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[Why is it] there are never any evil stepfathers.

That is natural enough when nobody has had fathers they begin to long for them and then when everybody has had fathers they begin to long to do without them.
Children are being given a false picture of what it means to be human. We tell them to be good and kind, nonviolent and giving. But on all sides they see media images and hear and read stories that portray us as bad, cruel, violent, and selfish.
I was very overprotected as a child … My tricycle had seven wheels. And a driver….
“What are you thinking about, Bel-Gazou?” // “Nothing, Mother.” // An excellent answer. The same that I invariably gave when I was her age.
We find a delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.
Kids even have play dates. Playing is now done by appointment. Whatever happened to, “You show me your wee-wee, and I’ll show you mine?”
So does the name you give your child affect his life? Or is it your life reflected in his name?
Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.
We have kept our children so busy with “useful” and “improving” activities that we are in danger of raising a generation of young people who are terrified of silence, of being alone with their own thoughts ….
When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.
At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experiences of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.
Those who have lived in a house with spoiled children must have a lively recollection of the degree of torment they can inflict upon all who are within sight or hearing.
The best way to keep children home is to make it pleasant—and let the air out of the tires.
How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is / To have a thankless child!
I like children—properly cooked.
Babies are such a nice way to start people.
When a new baby laughs for the first time a new fairy is born, and as there are always new babies there are always new fairies.
“The joy, the reason to believe,” my mother said, “the hope for the world, the baby, holy with possibility, that is all of us at birth.”
The crimson rose / plucked yesterday, / the fire and cinnamon / of the carnation, // the bread I baked / with anise seed and honey, / and the goldfish / flaming in its bowl. // All these are yours, baby born of woman, / if you’ll only go to sleep.
As he saw it, childbirth was long hours for short wages.
May all your genes be recessive!
My mom says I’m a super-special wonderful terrific little guy. / My mom just had another baby. / Why?
There was a little girl, / Who had a little curl, / Right in the middle of her forehead. / When she was good, / She was very, very good, / But when she was bad she was horrid.
A toddling little girl is a centre of common feeling which makes the most dissimilar people understand each other.
… what is the use of being a little boy if you are going to grow up to be a man.
Children are all foreigners.
Only children know what they are looking for.
Between the dark and the daylight, / When the night is beginning to lower, / Comes a pause in the day’s occupation, / That is known as the Children’s Hour.
A child’s a plaything for an hour.
Every child is in a way a genius; and every genius is in a way a child.
A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.
For little boys are rancorous / When robbed of any myth, / And spiteful and cantankerous / To all their kin and kith.
… that wild, unknown being, the child, who is both bottomless pit and impregnable fortress ….
Children are not our creations but our guests.
Thou straggler into loving arms, / Young climber up of knees, / When I forget thy thousand ways, / Then life and all shall cease.
It is destroying, dissolving him utterly, this helpless warmth against him, this feel of a child.
The child endures all things.
Children are the only form of immortality that we can be sure of.
My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can’t decide to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives.
Posterity is the world to come; the world for whom we hold our ideals, from whom we have borrowed our planet, and to whom we bear sacred responsibility.
Child, with many a childish wile, / Timid look, and blushing smile, / Downy wings to steal thy way, / Gilded bow, and quiver gay, / Who in thy simple mien would trace / The tyrant of the human race?
At the core of every child is an intact human.
Well, you have children so you know: little children little troubles, big children big troubles—it’s a saying in Yiddish. Maybe the Chinese said it too.
A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.
Father asked us what was God’s noblest work. Anna said men, but I said babies. Men are often bad; babies never are.
A child’s spirit is like a child, you cannot catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and, for love, it will soon itself come back.
I’ll tell you about babies. Whenever I see one, I want to give it a cigar and discuss the Common Market.
I can’t get over my disappointment in not being a boy.
… I think children are a little like plants. If they grow too close together they become thin and sickly and never obtain maximum growth. We need room to grow.
I want to have children, but my friends scare me. One of my friends told me she was in labor for 36 hours. I don’t even want to do anything that feels GOOD for 36 hours.
Obviously there is pain in childbirth. But giving birth is also a moment of awe and wonder, a moment when the true miracle of aliveness, and of a woman’s amazing part in that miracle, is suddenly experienced in every cell of one’s body. It is in that sense truly an altered state of consciousness.
Suddenly it seemed my little shut-in had been cooped up long enough. Suddenly it wanted liberty. It was coming like a locomotive headlight. It was coming quick as scat. God Almighty! Now this baby was helping. Now this baby wanted to be born.
We begin life with loss. We are cast from the womb without an apartment, a charge plate, a job or a car.
I’m not sure if my husband is going to be there when I actually have the baby. He said the only way he’s going to be in the room when there’s a delivery is if there’s a pizza involved.
But what’s more important. Building a bridge or taking care of a baby?
At last, there came the joyful whisper, “a fine boy,” perhaps the only moment of a fine boy’s existence in which his presence is more agreeable than his absence.
Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.
Although she still had three months to go, Mindy already felt the hefty, protective tug of maternal obligation. Indeed, the bond was so strong she was considering not having the umbilical cord cut right away, but leaving it intact so she could keep track of her child’s whereabouts until he or she was at least twenty-one.
Madam, there’s no such thing as a tough child—if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender.
Plastic surgery must be like childbirth without the child … After a while, if you’re satisfied with the results, you forget the pain and want to do it again.
Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.
It is a national shame that many Americans are more thoughtful about planning their weekend entertainment than about planning their famiies.
What Business had you to get Children, without you had Cabbage enough to maintain ’em?
May you fight all the day like a dog and a cat, / And yet ev’ry year produce a new brat.
… sometimes the very faults of parents produce a tendency to opposite virtues in their children.
I’ve also discovered the world is full of mothers who’ve done their best and still hurt their daughters: that we have daughters everywhere.
No one is more susceptible to an expert’s fearmongering than a parent.
Two parents can’t raise a child any more than one. You need a whole community—everybody—to raise a child.
I look after my young, I can’t look after the world ….
Children aren’t happy with nothing to ignore, / And that’s what parents were created for.
Her [mother’s] constant care blurs into the maternal mists while his [father’s] few alcohol rubs are as memorable as if they were anointments by a prophet.
Human beings are the only creatures who allow their children to come back home.
With him for a sire and her for a dam, / What should I be but just what I am?
I have no sympathy with the old idea that children owe such immense gratitude to their parents that they can never fulfill their obligations to them. I think the obligation is all on the other side.
I love my parents and they’re wonderful people, but they were strict, and I still look for ways to get even. When I got my own apartment for the very first time and they came to stay with me for the weekend, I made them stay in separate bedrooms.
Parents of young children should realize that few people, and maybe no one, will find their children as enchanting as they do.
Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave / When they think that their children are naïve.
I figure when my husband comes home from work, if the kids are still alive, then I’ve done my job.
Nobody who has not been in the interior of a family can say what the difficulties of any individual of that family may be.
Marriage. The beginning and the end are wonderful. But the middle part is hell.
Love is moral without legal marriage, but marriage is immoral without love.
So I am beginning to wonder if maybe girls wouldn’t be happier if we stopped demanding so much respeckt [sic] for ourselves and developped [sic] a little more respeckt for husbands.
… most of us carry into marriage not only our childlike illusions, but we bring to it as well the demand that it has to be wonderful, because it’s supposed to be.
… Lady Janet … never has any opinion but mine: this is what I call the only solid foundation to build matrimonial happiness upon; and so I have made up my mind to marry.
two by two in the ark of / the ache of it.
And I’ve learned a long time ago that the only people who count in a marriage are the people who are in it.
Marriage involves big compromises all the time. International-level compromises. You’re the U.S.A., he’s the U.S.S.R., and you’re talking nuclear warheads.
Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.
A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.
Marriage is a business of taking care of a man and rearing his children … It ain’t meant to be no perpetual honeymoon.
Instead of marrying “at once,” it sometimes happens that we marry “at last.”
If a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him. If she can hesitate as to “Yes,” she ought to say “No,” directly.
I’m getting married on April 12th. My fiancé and I still haven’t decided on the year ….
Marry rich. Buy him a pacemaker, then stand behind him and say “boo.”
My husband walks in the door one night, he says to me, “Roseanne, don’t you think it’s time we sat down and had a serious talk about our sex life?” I say to him, “You want me to turn off Wheel of Fortune for that?”
No woman with an ounce of sense gets married to be entertained, she marries to be maintained
I quite thought he was honest when he said he didn’t believe in marriage—and then it turned out that it was a test, to see whether my devotion was abject enough.
I realized on our first wedding anniversary that our marriage was in trouble. Fang gave me luggage. It was packed. My mother damn near suffocated in there.
There was altogether too much candor in married life; it was an indelicate modern idea, and frequently led to upsets in a household, if not divorce.
I did have a talent—and I was married to her for 38 years.
Marry an outdoors woman. Then if you throw her out into the yard for the night, she can still survive.
I am his awful wedded wife.
What could be more absurd than to assemble a crowd to witness a man and a woman promising to love each other for the rest of their lives, when we know what human creatures are—men so thoroughly selfish and unprincipled, women so vain and frivolous?
Men often marry their mothers ….
Marriage is nature’s way of keeping people from fighting with strangers.
Why, Benjamin Franklin says a man without a woman is like a half a pair of scissors.
It’s having the same man around the house all the time that ruins matrimony.
Husbands are chiefly good as lovers when they are betraying their wives.
Marriage is the operation by which a woman’s vanity and a man’s egotism are extracted without an anaesthetic.
We would have broken up except for the children. Who were the children? Well, she and I were.
I think a bad husband is far worse than no husband ….
My wife Mary and I have been married for forty-seven years and not once have we had an argument serious enough to consider divorce; murder, yes, but divorce, never.
I never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back.
It’s bad enough when married people bore one another, but it’s much worse when only one of them bores the other.
When the rabbi said, “Do you take this woman?” sixteen guys said, “We have.”
“I don’t hate him,” Athenaise answered … “It’s jus’ being married that I detes’ an’ despise.”
One man’s folly is another man’s wife.
You know marriage is making a big comeback. I know personally that in Hollywood people are marrying people they never married before.
The only good thing about marriage is becoming a widow.
The keeping of an idle woman is a badge of superior social status.
… this marrying I do not like: ’tis like going on a long voyage to sea, where after a while even the calms are distasteful, and the storms dangerous: one seldom sees a new object, ’tis still a deal of sea, sea; husband, husband, every day—till one’s quite cloyed with it.
Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution
Marriage is lonelier than solitude.
When my fiancé proposed it was very romantic. He turned off the TV. Well, he muted it. During the commercial.
Grandpa Cartmell was celebrating his 100th birthday and everybody complimented him on how athletic and well preserved he appeared. "I will tell you the secret of my success," he cackled. "My wife and I were married 75 years ago. On our wedding night we made a solemn pledge that whenever we had a fight, the one who was proved wrong would go out and take a walk. Gentlemen, I have been in the open air practically continuously for 75 years."
People who were never too crazy about their jobs look forward to retirement, as do people who know exactly what they'd like to do, at long last. People who have no idea what they will do with retirement dread it. And then there are the rest of us, who had this crazy idea that we would have enough money to quit working at sixty or sixty-five and could then pick up all the unfulfilled dreams of things we'd always longed to do.
Retirement used to be the square that one landed on in the playing board of life roughly five years before one expired, the reward for thirty-five or more years of hard work, when a pencil pusher could enjoy a paid mortgage, a cruise or two, and a golden wedding anniversary while waiting around to die. Today the question is not so much when is ideal retirement age as how does one define retirement.
Like many men, he gave up his identity along with his job. One day he was a boss at the factory, with a brass plate on his door and a reputation to uphold; the next day he was a nobody at home.
We want retirement to mean that we have chosen to leave paid work for something else, and not survival on a pittance because we are no longer welcome at work.
Retirement places more time on your hands. Indeed, it is one of the enjoyments of retirement that you are able to drift through the day at your own pace, easy in the knowledge that you have put hard work and achievement behind you.
Cast me not off in the time of my old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.
Old age puts more wrinkles in our minds than on our faces; and we never, or rarely, see a soul that in growing old does not come to smell sour and musty.
If you will be cherished when you be old, be curteous while you be young; if you look for comfort in your hoary hairs, be not coy when you have your golden locks.
If to be old and merry be a sin, then many an old host that I know is damn'd.
. . . when thou are old and rich, Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty, To make thy riches pleasant.
I have liv'd long enough. My way of life Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf, And that which should accompany old age, As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have.
When a man cometh by age to bee of no use, the respect given to him is only out of compassion, which is a very slender tenure in this ill natured Age. When a man is no more usefull to the world, the respect given him is a kind of almes; hee must not clayme it.
Many a man is seen to the best advantage in old age when he is more lenient and indulgent because he is more experienced, unruffled, and resigned.
We have settled when old age begins. Like all Nature's processes, it is gentle and gradual in its approaches, strewed with illusions, and all its little griefs are soothed by natural sedatives. But the iron hand is not less irresistible because it wears the velvet glove.
What is it to grow old? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It is to spend long days And not once feel that we were ever young; It is to add, immured In the hot prison of the present, month To month with weary pain.
Love is always young and fair. What to us is silver hair, Faded cheeks or steps grown slow, To the heart that beats below?
There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle.
Oh, dear, this living and eating and growing old; these doubts and aches in the back, and want of interest in Nightingales and Roses . . . [and] Growing old is no gradual decline, but a series of tumbles, full of sorrow, from one ledge to another. Yet when we pick ourselves up we find that our bones are not broken; while not unpleasing is the new terrace which lies unexplored before us.
Many a man that couldn't direct you to the drugstore on the corner when he was thirty will get a respectful hearing when age has further impaired his mind.
It seems like th' only way t' reach a ripe an' peaceful ole age is just t' be downright an' everlastin'ly worthless.
Yes, the truth is that unless old men possess some deep interior life of their own they are almost bound to hang like millstones round the necks of their children and their children's children. Nor is it to be supposed, though he possesses all the natural vanity in the world, that this state of things can be completely concealed from an old man. He is really alone in an unsympathetic world and in his heart he knows that he is. He knows that in spite of all the care that surrounds him his death will be a relief if not an unspeakable comfort to his survivors.
Age wins and one must learn to grow old. As I learnt with the loss of a nurse to put childish things behind me, as I learnt when the joys of dependence were over to embrace with fear the isolation of independence, so now I must learn to walk this long unlovely wintry way, looking for spectacles, shunning the cruel looking-glass, laughing at my clumsiness before others mistakenly condole, not expecting gallantry yet disappointed to receive none, apprehending every ache of shaft of pain, alive to blinding flashes of mortality, unarmed, totally vulnerable.
I have never come across one single woman, either in life or in books, who has looked upon her own old age cheerfully.
If we face now the reality, at sixty-five or seventy, seventy-five, eighty, ninety, that we will indeed, sooner or later, die, then the only big question is how are we going to live the years we have left, however many or few they may be? What adventures can we now set out on to make sure we'll be alive when we die? Can age itself be such an adventure?

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