through the 20th Century and How he Learned to Read at Age 98)
We teach our children to study hard, to strive to succeed but do we teach them that it's okay to fail? That life is about accepting yourself? That there is no stigma in seeking help? Our Indian culture is based on worshipping our parents. We grow up listening to words like respect, obedience and tradition. Can we not add the words communication, unconditional love and support to this list? I look at the WHO research. The highest rate of suicide in India is among the age group of 15 to 29. Do we even talk to our teens about this? That evening, I am standing in the balcony, sipping some coffee and looking at the sunset. The children have taken the dogs and gone down to play on the beach. I spot my son. He is standing on the sand, right at the edge of the ocean and is flying a blue kite. The kite goes high and then swings low till it almost seems to fall into the water and all I want to say to him is that soon he will see that life is just like flying a kite. Sometimes you have to leave it loose, sometimes you have to hold on tight, sometimes your kite will fly effortlessly, sometimes you will not be able to control it and even when you are struggling to keep it afloat and the string is cutting into your hand, don't let go. The wind will change in your favour once again, my son. Just don't let go..
Twinkle Khanna (Mrs Funnybones)
You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!" said Dum-bledore loudly. "The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's! In spite of all the temptation you have endured, all the suffering, you remain pure of heart, just as pure as you were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mir-ror that reflected your heart's desire, and it showed you only the way to thwart Lord Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. Harry, have you any idea how few wizards could have seen what you saw in that mirror? Voldemort should have known then what he was dealing with, but he did not! But he knows it now. You have flitted into Lord Voldemort's mind without damage to yourself, but he cannot possess you with-out enduring mortal agony, as he discovered in the Ministry. I do not think he understands why, Harry, but then, he was in such a hurry to mutilate his own soul, he never paused to understand the incomparable power of a soul that is untarnished and whole." "But, sir," said Harry, making valiant efforts not to sound argu-mentative, "it all comes to the same thing, doesn't it? I've got to try and kill him, or —" "Got to?" said Dumbledore. "Of course you've got to! But not because of the prophecy! Because you, yourself, will never rest until you've tried! We both know it! Imagine, please, just for a moment, that you had never heard that prophecy! How would you feel about Voldemort now? Think!" Harry watched Dumbledore striding up and down in front ol him, and thought. He thought of his mother, his father, and Sinus. He thought of Cedric Diggory. He thought of all the terrible deeds he knew Lord Voldemort had done. A flame seemed to leap inside his chest, searing his throat. "I'd want him finished," said Harry quietly. "And I'd want to do it." "Of course you would!" cried Dumbledore. "You see, the prophecy does not mean you have to do anything! But the prophecy caused Lord Voldemort to mark you as his equal. ... In other words, you are free to choose your way, quite free to turn your back on the prophecy! But Voldemort continues to set store by the prophecy. He will continue to hunt you . . . which makes it certain, really, that —" "That one of us is going to end up killing the other," said Harry. "Yes." But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumble-dore knew — and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents — that there was all the difference in the world.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands. Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother’s arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap. I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death. But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled. Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own. My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever. But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path? No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day. So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship. Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer--you never know if it will be your last. Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character. Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing. My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits . But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know. So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have. But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents--not until that time arrives when a little hand--resembling our own--gently clutches our finger from its crib. My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.
Shakieb Orgunwall
A cult is a group of people who share an obsessive devotion to a person or idea. The cults described in this book use violent tactics to recruit, indoctrinate, and keep members. Ritual abuse is defined as the emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive acts performed by violent cults. Most violent cults do not openly express their beliefs and practices, and they tend to live separately in noncommunal environments to avoid detection. Some victims of ritual abuse are children abused outside the home by nonfamily members, in public settings such as day care. Other victims are children and teenagers who are forced by their parents to witness and participate in violent rituals. Adult ritual abuse victims often include these grown children who were forced from childhood to be a member of the group. Other adult and teenage victims are people who unknowingly joined social groups or organizations that slowly manipulated and blackmailed them into becoming permanent members of the group. All cases of ritual abuse, no matter what the age of the victim, involve intense physical and emotional trauma. Violent cults may sacrifice humans and animals as part of religious rituals. They use torture to silence victims and other unwilling participants. Ritual abuse victims say they are degraded and humiliated and are often forced to torture, kill, and sexually violate other helpless victims. The purpose of the ritual abuse is usually indoctrination. The cults intend to destroy these victims' free will by undermining their sense of safety in the world and by forcing them to hurt others. In the last ten years, a number of people have been convicted on sexual abuse charges in cases where the abused children had reported elements of ritual child abuse. These children described being raped by groups of adults who wore costumes or masks and said they were forced to witness religious-type rituals in which animals and humans were tortured or killed. In one case, the defense introduced in court photographs of the children being abused by the defendants[.1] In another case, the police found tunnels etched with crosses and pentacles along with stone altars and candles in a cemetery where abuse had been reported. The defendants in this case pleaded guilty to charges of incest, cruelty, and indecent assault.[2] Ritual abuse allegations have been made in England, the United States, and Canada.[3] Many myths abound concerning the parents and children who report ritual abuse. Some people suggest that the tales of ritual abuse are "mass hysteria." They say the parents of these children who report ritual abuse are often overly zealous Christians on a "witch-hunt" to persecute satanists. These skeptics say the parents are fearful of satanism, and they use their knowledge of the Black Mass (a historically well-known, sexualized ritual in which animals and humans are sacrificed) to brainwash their children into saying they were abused by satanists.[4] In 1992 I conducted a study to separate fact from fiction in regard to the disclosures of children who report ritual abuse.[5] The study was conducted through Believe the Children, a national organization that provides support and educational sources for ritual abuse survivors and their families.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Help)