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My son, a perfect little boy of five years and three months, had ended his earthly life. You can never sympathize with me; you can never know how much of me such a young child can take away. A few weeks ago I accounted myself a very rich man, and now the poorest of all.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Letter to Thomas Carlyle (28 Feb 1842)
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Added on 20-Mar-18 | Last updated 20-Mar-18
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It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.

Barbara Kingsolver (b. 1955) American novelist, essayist, poet
Animal Dreams (1990)
Added on 3-Jul-17 | Last updated 3-Jul-17
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Anyone who has not known that inestimable privilege can possibly realize what good fortune it is to grow up in a home where there are grandparents.

Suzanne La Follette (1893-1983) American journalist, author, feminist
(Attributed)
Added on 27-Feb-17 | Last updated 27-Feb-17
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And perhaps, after all, it is better that the lad should break his neck than that you should break his spirit.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Scottish essayist, novelist, poet
The Amateur Emigrant (1880)
Added on 7-Feb-17 | Last updated 7-Feb-17
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If you bungle raising your children I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994) First Lady of the United States (1961-1963), book editor, celebrity
Interview with Sander Vanocur, NBC News (1 Oct 1960)
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Added on 17-Jan-17 | Last updated 17-Jan-17
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I never hear parents exclaim impatiently, “Children, you must not make so much noise,” that I do not think how soon the time may come when those parents would give all the world, could they hear once more the ringing laughter which once so disturbed them.

Abbott Eliot "A. E." Kittredge (1834-1912) American clergyman and Presbyterian leader
(Attributed)

Quoted in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
Added on 3-Jan-17 | Last updated 3-Jan-17
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Children will imitate their fathers in their vices, seldom in their repentance.

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) British Baptist preacher, author [Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon]
Spurgeon’s Sermons, 3rd Series, Sermon 21, “Manasseh” (1883)
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Added on 22-Nov-16 | Last updated 22-Nov-16
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You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a mother who read to me.

Strickland Gillilan (1869-1954) American poet and humorist
“The Reading Mother”
Added on 3-Nov-16 | Last updated 3-Nov-16
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Delusions are often functional. A mother’s opinions about her children’s beauty, intelligence, goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from drowning them at birth.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Time Enough for Love (1973)
Added on 25-Oct-16 | Last updated 25-Oct-16
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You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American poet, writer, painter [Gibran Khalil Gibran]
“On Children,” The Prophet (1923)
Added on 11-Oct-16 | Last updated 11-Oct-16
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There is not so much comfort in the having of children as there is sorrow in parting with them.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia (1732)
Added on 4-Oct-16 | Last updated 4-Oct-16
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“You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”

“Why, what did she tell you?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, ch. 7 (1979)
Added on 22-Aug-16 | Last updated 22-Aug-16
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The parent who could see his boy as he really is would shake his head and say: ‘Willy is no good: I’ll sell him.’

Stephen Leacock (1869-1944) Canadian economist, writer and humorist
The Lot of the Schoolmaster (1916)
Added on 20-Jan-16 | Last updated 20-Jan-16
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“Are you lost, daddy?” I asked tenderly.
“Shut up,” he explained.

Ring Lardner (1885-1933) American sports columnist and writer [Ringgold Wilmer Lardner]
The Young Immigrants, ch. 10 (1920)
Added on 16-Apr-14 | Last updated 16-Apr-14
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If we would amend the world, we should mend Ourselves and teach our Children to be not what we are but what they should be.

William Penn (1644-1718) English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, statesman
Some Fruits of Solitude, #214 (1693)
Added on 12-Dec-13 | Last updated 12-Dec-13
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It’s frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself.

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) French author, existentialist philosopher, feminist theorist
Les Belles Images, ch. 3 (1966) [tr. O’Brian (1968)]
Added on 27-Dec-11 | Last updated 12-Feb-18
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There never was a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him asleep.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (30 Sep 1837)
Added on 7-Oct-11 | Last updated 26-Sep-16
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Croesus said to Cambyses: That peace was better than war; because in peace the sons did bury their fathers, but in wars the fathers did bury their sons.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Apophthegms, #149 (1625)

See Herodotus.
Added on 10-Sep-10 | Last updated 28-Jul-17
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When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
(Spurious)

Not found in Twain's writing.  He was 11 when his father died.

Added on 18-Mar-10 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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They say the religion of your fathers is good enough. Why should a father object to your inventing a better plow than he had?

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Speech on Religious Intolerance, Pittsburgh Opera House (14 Oct 1879)
Added on 22-Jan-08 | Last updated 5-Feb-16
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