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Joyce Maynard quotes (showing 1-30 of 36)

“She felt everything too deeply, it was like the world was too much for her.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“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
“A person who deserves my loyalty receives it.”
Joyce Maynard, Looking Back: A Chronicle of Growing Up Old in the Sixties
“The real drug, I came to believe, was love.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“No, I said. I didn't remember that. There was so much to remember, sometimes the best thing was to forget.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“There was a way of looking at the world where practically every single thing that happened had some kind of double meaning.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“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”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“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)”
Joyce Maynard
tags: babies
“You just want to give up, he said when he was able to speak. Only you keep going. You still have to get up in the morning and pour the cereal in the bowls. You keep on breathing, whether you want to or not. Nobody's around to tell you how it's supposed to work. The usual rules just don't apply anymore.

He was still talking, but she wasn't even sure if it was to her.

When it started, he said, I thought nothing could be worse than those first days. And it wasn't only us, but everyone else you'd see, wandering around like they'd landed on a whole different planet. Instead of just dealing with your own heart getting ripped into pieces, wherever you looked you knew there were other people dealing with the same thing. You couldn't even be alone with it. Like you're out in the ocean and the undertow catches you and you start yelling for help, but then you look around, and all around you in the water for as far as you can see, there's all these other people flailing too.

He sat there for a moment, shaking his head.

You keep getting up in the morning and knowing this will continue maybe ten thousand more mornings. You wish you were the one who died.

How much better would that be?”
Joyce Maynard, The Usual Rules
“If you act like something’s too hard, it will be, he said. You got to believe it’s possible.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“She was in love with love.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“Sex is a drug, Eleanor had told me. When sex enters into a situation, people lose all reason. They do things they would never do otherwise. These things they do may be crazy. May even be dangerous. May break their hearts, or someone else's... The real drug, I came to believe, was love.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“It’s like life: sometimes the littlest thing turns out to be the most important.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“There is something about the act of studying an unclothed body, as an artist does, that allows a person to appreciate it as pure form, regardless of the kinds of traits traditionally regarded as imperfections. In a figure drawing class, an obese woman's folds of flesh take on a kind of beauty. You can look at a man's shrunken chest or legs or buttocks with tenderness. Age is not ugly, just poignant.”
Joyce Maynard, The Good Daughters
“No doubt Richard's father, like my mother, had once held his infant son in his arms, looked into the eyes of his child's mother, and believed they would move into the future together with love. The fact that they didn't was a weight each of us carried, as every child does, probably, whose parents no longer live under the same roof. Wherever it is you make your home, there is always this other place, this other person, calling to you. Come to me. Come back.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“She felt everything so deeply, it was like the world was too much for her.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“What I have found is that a baby—though she doesn’t know words yet, or information, or the rules of life—is the most reliable judge of feelings. All a baby has with which to take in the world are her five senses. Hold her, sing to her, show her the night sky or a quivering leaf, or a bug. Those are the ways—the only ways—she learns about the world—whether it is a safe and loving place, or a harsh one. What she will register, at least, will be the fact that she is not alone. And it has been my experience that when you do this—slow down, pay attention, follow the simple instincts of love—a person is likely to respond favorably. It is generally true of babies, and most other people too, perhaps. Also dogs. Hamsters even. And people so damaged by life in the world that there might seem no hope for them, only there may be. So I talk to her. Sometimes we dance. When our daughter’s breathing is steady again—maybe she has fallen asleep, maybe not—we buckle her up in her car seat and continue north. I always know, whatever hour it may be when we pull down the long dirt road leading to their house, that the lights will be on, and the door will be open even before we reach it—my mother standing there, with Frank beside her. You brought the baby, she says.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“One thing he would tell me, though, he said, had to do with babies. Not that he was any kind of expert, but for a brief while, long ago, he had cared for his son, and that experience more than any other had taught him the importance of following your instincts. Tuning in to the situation with all your five senses, and your body, not your brain. A baby cries in the night, and you go to pick him up. Maybe he’s screaming so hard his face is the color of a radish, or he’s gasping for breath, he’s got himself so worked up. What are you going to do, take a book off the shelf, and read what some expert has to say?

You lay your hand against his skin and just rub his back. Blow into his ear. Press that baby up against your own skin and walk outside with him, where the night air will surround him, and moonlight fall on his face. Whistle, maybe. Dance. Hum. Pray.

Sometimes a cool breeze might be just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes a warm hand on the belly. Sometimes doing absolutely nothing is the best. You have to pay attention. Slow things way down. Tune out the rest of the world that really doesn’t matter. Feel what the moment calls for.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“A lot of your problem was in your head. You see yourself screwing up, it’s going to happen.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“I tried to think of what my father would tell me. 'Don't let any boy give you shit.' But he'd never said how we should go about preventing this.”
Joyce Maynard, After Her
“...tragedy and death would follow a person whereever he went in life. There was no such thing as escape, except maybe the kind that Mr. Kirby had accomplished...”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“You like to think you can count on a person. To hang around”
Joyce Maynard, To Die for
“Daughters," he told her as they dug. "Nothing better than a good daughter.”
Joyce Maynard
“My mother didn’t believe in germs but I did. Germs are something they made up to distract people from what they should really be worried about, she said. Germs are natural. It’s the things people do you have to worry about.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“Ihre Schuhe - ihre Tanzschuhe - lagen unter dem Tisch, und ihre Haare wirkten feucht - vielleicht von Tanzen, vielleicht aber auch vom Leben.”
Joyce Maynard, Der Duft Des Sommers
“sometimes the littlest thing turns out to be the most important.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“It was as if I'd been in the middle of a book that I had to put down when I got too tired to keep reading, or a video put on pause. I wanted to pick back up with the story and find out what happened to the characters, except that the characters were us.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day
“Wherever it is you make your home, there is always this other place, this other person, calling to you. Come to me. Come back.”
Joyce Maynard
“Now I knew od was punishing me, she said. We had been given a wonderful gift, with you, and a wonderful gift six months after your birth, and because of our own foolishness, supposing we could pick our moment to become parents, as if we were choosing when to go dancing-I knew now we might never again have the chance.”
Joyce Maynard
“Some family's boat capsized at Lake Winnipesaukee the day before and now they were looking for the father's body.”
Joyce Maynard, Labor Day

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