Thursday, April 24, 2014

Theme: Children

  • I’m waiting in line, embarrassed to be here by myself. I’ll be turning forty later this month, and here I am at the natural history museum, childless. The ticket lady is going to look at me funny. There is some kid behind me, four years old or so, speaking Swedish to his dad. He is wearing thick, round glasses made of blue plastic, and a colorful backpack with a cartoon image of a Cro Magnon on it. His progenitor is getting a lecture about how birds are, in truth, dinosaurs.Read more
  • Now in thy dazzling half-oped eye, Thy curled nose and lip awry, Uphoisted arms and noddling head, And little chin with crystal spread, Poor helpless thing! what do I see, That I should sing of thee?Read more
  • I began writing Mutability, a series of poetic and prose ‘scripts for infancy’, during my pregnancy and in the year following the birth of my first child, Ayla. I started not knowing what I was doing, as a parent or a writer. It was a good place to start. Ayla revealed herself gradually. For a long time my occupant was nothing more than an abstract idea; when it fluttered, I still didn’t know which end of it was up. I gave it access to all my activities, the taste of my lunch, the secrets I traded, the rate of my heart at rest and turning the corner. Read more
  • When I was a kid, Thatcher was the headmistress of our country. Her voice, a bellicose yawn, somehow both boring and boring – I could ignore the content but the intent drilled its way in. She became leader of the Conservatives the year I was born and prime minister when I was four. She remained in power till I was 15. I am, it's safe to say, one of Thatcher's children. How then do I feel on the day of this matriarchal mourning?Read more
  • A selection of photographs by Lewis Hine.Read more
  • Before I could say yes, I’d be right there, he said, “We’re in the middle of a crisis here,” and that’s how I knew—that word, crisis, which I associate more with adults than children—that he was talking about him and Diana.Read more
  • Before I proceed to estrange my reproductively proficient allies, let me begin by saying that I love kids; those who know me know that when I am around them, they delight in my comical ways, and after I'm gone they beg their parents to invite me over again. I have godfatherly and quasi-avuncular relations with numerous little ones, and real avuncular relations with one who is no longer so little.Read more
  • During my thesis research in the communities of Saban and Huay Max, located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, I watched how children from three different familial units living on the same housing lot were constantly reorganized and re-circulated as adult family members came and went. Read more
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the new father, was twenty-three years old. It was five years after he went up to Jesus College, Cambridge, as a classical scholar of dazzling promise; three years after he drank, whored, neglected his studies, ran up debts, considered shooting himself, accepted a bounty of six and a half guineas to join the 15th Regiment of Light Dragoons.Read more
  • Ginny had promised to take the girls to M&M World, that ridiculous place in Times Square they had passed too often in a taxi, Maggie scooting to press her face to the glass to watch the giant smiling M&MRead more
  • He looked up at the crescent faintly visible in the afternoon sky. He led his two recently adopted children, Susie, four, and Billy, three, over broken branches and through wind-torn leaves.Read more
  • Avon Kanwar lives in fear. She is scared her food may be poisoned. She is afraid to sleep at night because she suspects she may be strangled. Read more
  • For the first eight years of Walker’s life, every night is the same. The same routine of tiny details, connected in precise order, each mundane, each crucial.Read more
  • Absentee parents deserve their kids’ anger. Kids have to get mad to get over it, and if they hurt their parent in the process.Read more
  • Standardized testing has become central to education policy in the United States. After dramatically expanding in the wake of the No Child Left Behind Act.Read more
  • 'Haji sahib, these kids are beyond me. I can’t teach them any more. Please make some other arrangement,’ he said, throwing his hands in the air.Read more
  • When at age 4 my daughter Anna became increasingly anxious at bedtime, I tried coaxing her to sleep with the most melodious poems I knew.Read more
  • My son, Douglas, loves to play with toy guns. He is thirteen. He loves video games in which people get killed. He loves violence on TV, especially if it’s funny.Read more
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