Quotes

11 November 2014
Divorce is the psychological equivalent of a triple coronary bypass.
11 November 2014
In the range of things toddlers have to learn and endlessly review—why you can't put bottles with certain labels in your mouth, why you have to sit on the potty, why you can't take whatever you want in the store, why you don't hit your friends—by the time we got to why you can't drop your peas, well, I was dropping a few myself.
11 November 2014
I became the Incredible Shrinking Mother the year they started junior high. If our relationship today depended on physical clout, I would have about the same influence with them that the republic of Liechtenstein has on world politics.
11 November 2014
"Mother" is the first word that occurs to politicians and columnists and popes when they raise the question, "Why isn't life turning out the way we want it?"
11 November 2014
It takes twenty or so years before a mother can know with any certainty how effective her theories have been—and even then there are surprises. The daily newspapers raise the most frightening questions of all for a mother of sons: Could my once sweet babes ever become violent men? Are my sons really who I think they are?
11 November 2014
Spooky things happen in houses densely occupied by adolescent boys. When I checked out a four-inch dent in the living room ceiling one afternoon, even the kid still holding the baseball bat looked genuinely baffled about how he possibly could have done it.
11 November 2014
In an ideal society, mothers and fathers would produce potty- trained, civilized, responsible new citizens while government and corporate leaders would provide a safe, healthy, economically just community.
11 November 2014
Certainly, words can be as abusive as any blow. . . . When a three-year-old yells, "You're so stupid! What a dummy!" it doesn't carry the same weight as when a mother yells those words to a child. . . . Even if you don't physically abuse young children, you can still drive them nuts with your words.
11 November 2014
The naive notion that a mother naturally acquires the complex skills of childrearing simply because she has given birth now seems as absurd to me as enrolling in a nine-month class in composition and imagining that at the end of the course you are now prepared to begin writing War and Peace.
11 November 2014
The absolute dependence of a newborn infant inspired many things in me, but it did not activate any magical knowledge about what to do for the next twenty years.

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