It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.— Joyce Maynard
The most fulfilling Joyce Maynard quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
It's not only children who grow. Parents do too.
A person who deserves my loyalty receives it.
The painter who feels obligated to depict his subjects as uniformly beautiful or handsome and without flaws will fall short of making art.
At Home in the World is the story of a young woman, raised in some difficult circumstances, and how she survives. It tells a story of redemption, not victimhood.
To share our stories is not only a worthwhile endeavor for the storyteller, but for those who hear our stories and feel less alone because of it.
My job is writing. I get paid to do it. When was the last time you heard someone challenge a doctor for making money off of cancer?
It's sad but true that if you focus your attention on housework and meal preparation and diapers, raising children does start to look like drudgery pretty quickly. On the other hand, if you see yourself as nothing less than your child's nurturer, role model, teacher, spiritual guide, and mentor, your days take on a very different cast.
If I told you about all the stories I don't tell, I would be violating the very boundaries I set for myself.
Those who rhapsodize about the ease and joy of childhood have perhaps forgotten what it's like to be 12 years old.
Before I had children I always wondered whether their births would be, for me, like the ultimate in gym class failures. And I discovered instead... that I'd finally found my sport.
The portrait of my parents is a complicated one, but lovingly drawn.
Many women my age have known the experience of giving up crucial parts of themselves to please the man they love.
Long after Salinger sent me away, I continued to believe his standards and expectations were the best ones.
Although Salinger had long since cut me out of his life completely and made it plain that he had nothing but contempt for me, the thought of becoming the object of his wrath was more than I felt ready to take on.
Some literary types subscribe to the notion that being a writer like Salinger entitles a person to remain free of the standards that might apply to mere mortals.
The vehemence with which certain critics have chosen not simply to criticize what I've written, but to challenge my writing this story at all, speaks of what the book is about: fear of disapproval.
The word no Carries a lot more meaning when spoken by a parent who also knows how to say yes.
Nothing like being visible, publishing one's work, and speaking openly about one's life, to disabuse the world of the illusion of one's perfection and purity.
A good home must be made, not bought.
Every child, woman, and man should possess license to speak or sing in his or her true voice.
I believed my story would be helpful to young women my daughter's age, who are still in the process of forming themselves as women, and in need of encouragement to remain true to themselves.
I continued to protect him with my silence.
The silence was part of the story I wanted to tell.
Wherever it is you make your home, there is always this other place, this other person, calling to you. Come to me. Come back.
[On home births:] In a house where there had been three people, there were now four, although no one had come in the door.
It's a great thing when a man knows how to dance, she said.
When a man can dance, the world is his oyster." Adele, Henry's Mother
I have long observed that the act of writing is viewed, by some, as an elite and otherworldly act, all the more so if a person isn't paid for what she writes.
I have no doubt that over the years my children will find plenty of things about me to criticize. But something tells me that twenty years from now not one of them will sit on some therapist's couch complaining because their mother didn't spend enough time vacuuming up glitter.
You lay your hand against his skin and just rib his back.
Blow into his ear. Press that baby up against your own skin and walk outside with him, where the night air will sourround him, and moonlight fall on his face. Whistle, maybe. Dance. Hum. Pray. (how to calm a crying baby)
The real drug, I came to believe, was love.
One of the sad realities of being a parent is that the same stuff you know is exciting, educational, and enriching in your child'slife is often messy, smelly and exhausting to deal with.
If a man wishes to truly not be written about, he would do well not to write letters to 18-year-old girls, inviting them into his life.
For a parent, it's hard to recognize the significance of your work when you're immersed in the mundane details. Few of us, as we run the bath water or spread the peanut butter on the bread, proclaim proudly, "I'm making my contribution to the future of the planet." But with the exception of global hunger, few jobs in the world of paychecks and promotions compare in significance to the job of parent.
I wonder what it is that the people who criticize me for telling this story truly object to: is it that I have dared to tell the story? Or that the story turns out not to be the one they wanted to hear?
Imagine if you succeeded in making the world perfect for your children what a shock the rest of life would be for them.
Not only did I avoid speaking of Salinger;
I resisted thinking about him. I did not reread his letters to me. The experience had been too painful.
Women writers have been told, forever, that our stories were not valuable.
Not as valuable as men's stories about wars, business, power.
I believe every one of us possesses a fundamental right to tell our own story.
No, I said. I didn't remember that. There was so much to remember, sometimes the best thing was to forget.
For 25 years, I did take my responsibilities as a pleaser of others sufficiently seriously.
In the event of an oxygen shortage on airplanes, mothers of young children are always reminded to put on their own oxygen mask first, to better assist the children with theirs. The same tactic is necessary on terra firma. There's no way of sustaining our children if we don't first rescue ourselves. I don't call that selfish behavior. I call it love.
It troubles me that people speak about writing for money as ugly and distasteful.
I'd known enough flush times and lean ones to understand that money came and went. And that one day I'd also lose my looks, my seemingly boundless energy and maybe the ability to catch the eye of an attractive man and the audacity to Rollerblade. My name would be forgotten. So would bad reviews, and good ones. But loving a child is something that lasts. Long after all the rest is gone, that's what endures.
She felt everything too deeply, it was like the world was too much for her.
As for me, I've chosen to follow a simple course: Come clean.
And wherever possible, live your life in a way that won't leave you tempted to lie. Failing that, I'd rather be disliked for who I truly am than loved for who I am not. So, I tell my story. I write it down. I even publish it. Sometimes this is a humbling experience. Sometimes it's embarrassing. But I haul around no terrible secrets.
It is not the task of a reader to please her subjects.
I compromised my ability to tell my story, at the most basic level.