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What is a child, monsieur, but the image of two beings, the fruit of two sentiments spontaneously blended?

HONORE DE BALZAC, A Woman of Thirty

Lord knows what incommunicable small terrors infants go through, unknown to all. We disregard them, we say they forget, because they have not the words to make us remember.


Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.

ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Love of children is the homage of the heart to unsullied purity. Indeed, children are the bright side of life. From our sins and sorrows, how refreshing is it to turn to their artless ways and purer joys! Would that they could all be so educated, as not, in their after-years, to darken life by their offenses!

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

Children, dear and loving children, can alone console a woman for the loss of her beauty.

HONORE DE BALZAC, Letters of Two Brides

Many children, many cares; no children, no felicity.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

You should never take responsibility for more children than you can give attention to.

JAMES REDFIELD, The Celestine Prophecy

Everyone should have kids. They are the greatest joy in the world. But they are also terrorists. You'll realize this as soon as they're born, and they start using sleep deprivation to break you.

RAY ROMANO, stand-up routine

The "Why?" cannot, and need not, be put into words. Those for whom a child's mind is a sealed book, and who see no divinity in a child's smile, would read such words in vain: while for any one that has ever loved one true child, no words are needed. For he will have known the awe that falls on one in the presence of a spirit fresh from GOD's hands, on whom no shadow of sin, and but the outermost fringe of the shadow of sorrow, has yet fallen: he will have felt the bitter contrast between the haunting selfishness that spoils his best deeds and the life that is but an overflowing love--for I think a child's first attitude to the world is a simple love for all living things: and he will have learned that the best work a man can do is when he works for love's sake only, with no thought of name, or gain, or earthly reward. No deed of ours, I suppose, on this side the grave, is really unselfish: yet if one can put forth all one's powers in a task where nothing of reward is hoped for but a little child's whispered thanks, and the airy touch of a little child's pure lips, one seems to come somewhere near to this.

LEWIS CARROLL, introduction, Alice's Adventures Under Ground

Living with kids is like living in a frat house ... everything's broken, nobody sleeps, and there's alot of throwing up.

RAY ROMANO, stand-up routine

There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, radio broadcast, Mar. 21, 1943

I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them.

PHYLLIS DILLER, The Snark Handbook: Parenting Edition

Children are sweet as the buds in spring,
But I've noticed that those who have them
Have nothing but trouble all their lives.


It is important to communicate to children about what we are going through. We often speak in half truths. We don't frame the truth or explain our experience in terms they can understand. We need to take time to do this. What has to happen is that more people have to get involved with more children. Focus energy on the child. Children are raising themselves these days in all sorts of strange ways.

JAMES REDFIELD, interview, Edge Magazine, Jun. 1, 1994

My children cause me the most exquisite suffering of which I have any experience. It is the suffering of ambivalence: the murderous alternation between bitter resentment and raw-edged nerves, and blissful gratification and tenderness. Sometimes I seem to myself, in my feelings toward these tiny guiltless beings, a monster of selfishness and intolerance.


I wasn't really that informed about the two-year-old. Oh, I'd read about them, and occasionally I'd see documentaries on the Discovery Channel showing two-year-olds in the wild, where they belong.

RAY ROMANO, Everything and a Kite

My friends with children say it's the quality of love that is so unique, the fact that you surrender yourself to love, and through that surrendering become transparent to your deepest feelings. Perhaps it's not having a child that is so striking, but that unconditional love, joy, happiness exist and finally, through the child, have a chance to be expressed. To finally, irrevocably love without holding anything back. Perhaps the magic--the love, happiness, fulfillment--existed in us all along like an underground river, but we could never see it or know it because we kept looking for it outside, in accomplishments, body sizes, and other people.

GENEEN ROTH, Appetites: On the Search for True Nourishment

It takes so little to make a child happy, that it is a pity in a world full of sunshine and pleasant things, that there should be any wistful faces, empty hands, or lonely little hearts.


It is wrong to bear children out of need, wrong to use a child to alleviate loneliness, wrong to provide purpose in life by reproducing another copy of oneself. It is wrong also to seek immortality by spewing one's germ into the future as though sperm contains your consciousness.

IRVIN D. YALOM, When Nietzsche Wept

The child is a beam of sunlight from the Infinite and Eternal.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Problems of Life: Selections from the Writings of Rev. Lyman Abbott

Children are overbearing, supercilious, passionate, envious, inquisitive, egotistical, idle, fickle, timid, intemperate, liars, and dissemblers; they laugh and weep easily, are excessive in their joys and sorrows, and that about the most trifling objects; they bear no pain, but like to inflict it on others; already they are men.

JEAN DE LA BRUYÈRE, "Of Mankind", Les Caractères

I know that a sweet child is the sweetest thing in nature, not even excepting the delicate creatures which bear them.

CHARLES LAMB, "A Bachelor's Complaint", Elia and the Last Essays of Elia

This is one thing they forget to mention in most child-rearing books, that at times you will just lose your mind. Period.

ANNE LAMOTT, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

How parents interact with each child as he or she enters the family circle determines in great part that child's final destiny.

KEVIN LEMAN, The Birth Order Book

Like Adam, formed from clay, children are formed from the biological material of which they are made or by the hands of their parents.

MICHAEL LEWIS, Altering Fate

Nobody's born rotten. You just don't have bad kids. It's not true. There is no such thing. But we can make them bad.

JEAN LIEDLOFF, interview, Touch the Future, fall 1998

Keep thou an open door between thy child's life and thine own.

MAUD LINDSAY, "The Closing Door", Mother Stories

The native and untaught suggestions of inquisitive children do often offer things, that may set a considering man's thoughts on work. And I think there is frequently more to be learn'd from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men, who talk in a road, according to the notions they have borrowed, and the prejudices of their education.

JOHN LOCKE, Some Thoughts Concerning Education

Children are the root of all evil.... Happy the man who has his quiver empty.

WILLIAM JOHN LOCKE, The Christmas Mystery

Children ... are unripe and imperfect; their virtues, therefore, are to be considered not merely as relative to their actual state, but principally in reference to that maturity and perfection to which nature has destined them.


The dumbest thing I ever did was not having children. Absolute dumbest thing. Even worse than selling my bassoon. I see the error now. My sister's kids are turning out great. They were shockingly spoiled when they were little, but now their true personalities have taken over and they're just nice calm tall young people with personalities. One is at Kenyon College studying something with lasers and the other is an intern at a dollhouse museum.

NICHOLSON BAKER, Traveling Sprinkler

I didn't want children because I didn't want them to suffer. I had a dog, which suffered enough. I don't even want a goldfish or a turtle. I have a desert plant in my house that needs a glass of water maybe once a year, which I can deliver.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC, "Life's Work: An Interview with Marina Abramovic", Harvard Business Review, November 2016

Setting a good example for your children does nothing but increase their embarrassment.

DOUG LARSON, attributed, Quotable Quotes: Wit and Wisdom from the Greatest Minds of Our Time

I never met anyone who didn't have a very smart child. What happens to these children, you wonder, when they reach adulthood?

FRAN LEBOWITZ, "Words Are Easy, Books Are Not", New York Times, August 10, 1994

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