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“I used to picture time as a rope you followed along, hand over hand, into the distance, but it's nothing like that. It moves outward but holds everything that's come before. Cut me open and I'm a tree trunk, rings of nostalgia radiating inward. All the years are nested inside me like I'm my own personal one-woman matryoshka doll. I guess that's true for everybody, but then I drive everybody crazy with my nostalgia and happiness. I am bittersweet personified.”
Catherine Newman, Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood's Messy Years
“You know how you secretly worry that this is it, that it’s all downhill from here? I know you do. You worry that the children will turn into hulking criminals; their scalps will turn odorless. You lie in bed now during a thunderstorm, two sleeping, moonlit faces pressed against you, fragrant scalps intoxicating you, the rain on the roof like hoofbeats, heartbeats—and the calamity of raising young children falls away because this is all you ever wanted. Now you boo-hoo noiselessly into the kids’ hair because life is so beautiful and you don’t want it to change. Enjoy it. But let me tell you—you won’t believe it, but let me tell you anyway—you will watch them sleeping still and always: the illuminated down of their cheeks, their dark puffs of lips and dear, dark wedges of eyelashes, and you will feel exactly the way you feel now. Only better.”
Catherine Newman, Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood's Messy Years
“One of the hardest things about parenting is that you just never know what the outcome will be. It’s a total leap of faith. Even with decisions you feel fairly confident about (say, what to make for lunch), you just can’t be sure of the consequences they’ll have for this person you’re raising. Will you like the adult this kid—your kid—becomes?”
Catherine Newman, Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Improbable Grace, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family
“Boredom is that agitated space between relaxation and action; dialed down, it can become a pleasant kind of inertia or a meditative stillness, where it feels good to sit quietly with your own thoughts; cranked up a notch, it can produce creative release. But that middle place is the boredom itself – restlessness with no movement. A dull and desperate longing for something else. From Catastrophic Happiness.”
Catherine Newman, Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood's Messy Years
“Sometimes I suspect that everybody sleeps with their kids, and the only difference is the level of denial you’re in.”
Catherine Newman, Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Improbable Grace, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family
“I am so glad and grateful, I am. But sometimes the orchestra plays something in swelling chords of luck and joy, and all I can hear is that one violin sawing out a thin melody of grief”
Catherine Newman, Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood's Messy Years


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Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family Waiting for Birdy
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Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood's Messy Years Catastrophic Happiness
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