Becoming A Mom For The First Time Quotes

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I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. ;) I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift Songbook: Guitar Recorded Versions)
Although love could grow in times of peace, it tempered in battle. Daddy told me once - when I'd said something about how perfect his relationship with Mom was - that I should have seen the first five years of their marriage, that they'd fought like hellions, crashed into each other like two giant stones. That eventually they'd eroded each other into the perfect fit, become a single wall, nestled into each other's curves and hollows, her strengths chinking his weaknesses, her weaknesses reinforced by his strengths.
Karen Marie Moning (Dreamfever (Fever, #4))
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
people used to tell me that i had beautiful hands told me so often, in fact, that one day i started to believe them until i asked my photographer father, “hey daddy could i be a hand model” to which he said no way, i dont remember the reason he gave me and i wouldve been upset, but there were far too many stuffed animals to hold too many homework assignment to write, too many boys to wave at too many years to grow, we used to have a game, my dad and i about holding hands cus we held hands everywhere, and every time either he or i would whisper a great big number to the other, pretending that we were keeping track of how many times we had held hands that we were sure, this one had to be 8 million 2 thousand 7 hundred and fifty three. hands learn more than minds do, hands learn how to hold other hands, how to grip pencils and mold poetry, how to tickle pianos and dribble a basketball, and grip the handles of a bicycle how to hold old people, and touch babies , i love hands like i love people, they're the maps and compasses in which we navigate our way through life, some people read palms to tell your future, but i read hands to tell your past, each scar marks the story worth telling, each calloused palm, each cracked knuckle is a missed punch or years in a factory, now ive seen middle eastern hands clenched in middle eastern fists pounding against each other like war drums, each country sees theyre fists as warriors and others as enemies. even if fists alone are only hands. but this is not about politics, no hands arent about politics, this is a poem about love, and fingers. fingers interlock like a beautiful zipper of prayer. one time i grabbed my dads hands so that our fingers interlocked perfectly but he changed positions, saying no that hand hold is for your mom. kids high five, but grown ups, we learn how to shake hands, you need a firm hand shake,but dont hold on too tight, but dont let go too soon, but dont hold down for too long, but hands are not about politics, when did it become so complicated. i always thought its simple. the other day my dad looked at my hands, as if seeing them for the first time, and with laughter behind his eye lids, with all the seriousness a man of his humor could muster, he said you know you got nice hands, you could’ve been a hand model, and before the laughter can escape me, i shake my head at him, and squeeze his hand, 8 million 2 thousand 7hundred and fifty four.
Sarah Kay
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
This is an ode to all of those that have never asked for one. A thank you in words to all of those that do not do what they do so well for the thanking. This is to the mothers. This is to the ones who match our first scream with their loudest scream; who harmonize in our shared pain and joy and terrified wonder when life begins. This is to the mothers. To the ones who stay up late and wake up early and always know the distance between their soft humming song and our tired ears. To the lips that find their way to our foreheads and know, somehow always know, if too much heat is living in our skin. To the hands that spread the jam on the bread and the mesmerizing patient removal of the crust we just cannot stomach. This is to the mothers. To the ones who shout the loudest and fight the hardest and sacrifice the most to keep the smiles glued to our faces and the magic spinning through our days. To the pride they have for us that cannot fit inside after all they have endured. To the leaking of it out their eyes and onto the backs of their hands, to the trails of makeup left behind as they smile through those tears and somehow always manage a laugh. This is to the patience and perseverance and unyielding promise that at any moment they would give up their lives to protect ours. This is to the mothers. To the single mom’s working four jobs to put the cheese in the mac and the apple back into the juice so their children, like birds in a nest, can find food in their mouths and pillows under their heads. To the dreams put on hold and the complete and total rearrangement of all priority. This is to the stay-at-home moms and those that find the energy to go to work every day; to the widows and the happily married. To the young mothers and those that deal with the unexpected announcement of a new arrival far later than they ever anticipated. This is to the mothers. This is to the sack lunches and sleepover parties, to the soccer games and oranges slices at halftime. This is to the hot chocolate after snowy walks and the arguing with the umpire at the little league game. To the frosting ofbirthday cakes and the candles that are always lit on time; to the Easter egg hunts, the slip-n-slides and the iced tea on summer days. This is to the ones that show us the way to finding our own way. To the cutting of the cord, quite literally the first time and even more painfully and metaphorically the second time around. To the mothers who become grandmothers and great-grandmothers and if time is gentle enough, live to see the children of their children have children of their own. To the love. My goodness to the love that never stops and comes from somewhere only mothers have seen and know the secret location of. To the love that grows stronger as their hands grow weaker and the spread of jam becomes slower and the Easter eggs get easier to find and sack lunches no longer need making. This is to the way the tears look falling from the smile lines around their eyes and the mascara that just might always be smeared with the remains of their pride for all they have created. This is to the mothers.
Tyler Knott Gregson
He misinterpreted it. "It is a gift," he said stiffly. Wounded, proud prince. I touched his face. He'd given me my mom and dad, my whole town, the entire state of Georgia back. "I was shaking my head at something I was thinking, not your words. Yes, I'd like to have your name, V'lane." He gave me that brilliant smile again, then his mouth was on mine. This time, when he kissed me, the unpronounceable Fae name slid sweeter than tupelo honey across my tongue and pooled there, warm and delicious, filling my mouth with a feast of taste and sensation beyond description before melting into the meat of it. Unlike the other times he's implanted his name in my tongue, it felt natural, unobtrusive. Also unlike those times, I wasn't battered by an erotic attack, forced into orgasm by his touch. It was an extraordinary kiss, but it invited without invading, gave without taking. He drew back. "We are learning from each other," he said. "I begin to understand Adam." I blinked. "The first man ? You know about Adam and Eve ?" V'lane didn't seem the kind to study human creation myths. "No. One of my race that chose to become human," he clarified. "Ah, Barrons comes growling." He gave the startling equivalent of a human snicker and was gone. I reached instinctively for my spear. It was back in the holster. I frowned. I'd forgotten to check. Had it ever been gone ? I turned. "Growling" was a mild word for it. Barrons stood in the doorway, and if looks could kill, I'd have been flayed alive in the street.
Karen Marie Moning (Dreamfever (Fever, #4))
Why Do People become Shadowhunters, by Magnus Bane This Codex thing is very silly. Downworlders talk about the Codex like it is some great secret full of esoteric knowledge, but really itès a Boy Scout manual. One thing that it mysteriously doesnèt address is why people become Shadowhunters. And you should know that people become Shadowhunters for many stupid reasons. So here is an addition to your copy. Greetings, aspiring young Shadowhunter-to-be- or possibly already technically a Shadowhunter. I canèt remember whether you drink from the Cup first or get the book first. Regardless, you have just been recruited by the Monster Police. You may be wondering, why? Why of all the mundanes out there was I selected and invited to this exclusive club made up largely, at least from a historical perspective, of murderous psychopaths? Possible Reasons Why 1. You possess a stout heart, strong will, and able body. 2. You possess a stout body, able will, and strong heart. 3. Local Shadowhunters are ironically punishing you by making you join them. 4. You were recruited by a local institute to join the Nephilim as an ironic punishment for your mistreatment of Downworlders. 5. Your home , village, or nation is under siege by demons. 6. You home, village, or nation is under siege by rogue Downworlders. 7. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 8.You know too much, and should be recruited because the secrecy of the Shadow World has already been compromised for you. 9. You know too little; it would be helpful to the Shadowhunters if you knew more. 10. You know exactly the right amount, making you a natural recruit. 11. You possess a natural resistance to glamour magic and must be recruited to keep you quiet and provide you with some basic protection. 12. You have a compound last name already and have convinced someone important that yours is a Shadowhunter family and the Shadowhunteriness has just been weakened by generations of bad breeding. 13. You had a torrid affair with a member of the Nephilim council and now he's trying to cover his tracks. 14. Shadowhunters are concerned they are no longer haughty and condescending enough-have sought you out to add a much needed boost of haughty condescension. 15. You have been bitten by a radioactive Shadowhunter, giving you the proportional strength and speed of a Shadowhunter. 16. Large bearded man on flying motorcycle appeared to take you away to Shadowhunting school. 17. Your mom has been in hiding from your evil dad, and you found out you're a Shadowhunter only a few weeks ago. That's right. Seventeen reasons. Because that's how many I came up with. Now run off, little Shadowhunter, and learn how to murder things. And be nice to Downworlders.
Cassandra Clare (The Shadowhunter's Codex)
My mom said that when you become a parent you understand for the first time what a parent feels. But…but what you really need to understand what you really shouldn’t forget is what you felt like as a child. The first time you did a somersault, the first time someone got really mad at you…If you can really remember how you felt when you were a child even when you’re an adult or a parent, then you can understand each other. Even if it’s not 100% you can meet each other half-way…she said. Because thinking that way reminds you that life is fun.
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket: The Complete Collection)
You guys could handle this on your own. Why risk getting kicked out of your He-Man-Monster-Haters Club?" "Because we can't handle this on our own. At least I don't think we can." "You said yourself you already have some Prodigium working with you. Why not go to them?" "We have a handful," he said, frustration creeping into his voice. "And most of them suck. Look, just consider it a peace offering, okay? My way of saying I'm sorry for lying to you. And pulling a knife in your presence, even if it was just to open a damn window to get out before you vaporized me." Most girls got flowers. I got a dirt put used for demon raising. Nice. "Thanks," I replied. "But don't you want in on this?" He looked at me, and not for the first time, I wished his eyes weren't so dark. It would have been nice to have some idea of what was going on in his head. "That's up to you," he said. Mom always liked to say that we hardly ever know the decisions we make that change our lives,mostly because they're little ones. You take this bus instead of that one and end up meeting your soul mate, that kind of thing. But there was no doubt in my mind that this was one of those life-changing moments. Tell Archer no,and I'd never see him again. And Dad and Jenna wouldn't be mad at me, and Cal...Tell Archer yes, and everything suddenly got twistier and more complicated than Mrs. Casnoff's hairdo. And even though I'm a twisty and complicated girl, I knew what my answer had to be. "It's too much of a risk, Cross. Maybe one day when I'm head of the Council, and you're...well, whatever you're going to be for L'Occhio di Dio, we could work on some kind of collaboration." That brought up depressig images of me and Archer sittig across a boardroom table, sketching out battle plans on a whiteboard, so my voice was a little shaky when I continued. "But for now, it's too dangerous." And not just because basically everyone in our lives would want to kill us if they found out, I thought. But because I was pretty sure I was still in love with him, and I thought he might feel something similar for me, and there was no way we could work together preventing the Monster Apocalypse/World War III without that becoming an issue. Not that I could say any of that. Archer's face was blank as he said, "Cool. Got it." "Cross," I started to say, but then his eyes slid past me and went wide with horror. At the same time, I became aware of a slithering noice behind me. That just could not be good; in my experience, nothing pleasant slithers. Still, I was not prepared for the nightmares climbing out of the crater.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Happy Birthday to my first born(umafungashe wam). No words can fully describe the way I felt when I heard your first cry. The unforgettable joy I felt when I held you in my arms for the first time. I've watched you grow up from the time you were little until you become this compassionate, kind and thoughtful young man. I'm also proud to see you become an amazing husband, father and a great servant of God. I'm blessed beyond to call myself your mom. Happy Birthday son.❤️❤️
Euginia Herlihy
I thought of Atargatis, the First, frightening and beautiful. The mermaid goddess who lived on in the soul of every woman who'd ever fallen in love with the ocean. I thought of Sebastian, my little mermaid queen, how happy he was the day of the parade, just getting the chance to express himself, to be himself. I thought of Vanessa, the story about how she and her girlfriends became feminist killjoys to get a women's literature core in their school, the way she'd accepted me this summer without question, gently pushed me out of my self-imposed shell. Of her mother, Mrs. James, how she'd grabbed that bullhorn at the parade and paved the way for Sebastian's joy. I thought of Lemon, so wise, so comfortable in her own skin, full of enough love to raise a daughter as a single mom and still have room for me, for her friends, for everyone whose lives she touched with her art. I thought of Kirby, her fierce loyalty, her patience and grace, her energy, what a good friend and sister she'd become, even when I'd tried to shut her out. I thought of all the new things I wanted to share with her now, all the things I hoped she'd share with me. I thought of my mother, a woman I'd never known, but one whose ultimate sacrifice gave me life. I thought of Granna, stepping in to raise her six granddaughters when my mom died, never once making us feel like a burden or a curse. She'd managed the cocoa estate with her son, personally saw to the comforts of every resort guest, and still had time to tell us bedtime stories, always reminding us how much she treasured us. I thought of my sisters. Juliette, Martine, and Hazel, their adventures to faraway lands, new experiences. Gabrielle with her island-hopping, her ultimate choice to follow her heart home. And Natalie, my twin. My mirror image, my dream sharer. I knew I hadn't been fair to her this summer—she'd saved my life, done the best she could. And I wanted to thank her for that, because as long as it had taken me to realize it, I was thankful. Thankful for her. Thankful to be alive. To breathe.
Sarah Ockler (The Summer of Chasing Mermaids)
When I was twelve, one of two things happened. First, I became obsessed with spirituality./ I don’t have clear recollections of this early teen spiritual search. I don’t know how I found these alternate places of worship, pre-Internet. I asked mom. She doesn’t know either. I can only assume I researched using the Yellow Pages, and junk mail./ I point out this nexus - between my spiritual yearning and anxiety - because it’s helped me understand my restlessness ever since. Anxiety and existential curiosity are connected. Yes, absolutely, it can become medical when it spirals out too far. But its origins are far more fundamental./ i’ve done this since my early teens - revisited my spirituality on and off. And it’s always occurred in tandem with my anxiety. Indeed, I listed the help of a spiritual counsellor during this time.
Sarah Wilson (First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Story About Anxiety)
When she finally reached it, she bent forward and looked through the peephole. Jay was grinning back at her from outside. Her heart leaped for a completely different reason. She set aside her crutches and quickly unbolted the door to open it. "What took you so long?" Her knee was bent and her ankle pulled up off the ground. She balanced against the doorjamb. "What d'you think, dumbass?" she retorted smartly, keeping her voice down so she wouldn't alert her parents. "You scared the crap out of me, by the way. My parents are already in bed, and I was all alone down here." "Good!" he exclaimed as he reached in and grabbed her around the waist, dragging her up against him and wrapping his arms around her. She giggled while he held her there, enjoying everything about the feel of him against her. "What are you doing here? I thought I wouldn't see you till tomorrow." "I wanted to show you something!" He beamed at her, and his enthusiasm reached out to capture her in its grip. She couldn't help smiling back excitedly. "What is it?" she asked breathlessly. He didn't release her; he just turned, still holding her gently in his arms, so that she could see out into the driveway. The first thing she noticed was the officer in his car, alert now as he kept a watchful eye on the two of them. Violet realized that it was late, already past eleven, and from the look on his face, she thought he must have been hoping for a quiet, uneventful evening out there. And then she saw the car. It was beautiful and sleek, painted a glossy black that, even in the dark, reflected the light like a polished mirror. Violet recognized the Acura insignia on the front of the hood, and even though she could tell it wasn't brand-new, it looked like it had been well taken care of. "Whose is it?" she asked admiringly. It was way better than her crappy little Honda. Jay grinned again, his face glowing with enthusiasm. "It's mine. I got it tonight. That's why I had to go. My mom had the night off, and I wanted to get it before..." He smiled down at her. "I didn't want to borrow your car to take you to the dance." "Really?" she breathed. "How...? I didn't even know you were..." She couldn't seem to find the right words; she was envious and excited for him all at the same time. "I know right?" he answered, as if she'd actually asked coherent questions. "I've been saving for...for forever, really. What do you think?" Violet smiled at him, thinking that he was entirely too perfect for her. "I think it's beautiful," she said with more meaning than he understood. And then she glanced back at the car. "I had no idea that you were getting a car. I love it, Jay," she insisted, wrapping her arms around his neck as he hoisted her up, cradling her like a small child." "I'd offer to take you for a test-drive, but I'm afraid that Supercop over there would probably Taser me with his stun gun. So you'll have to wait until tomorrow," he said, and without waiting for an invitation he carried her inside, dead bolting the door behind him. He settled down on the couch, where she'd been sitting by herself just moments before, without letting her go. There was a movie on the television, but neither of them paid any attention to it as Jay reclined, stretching out and drawing her down into the circle of his arms. They spent the rest of the night like that, cradled together, their bodies fitting each other perfectly, as they kissed and whispered and laughed quietly in the darkness. At some point Violet was aware that she was drifting into sleep, as her thoughts turned dreamlike, becoming disjointed and fuzzy and hard to hold on to. She didn't fight it; she enjoyed the lazy, drifting feeling, along with the warmth created by the cocoon of Jay's body wrapped protectively around her. It was the safest she'd felt in days...maybe weeks... And for the first time since she'd been chased by the man in the woods, her dreams were free from monsters.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
My first impression of him was that he was free spirited, clever, funny. That proved to be completely inaccurate. We left the party together and walked around for hours, lied to each other about our happy lives, ate pizza at midnight, took the Staten Island Ferry back and forth and watched the sun rise. I gave him my phone number at the dorm. By the time he finally called me, two weeks later, I’d become obsessed with him. He kept me on a long, tight leash for months—expensive meals, the occasional opera or ballet. He took my virginity at a ski lodge in Vermont on Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t a pleasurable experience, but I trusted he knew more about sex than I did, so when he rolled off and said, “That was amazing,” I believed him. He was thirty-three, worked for Fuji Bank at the World Trade Center, wore tailored suits, sent cars to pick me up at my dorm, then the sorority house sophomore year, wined and dined me, and asked for head with no shame in the back of cabs he charged to the company account. I took this as proof of his masculine value. My “sisters” all agreed; he was “suave.” And I was impressed by how much he liked talking about his emotions, something I’d never seen a man do. “My mom’s a pothead now, and that’s why I have this deep sadness.” He took frequent trips to Tokyo for work and to San Francisco to visit his twin sister. I suspected she discouraged him from dating me.
Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation)
Pride in my father, thankfulness that he had been my father, and an ultimately grateful feeling of respect (grudging at first, it took a while to come) for the aching if imperfect love he never ceased to feel for Mom—these are the things I wanted to hold on to. It will soon be seven years since the night I bent down by his bed to press my ear against his chest and listen to his breathing as his life came to its end. But even now, and even after rounding out the story of his sometimes turbulent complexity, as I’ve felt obliged to do in order to keep faith with the reality of who he was, it is the reaffirming memories that crowd out all the rest. The sense that I was on a journey with my father—seventy-two years is a good big piece of anybody’s life—did not end abruptly on the day I buried him. On cold November nights when I’m in a thoughtful mood or worried about problems with my work, or personal missteps I may have made, and go out walking by myself along the country roads around my house, I like to imagine that he’s there beside me still, tapping that old cane of his, making his amusing comments on the unpredictable events and unexpected twists and turns in other people’s lives. Perhaps, over the next few years, that sense of his continuing companionship will fade. It probably will. But some part of the legacy my father and good mother gave me will, I know, remain with me even when their voices and their words and the expressions on their faces and the vivid details of their life’s adventure become attenuated in the course of time. Some of the blessings that our parents give us, I need to believe, outlive the death of memory.
Jonathan Kozol (The Theft of Memory: Losing My Father, One Day at a Time)
We end up at an outdoor paintball course in Jersey. A woodsy, rural kind of place that’s probably brimming with mosquitos and Lyme disease. When I find out Logan has never played paintball before, I sign us both up. There’s really no other option. And our timing is perfect—they’re just about to start a new battle. The worker gathers all the players in a field and divides us into two teams, handing out thin blue and yellow vests to distinguish friend from foe. Since Logan and I are the oldest players, we both become the team captains. The wide-eyed little faces of Logan’s squad follow him as he marches back and forth in front of them, lecturing like a hot, modern-day Winston Churchill. “We’ll fight them from the hills, we’ll fight them in the trees. We’ll hunker down in the river and take them out, sniper-style. Save your ammo—fire only when you see the whites of their eyes. Use your heads.” I turn to my own ragtag crew. “Use your hearts. We’ll give them everything we’ve got—leave it all on the field. You know what wins battles? Desire! Guts! Today, we’ll all be frigging Rudy!” A blond boy whispers to his friend, “Who’s Rudy?” The kid shrugs. And another raises his hand. “Can we start now? It’s my birthday and I really want to have cake.” “It’s my birthday too.” I give him a high-five. “Twinning!” I raise my gun. “And yes, birthday cake will be our spoils of war! Here’s how it’s gonna go.” I point to the giant on the other side of the field. “You see him, the big guy? We converge on him first. Work together to take him down. Cut off the head,” I slice my finger across my neck like I’m beheading myself, “and the old dog dies.” A skinny kid in glasses makes a grossed-out face. “Why would you kill a dog? Why would you cut its head off?” And a little girl in braids squeaks, “Mommy! Mommy, I don’t want to play anymore.” “No,” I try, “that’s not what I—” But she’s already running into her mom’s arms. The woman picks her up—glaring at me like I’m a demon—and carries her away. “Darn.” Then a soft voice whispers right against my ear. “They’re already going AWOL on you, lass? You’re fucked.” I turn to face the bold, tough Wessconian . . . and he’s so close, I can feel the heat from his hard body, see the small sprigs of stubble on that perfect, gorgeous jaw. My brain stutters, but I find the resolve to tease him. “Dear God, Logan, are you smiling? Careful—you might pull a muscle in your face.” And then Logan does something that melts my insides and turns my knees to quivery goo. He laughs. And it’s beautiful. It’s a crime he doesn’t do it more often. Or maybe a blessing. Because Logan St. James is a sexy, stunning man on any given day. But when he laughs? He’s heart-stopping. He swaggers confidently back to his side and I sneer at his retreating form. The uniformed paintball worker blows a whistle and explains the rules. We get seven minutes to hide first. I cock my paintball shotgun with one hand—like Charlize Theron in Fury fucking Road—and lead my team into the wilderness. “Come on, children. Let’s go be heroes.” It was a massacre. We never stood a chance. In the end, we tried to rush them—overpower them—but we just ended up running into a hail of balls, getting our hearts and guts splattered with blue paint. But we tried—I think Rudy and Charlize would be proud
Emma Chase (Royally Endowed (Royally, #3))
Missy and I became best friends, and soon after our first year together I decided to propose to her. It was a bit of a silly proposal. It was shortly before Christmas Day 1988, and I bought her a potted plant for her present. I know, I know, but let me finish. The plan was to put her engagement ring in the dirt (which I did) and make her dig to find it (which I forced her to do). I was then going to give a speech saying, “Sometimes in life you have to get your hands dirty and work hard to achieve something that grows to be wonderful.” I got the idea from Matthew 13, where Jesus gave the Parable of the Sower. I don’t know if it was the digging through the dirt to find the ring or my speech, but she looked dazed and confused. So I sort of popped the question: “You’re going to marry me, aren’t you?” She eventually said yes (whew!), and I thought everything was great. A few days later, she asked me if I’d asked her dad for his blessing. I was not familiar with this custom or tradition, which led to a pretty heated argument about people who are raised in a barn or down on a riverbank. She finally convinced me that it was a formality that was a prerequisite for our marriage, so I decided to go along with it. I arrived one night at her dad’s house and asked if I could talk with him. I told him about the potted plant and the proposal to his daughter, and he pretty much had the same bewildered look on his face that she’d had. He answered quite politely by saying no. “I think you should wait a bit, like maybe a couple of years,” he said. I wasn’t prepared for that response. I didn’t handle it well. I don’t remember all the details of what was said next because I was uncomfortable and angry. I do remember saying, “Well, you are a preacher so I am going to give you some scripture.” I quoted 1 Corinthians 7:9, which says: “It is better to marry than to burn with passion.” That didn’t go over very well. I informed him that I’d treated his daughter with respect and he still wouldn’t budge. I then told him we were going to get married with him or without him, and I left in a huff. Over the next few days, I did a lot of soul-searching and Missy did a lot of crying. I finally decided that it was time for me to become a man. Genesis 2:24 says: “For this reason [creation of a woman] a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” God is the architect of marriage, and I’d decided that my family would have God as its foundation. It was time for me to leave and cleave, as they say. My dad told me once that my mom would cuddle us when we were in his nest, but there would be a day when it would be his job to kick me out. He didn’t have to kick me out, nor did he have to ask me, “Who’s a man?” Through prayer and patience, Missy’s parents eventually came around, and we were more than ready to make our own nest.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
knew. And his ex had seemed so kind on those first few dates, so infatuated with his Navy uniform, so enthusiastic in tearing up his bed. His ex-wife, a former stripper named Trish Bardoe, had married on the rebound a fellow by the name of Eddie Stipowicz, an unemployed engineer with a drinking problem. Lee thought she was heading for disaster and had tried to get custody of Renee on the grounds that her mom and stepfather could not provide for her. Well, about that time, Eddie, a sneaky runt Lee despised, invented, mostly by accident, some microchip piece of crap that had made him a gazillionaire. Lee’s custody battle had lost its juice after that. To add insult to injury, there had been stories on Eddie in the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek and a number of other publications. He was famous. Their house had even been featured in Architectural Digest. Lee had gotten that issue of the Digest. Trish’s new home was grossly huge, mostly crimson red or eggplant so dark it made Lee think of the inside of a coffin. The windows were cathedral-size, the furniture large enough to become lost in and there were enough wood moldings, paneling and staircases to heat a typical midwestern town for an entire year. There were also stone fountains sculpted
David Baldacci (Saving Faith)
These groups were a new kind of vehicle: a hive or colony of close genetic relatives, which functioned as a unit (e.g., in foraging and fighting) and reproduced as a unit. These are the motorboating sisters in my example, taking advantage of technological innovations and mechanical engineering that had never before existed. It was another transition. Another kind of group began to function as though it were a single organism, and the genes that got to ride around in colonies crushed the genes that couldn’t “get it together” and rode around in the bodies of more selfish and solitary insects. The colonial insects represent just 2 percent of all insect species, but in a short period of time they claimed the best feeding and breeding sites for themselves, pushed their competitors to marginal grounds, and changed most of the Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems (for example, by enabling the evolution of flowering plants, which need pollinators).43 Now they’re the majority, by weight, of all insects on Earth. What about human beings? Since ancient times, people have likened human societies to beehives. But is this just a loose analogy? If you map the queen of the hive onto the queen or king of a city-state, then yes, it’s loose. A hive or colony has no ruler, no boss. The queen is just the ovary. But if we simply ask whether humans went through the same evolutionary process as bees—a major transition from selfish individualism to groupish hives that prosper when they find a way to suppress free riding—then the analogy gets much tighter. Many animals are social: they live in groups, flocks, or herds. But only a few animals have crossed the threshold and become ultrasocial, which means that they live in very large groups that have some internal structure, enabling them to reap the benefits of the division of labor.44 Beehives and ant nests, with their separate castes of soldiers, scouts, and nursery attendants, are examples of ultrasociality, and so are human societies. One of the key features that has helped all the nonhuman ultra-socials to cross over appears to be the need to defend a shared nest. The biologists Bert Hölldobler and E. O. Wilson summarize the recent finding that ultrasociality (also called “eusociality”)45 is found among a few species of shrimp, aphids, thrips, and beetles, as well as among wasps, bees, ants, and termites: In all the known [species that] display the earliest stages of eusociality, their behavior protects a persistent, defensible resource from predators, parasites, or competitors. The resource is invariably a nest plus dependable food within foraging range of the nest inhabitants.46 Hölldobler and Wilson give supporting roles to two other factors: the need to feed offspring over an extended period (which gives an advantage to species that can recruit siblings or males to help out Mom) and intergroup conflict. All three of these factors applied to those first early wasps camped out together in defensible naturally occurring nests (such as holes in trees). From that point on, the most cooperative groups got to keep the best nesting sites, which they then modified in increasingly elaborate ways to make themselves even more productive and more protected. Their descendants include the honeybees we know today, whose hives have been described as “a factory inside a fortress.”47
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
Despite the differences in their ages, I still thought of them as adventurous girls. It never occurred to me that they might be related, that is until I heard Connie refer to Rita as “Mom”?? Now at least I knew their names, but the relationship confused me.… They acted more like friends and equals, than mother and daughter. Didn’t I detect flirtation in Connie’s comments, and didn’t Rita give me the eye? As we walked through this typical small town market, they picked up many more items, “just in case we get snowed in.” I expressed my regret for not being able to help in defraying the ever-increasing cost of the groceries, but it didn’t seem to bother them. “We picked you up and it’s our treat,” Rita explained. “Come on, let’s get going before we get stuck here,” Connie said, with a sound of urgency, to her mother who was still looking around. Picking up two economy-sized bags of potato chips along with some pretzels didn’t impress me as being staples, but to be fair, she did also pick up bacon, eggs, English muffins and a container of milk. Getting back into the car, we turned north again, past where they first picked me up, and then left onto Mountain Street. I knew from the many times that I had come through Camden that Mount Battie was back up here somewhere, but after a short distance of about a mile or so, we turned left again and pulled into the driveway of a big old farmhouse connected to a barn, which looked very much like many other houses in Maine. By this time the snow was coming down in big wet flakes, accumulating fast. It wouldn’t take long before the roads would become totally impassable. I knew that this could become a worse mess than I had anticipated, especially on the back roads. The coastal towns in Maine don’t usually get as cold as the towns in the interior, thus allowing the air to hold more moisture. In turn, they are apt to get more big wet snowflakes that accumulate faster. However, the salt air also melts the snow more rapidly. I seldom had to worry about the weather, but this time I was lucky to have been picked up by these “Oh So Fine Ladies” and was glad that I decided to accept their offer to stay with them.
Hank Bracker
Instantly, I noticed that our conversation was easy, flirtatious and exciting. It didn’t take very long for us to get to know each other. To start with, I was a little taken aback with both of them being so friendly and talkative. As we talked, I really didn’t know what to call Rita and I stammered some as I attempted to navigate around the social aspects of my dilemma. I didn’t know her last name and “Mrs. Whatjamacallit” didn’t seem appropriate, so I continued using her first name. What seemed awkward to me at first, soon became and sounded acceptable. I also noticed that Connie alternated between calling her mother “Mom” and “Rita.” At first this was strange, but soon I kind of understood the unique relationship between them. For me it seemed different, however I tend to adapt easily and now I was becoming acquainted with a girl who called her mother by her first name. The house was without central heating, but it did have a big cast iron Franklin stove in the living room. Rita looked over to me and asked if I would light the fire. “Guess so,” I replied. I soon found out that lighting the fire encompassed getting and splitting the firewood, and then tending to it. Connie showed me to the front porch where there was a big pile of cordwood, just dumped in one heap. I also noticed that the wind was picking up and was blowing the white stuff onto the porch and covering the woodpile. “Might be a good idea to bring in enough wood to last the night,” I thought aloud. This was going to become a full time job! With Connie’s able help I got a roaring fire going. Rita made sandwiches and poured us all some Coca-Cola, which she topped off with some Canadian Whiskey. Turning the damper down on the fire, I thought to myself that the Franklin stove would never heat this size house, besides the wind was coming in through the cracks around the windows and doors. I knew that the house didn’t have much insulation by how cold the walls were. The windows were single pane, which also didn’t help much, but at least it was shelter. When I mentioned this, Rita said, “Never mind, we’ll all be able to stay warm in bed.” By this time, Connie and I were clowning around and Rita reminded us that she was also there. “I may be momma but I’m not about to freeze, while you kids have all the fun! Besides we only have one bed.” Suddenly the whole scene came into focus. The sandwiches on the kitchen table wouldn’t be our only food. The sandwiches we would have that night would just be the beginning of a feast.
Hank Bracker
Many times these tendencies are unconscious, so we are not aware of them unless we continue to repeat them until the pain becomes intolerable and we can no longer refuse to face them. Then we recognize the pattern and realize, “Hey, I’m doing the same thing Mom always did to Dad.” Or, “That’s why Dad always worked late: so he didn’t have to face decisions about the finances at home.” Recognition that our patterns relate to family issues is the first step in healing dysfunctional behaviors in our own lives.
Ariann Thomas (Healing Family Patterns: Ancestral Lineage Clearing for Personal Growth)
Trader Joe’s first private label food product was granola. We installed Alta Dena certified raw milk, to the disgruntlement of Southland, and within six months were the largest retailers of Alta Dena milk, both pasteurized and raw, in California. We began price-bombing five-pound cans of honey, and then all the ingredients for baking bread at home. We installed fresh orange juice squeezers in the stores, and sold fresh juice at the lowest price in town. By late in 1971, we were moving into vitamins, encouraged by my very good friend James C. Caillouette, MD. Jim spent a lot of time talking with the faculty at Cal Tech. He was convinced that Linus Pauling was on to something with his research on vitamin C. I set out to break the price on vitamin C. At one point, I think, we were doing 3 percent of sales in vitamin C! Later, Jim forwarded articles from the British medical magazine Lancet, describing how a high fiber diet could avoid colon cancer. But where could we get bran? The only stores that sold it were conventional health food stores, who sold it in bulk, something that I have always been opposed to on the grounds of hygiene. And still am! Leroy found a hippie outfit in Venice—I think it was called Mom’s Trucking—which would package the bran. But bran is a low-value product. They couldn’t afford to deliver it. Since they also packaged nuts and dried fruits, however, we somewhat reluctantly added them to the order. And that’s how Trader Joe’s became the largest retailer of nuts and dried fruits in California! Brilliant foresight! Astute market analysis! By 1989, when I left Trader Joe’s, we regularly took down 5 percent of the entire Californian pistachio crop, and we were the thirteenth largest buyer of almonds in the United States—Hershey was number one.
Joe Coulombe (Becoming Trader Joe: How I Did Business My Way and Still Beat the Big Guys)
I keep this my dirty little secret for years, he was my true first, yet it was not the most romantic yet it was something, now looking back now how is the loser, it did it long before, yet it was with him so it was not cool, I never- ever said this to anyone, that he took me. Yet play around like that with a boy that was me, he wanted to know so I said okay. It was the first time seeing all that- you know, at least mine was real, and not like time two at a party. This thing is so high- I get sick of feeling so short at like four-foot, on top that I can see the world by looking down, and they are looking up at me, my mom and grandmother were all the same size also, if not shorter, or so they say. The car is old and dusty and looks like no one has been in it for years on the outside, it is just blacked and crusty, the only car other than the coal car behind the locomotive, and it too is rusted reddish orange. They used to have tripped over this thing and park it on the bridge, and you spent the night up in the stars, and so that is what we did on a big full moon night. In the big bed looking out the one side of all those old windows. The car and train sit here for there was a fire or something on that line, and this becomes the new home of the serving remanences about half a mile in, the train was going over and was near the end on the one said when the wind took it all down, and all the cars but one fall all the many feet to the ground below, yet it never steamed over again. There sits the old Pullman car. It's red and has black, with yellow writing on it, up till now I am not sure what it says. It was a custom car made just for spending the night on top of the linked- mountains. The train is all the same color for what I can make out, dating around the 1800s or so, that what my dad said anyway we and he were up here, oh so long ago. We both walked up to her and me on the left, tacking him on the right hand-woven tight. The grass tall the track worn, and feet sore, from the journey there. Over smaller yet high crossings that have known side rails. Inside you can see it is in touch, and all dark wood, I light one of the old lanterns, I thought down a towel, and we had juice pouches and P-P and J. Romantic- No! It’s all good, he tried. It wasn’t about that anyway. The bed is off to the back and looks like a five-star hotel room to us, there is a living room spot, where ass naked in the big old sofas… or next to it, we were playing house, and loving it. We were young but we feel- we were on the bed all night long. Looking out over… see the tree sway below. it was cold in the car, yet he keeps me warm, I was fogging up the windows, with my breath Moan it out in a sweet- yet sensual way, I was pressed upon it looking out as I was on top, he was looking up at me, yet I was looking out and at his eyes, at definite times. I even kissed the glass to leave something behind, I wonder if it’s still there, and my name is covered in the old wood, next to his.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh They Call Out)
I never really wanted anything other than us all being together as a family. I just wanted to be left alone. He had to get his hands on me! It was as if I was not even allowed to have a childhood, in all truthfulness. I know I had to grow up too fast. He violated me! Why would he do such a thing to me, was it love or hate? It just started with a touch of the hand, and then more and more, I was not going to stop it, because I think I liked it? Yes, I think I did…? He made me feel good and bad all at the same time! I need my friends like I need my dad, and without his love, in my life, my needing for life ran on low, and he drained the rest out of me. I never wanted to do what he wanted me to do. I just wanted to be a kid; I just wanted to be the average girl, like I have seen all around me in school. I do not think anyone loves me, the only one, which loved me like that was my dad. There were no boys out there that wanted me because they knew, only one but he does not count to me. Because he would have done anything to get me to say yes, even if I said no. It was hard to find real love, because of who my mom is, and what my dad was. Yet I thought it was my mom, which destroyed my life. That she stopped me from being who I was meant to become. I wanted to do so much and see so much. Yes, I love her for being my mom, but why did she have to be my mom. Dad was the only one I wanted, then. After everything fell apart, I just needed to get away from the craziness, so I did, and that is why I am here now. The way I am, with my mom, it is so crazy I know. I never loved life; to me, there was no point in living at all. If I could not love who I wanted to love and be with the one I wanted, it would have been so wrong. It was so wrong! I remember my first school bus ride and I met my two friends that were Lexi Cruosin and Stephanie Colt. Lexi was a mouthy friend she grew up to become a cheerleader in school, and she left me behind.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh The Cursed)
I was talking to my sister, working myself up, replaying to her my most recent conversation with my mom. My sister interrupted me and said, “Glennon, why are you so defensive? Defensiveness is for people who are afraid that what they have can be taken from them. You are a grown-ass woman. You can have what you want. No one can take this from you. Not even Mom. This is yours, Glennon. Abby is yours.” We hung up, and I thought: My mother loves me. And she disagrees with me about what is best for me. I am going to have to decide who I trust more: my mother or myself. For the first time in my life, I decided to trust myself—even though that meant moving in direct opposition to my parents. I decided to please myself instead of my parents. I decided to become responsible for my own life, my own joy, my own family. And I decided to do it with love. That is when I became an adult.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
I Never Knew What They Meant by Flyover Country until the first time someone put me on a plane, windowed me into the congregation looking down on our fields stretched out endless in orderly blanks, redactions in the transcripts of the trial of man versus nature. All this holy squinting at scrimshaw country roads draped with power lines - trip wires lying in wait for the giants we just sort of mice around. I watched the others look down on our Fridays racing Opal Road to hit the tiny hill that drops stomachs like a roller coaster, headlights off for cops. Eighty; Ninety. Ninety-five in a fifty-five, how Kyle's brother talked about defusing IEDs on tour - snip whichever wire you want, you'll only find out if you're a hero. We learned a word for this, its reckless in court, predestination in church. Funny how a thing gets a different name there. Robe becomes vestment. Bench becomes pew. Truth grows a capital letter. Anything to help believe, Mom says, though when it comes to theology we are Presbyterian in casseroles only. This is the word of God, says the pastor into the microphone. See you at the picnic after. See you at the finish, says Kyle's Honda Civic. See you never says his brother's IED.
Robert Wood Lynn (Mothman Apologia)
When you want to become a time bender, the first thing is to realize that there are, in fact, two different kinds of time and that you can experience time differently when you shift your perception and energy in the moment. I know Einstein time and Newtonian time are just theoretical right now, but I want you to make them real for yourself, so do me a favor. Think about the last time you were totally in the moment doing something and you lost track of time because you were so absorbed in what you were doing.
Kate Northrup (Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for Busy Moms)
God Bless My Darling Child This is from your dear Mother Who expected you for months Sometimes feeling distressed and exhausted Though excited, from carrying another Soul Eyes watched how she gained weight Tummy bulging with time Cravings shooting sky high Conduct, a little bit unusual She had many questions in mind Said endless prayers for you Believed God for a safe arrival Hoped for your survival Wishing you become a responsible human And a respectable woman like her The brightest without fear Great in this world When she saw your face for the first time She embraced her treasure Yearned for what was best She looked at you and declared ‘God bless my darling child
Gift Gugu Mona (From My Mother's Classroom: A Badge of Honour for a Remarkable Woman)
Traditions are conditioned reflexes. Throughout Part 2 of this book, you will find suggestions for establishing family traditions that will trigger happy anticipation and leave lasting, cherished memories. Traditions around major holidays and minor holidays. Bedtime, bath-time, and mealtime traditions; sports and pastime traditions; birthday and anniversary traditions; charitable and educational traditions. If your family’s traditions coincide with others’ observances, such as celebrating Thanksgiving, you will still make those traditions unique to your family because of the personal nuances you add. Volunteering at the food bank on Thanksgiving morning, measuring and marking their heights on the door frame in the basement, Grandpa’s artistic carving of the turkey, and their uncle’s famous gravy are the traditions our kids salivated about when they were younger, and still do on their long plane rides home at the end of November each year. (By the way, our dog Lizzy has confirmed Pavlov’s observations; when the carving knife turns on, cue the saliva, tail wagging, and doggy squealing.) But don’t limit your family’s traditions to the big and obvious events like Thanksgiving. Weekly taco nights, family book club and movie nights, pajama walks, ice cream sundaes on Sundays, backyard football during halftime of TV games, pancakes in Mom and Dad’s bed on weekends, leaf fights in the fall, walks to the sledding hill on the season’s first snow, Chinese food on anniversaries, Indian food for big occasions, and balloons hanging from the ceiling around the breakfast table on birthday mornings. Be creative, even silly. Make a secret family noise together when you’re the only ones in the elevator. When you share a secret that “can’t leave this room,” everybody knows to reach up in the air and grab the imaginary tidbit before it can get away. Have a family comedy night or a talent show on each birthday. Make holiday cards from scratch. Celebrate major family events by writing personalized lyrics to an old song and karaoking your new composition together. There are two keys to establishing family traditions: repetition and anticipation. When you find something that brings out excitement and smiles in your kids, keep doing it. Not so often that it becomes mundane, but on a regular and predictable enough basis that it becomes an ingrained part of the family repertoire. And begin talking about the traditional event days ahead of time so by the time it finally happens, your kids are beside themselves with excitement. Anticipation can be as much fun as the tradition itself.
Harley A. Rotbart (No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years into Cherished Moments with Your Kids)
At the age of five, she was forced to flee an area of the world that is now Pakistan. It was during the time of the bloody Indian subcontinent partition. Along with her family, my mother joined one of the largest human migrations in history. After arriving in India, she lived as a refugee for the next several years, struggling to survive. People in those refugee camps didn’t have the luxury of hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Yet her mother (my grandmother), Gopibai Hingorani, a woman who had completed only the fourth grade, told her she was going to make sure her daughter received something that no one could ever take away from her: an education. It still gives me shivers to imagine a young girl trapped in a camp being told she would one day become someone who mattered. By keeping her promise, my grandmother initially gave my mother her sense of purpose. My mom completed engineering college in India and made history as the first female engineer there. It was just the beginning of her life in a male-dominated space. After reading a biography of Henry Ford, she dreamed of working for the company that he’d built. Again, my grandparents came through. They took their savings of a lifetime to send my mom to the United States in 1965. At age twenty-four, she became the first woman hired as an engineer at Ford Motor Company. My parents are now retired in Florida, but they stay active, playing a lot of bridge, singing karaoke, and traveling. My mother spends a lot of time with her five granddaughters, teaching them the value of a life lived with purpose.
Sanjay Gupta (Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age)
Part: 1 July This one more of how where I remember these days. Photos online, and cam videos all that are my memories- of me to others. Part: 2 August Compare… them then and now- naked slut girl or 1940s modesty. I remember having the old photo album spread out on the bedroom floor. Oh! Wow! Look at this one… do you like how she was remembered better than me? (Photo) Part: 3 It's- September More of the same- I have become a cam-whore!!! Nothing more… Part: 4 OCTOBER …And yah- a, ah- pics that would make you blush, and hard, you boys would love to see me, now, wouldn’t you? Part: 5 NOVEMBER Making cummie videos is my life. Part: 6 DECEMBER Coming 7 hours out of the day is taking time away from other things. Part: 7 WAKING UP …After fraping till- I passed out all hot gross and sweaty, I did not remember falling asleep- with mom and dad- sis and the world seeing me as my door to my trashed bedroom- all jammed open- and’s- and’s- AND’S- did not care at this point. (SAY IT WITH exhausted SLURRING.) JANUARY yet how- ga-gives- a ________. Ef… E- un- mm- ah- in-n… Whatever… I am making 50 G’s in a night… so that makes it okay. (A photo of me lying in bed with all this money!) Part: 8 TIME PASSES Craziness… look at my life here… all board… ‘I am home,’ I mumbled, confused- not even more. ‘What did I do?’ I felt my face wrinkle. It was so unfair. My behavior… here is wow… After that first week… of doing this… How do I look… which neither of us ever mentioned what we do? I hadn't missed a day of school or work. My grades were perfect. Yet this show is all going to shit- no? This is what I did here… showing everything that makes me a girl! Now I am passing down- to her- yah me- is it wrong? I must live with it. #- A cam video and all these photos of her online now are worth 1,000 words! #-0-okay then what does this one says then? My little sis- and she is frapping harder than I do- in this- damn, she is my Minnie me! She started younger than me even- yet that is all girls, her age. Here is one with her dressed wow seem weird to see her with something on anymore- (Swipe- and the phone in your hand would make a click sound…) Oh, this one- She loves these beautiful white lace kid’s girls’ shorts- so girlie- girly- from Wal-Mart, yet she was banned from wearing them in school without anything under them, yet I look around and all other girls do it. Yet, on Facebook- and Instagram 1, you get one persona and on Google images a whole other- just like Snapchat you have her as your girlfriend for the night yet have- yet she is your striptease only- and the other Instagram- that grammar should never- ever see- yet this is how to get popular- and stay popular. Besides then there is the community of internet nudists- on MFC. And the profile- she now has too, a legacy to be remembered by, no? Yet, when you have no education to speak of and working for some d*ck head is just out of the question, over they think you’re not worthy of their time- were you're not making anything, and at this point in Pa she too young to work, yet is old enough to have unprotected sex… Um- and then I wonder- yet she needs the money- for school coming up because your mommy and daddy don’t have it, and all for fun, boys, and a girl's night of fun- and partying- and being crazy. Money is everything… and why girls do what they must do…
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Hard to Let Go)
What’s perhaps strange to say is that I’m not sure I would have gotten there without the period of enforced stillness and the steadiness I found inside of knitting. I’d had to go small in order to think big again. Shaken by the enormity of everything that was happening, I’d needed my hands to reintroduce me to what was good, simple, and accomplishable. And that turned out to be a lot. I now knit while talking to my mom on the phone, during Zoom meetings with my team from the office, and on summer afternoons when friends come to sit on our back patio. Knitting has made watching the evening news a little less stressful. It has made certain hours of the day less lonely, and it’s helped me think more reasonably about the future. I’m not here to tell you that knitting is a cure for anything. It won’t end racism or demolish a virus or vanquish depression. It won’t create a just world or slow climate change or heal anything big that’s broken. It’s too small for that. It’s so small that it hardly seems to matter. And this is part of my point. I’ve come to understand that sometimes the big stuff becomes easier to handle when you deliberately put something small alongside it. When everything starts to feel big and therefore scary and insurmountable, when I hit a point of feeling or thinking or seeing too much, I’ve learned to make the choice to go toward the small. On days when my brain apprehends nothing but monolithic catastrophe and doom, when I feel paralyzed by not-enoughness and my agitation begins to stir, I pick up the knitting needles and give my hands a chance to take over, to quietly click us out of that hard place. In knitting, when you create the first stitch of a new project, you cast on. When an item is finished, you bind off. Both of these actions, I’ve found, are incredibly satisfying—the bookends of something manageable and finite. They give me a sense of completion in a world that will always and forever feel chaotic and incomplete.
Michelle Obama (The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times)
A few months after my mom died, he said he was tired of trying. He said he couldn't understand me or why I couldn't throw a football straight or hit a baseball farther than the baseline. He didn't understand why I loved our neighbor's shih tzu and would play with her whenever she dug her way out of her yard into ours to spend some time with me when I came home from school. He said it was a little girl's dog and that young men wouldn't play with dogs like that." He spoke distantly, as if reading a detached script, trying to avoid any emotion. He took a deep breath and straightened his shoulders. "He made his feelings about me very clear when he threw me head first into the grass and I landed inches away from one of the presents she'd left in our yard I hadn't had a chance to clean up yet. He laughed and called it ironic considering I was a shitty excuse for a son," he said in a mocking deep voice. He paused again and swallowed heavily before looking over to Aidan. "He gave up on me and told me to leave. If I'm going to be honest with you, I didn't want to stay. I was terrified of becoming him.
Jaime Reese (A Mended Man (The Men of Halfway House #4))
With this in mind, I’d started a leadership and mentoring program at the White House, inviting twenty sophomore and junior girls from high schools around Greater D.C. to join us for monthly get-togethers that included informal chats, field trips, and sessions on things like financial literacy and choosing a career. We kept the program largely behind closed doors, rather than thrusting these girls into the media fray. We paired each teen with a female mentor who would foster a personal relationship with her, sharing her resources and her life story. Valerie was a mentor. Cris Comerford, the White House’s first female executive chef, was a mentor. Jill Biden was, too, as were a number of senior women from both the East and the West Wing staffs. The students were nominated by their principals or guidance counselors and would stay with us until they graduated. We had girls from military families, girls from immigrant families, a teen mom, a girl who’d lived in a homeless shelter. They were smart, curious young women, all of them. No different from me. No different from my daughters. I watched over time as the girls formed friendships, finding a rapport with one another and with the adults around them. I spent hours talking with them in a big circle, munching popcorn and trading our thoughts about college applications, body image, and boys. No topic was off-limits. We ended up laughing a lot. More than anything, I hoped this was what they’d carry forward into the future—the ease, the sense of community, the encouragement to speak and be heard. My wish for them was the same one I had for Sasha and Malia—that in learning to feel comfortable at the White House, they’d go on to feel comfortable and confident in any room, sitting at any table, raising their voices inside any group.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
A few years ago, I was desperate to have a fertile, round-bellied body like hers. But now I understood that if I had gotten pregnant, I would have been dealing with Hugh’s infidelity, coping with a toxic level of stress at the height of my vulnerability. That’s what Kelly was facing. My life would have gone one of two ways: either I would have divorced Hugh and become a single mom, or stayed and raised a child in a marriage filled with mistrust and resentment. I did not envy Kelly. For the first time, I entertained the idea that I’d gotten off easy with Hugh.
Renee Shafransky (Tips for Living)
That afternoon was the first time I felt... I don't know how to describe it exactly. My head was in Dad's lap and all the happiness that I'd missed was being compressed into that moment. I looked up at him and I was no longer me. I was Mom, but not as I knew her. This wasn't her forcing her darkness on me, like a bag over my head. No, this was something else. I'd become Mom from many years ago. Dad felt it too, I could tell. Maybe it would have lasted longer if not for Edie, talking and talking, pressing and pressing. She wanted to take me back to the other mother. The one in the mental hospital who needed me brought to her, tied and quartered, like a sacrifice.
Katya Apekina (The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish)