Britta's Reviews > Keeping Faith

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
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Nov 12, 2007

it was amazing

"I figured that motherhood would be something that descended naturally, the same way my milk came in - a little painful, a little awe-inspiring, but part of me now for better or for worse. I waited patiently... any day now, I told myself, I am going to wake up and know what I am doing."

"My mother used to tell me that when push comes to shove, you always know who to turn to. That being a family isn't a social construct, but an instinct."

"Being a father... is not AT&T commercial, no simple feat of tossing a ball across a green yard or braiding a length of hair. It is knowing all the words to 'Goodnight Moon'. It is waking a split second in the middle of the night before you hear her fall out of bed. It is watching her twirl in a tutu and having one's mind leap over the years to wonder how it will be to dance at her wedding.
It is maintaining the illusion of having the upper hand, although you've been powerless since the first moment she smiled at you from the rook's nest of your cradled arm."

"Uxorious: Excessively fond of one's wife."

"This is the codicil of motherhood: like it or not, you acquire a sixth sense when it comes to your children - viscerally feeling their joy, their frustration, and the sharp blow to the heart when someone causes them pain."

"My mother... she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her."

"How could she even be considered remotely qualified to be a mother, knowing that she was every bit as fallible as this baby was perfect? In the stitch of a moment, anything could go wrong... she would look into her daughter's face and see accidents waiting to happen. And then her vision would clear and she would see only love, a well so deep that you could try and try and never know its bottom, but only suck in your breath at its frightening depth."

"Suddenly [she] wonders if moments like this are what qualify you as a good parent: realizing that no matter how you try, you will not be able to protect a child from the tragedies or the missteps or the nightmares. Maybe the job of a mother is not to shelter but to bear witness as a child hits full force... and then cushion the fall when it's over."

"Children are the anchors that yhold a mother to life." ~Sophocles - Phaedra

"And, like the Wizard of Oz, he's learned if you hide long enough behind a curtain of bluff and principle, people stop trying to find out who you are in the first place."

"Maybe there is more to a person than a body and mind. Maybe something else figures intot he mix - not a soul, exactly, but a spirit that hints you might one day be greater, stronger than you are now. A promise; a potential."

"I remember thinking of my heart, balanced just above the baby's feet, like the ball on a trained seal's nose. And then there was the remarkable drive that came when I realized the only way to stop the pain was to get it out of me, to push and push until I was certain I'd turn myself inside out, even as I felt her head widening and changing me and the small knob of her nose and chin and shoulders as they slipped in succession, streaming between my legs in a shuddering rush of breath and blood and beauty."

"Motherhood isn't a test, but a religion: A covenant entered into, a promise to be kept. It comes one-size-fits-all, and it camouflages flaws like nothing else... [my child] is the one thing in my life I got right on the very first try."

"I can feel my daughter's eyes on me, like the sun that touches the crown of your head when you step outside."

"Sometimes there aren't words. The silence between us is flung wide as an ocean. But I manage to reach across it, to wrap my arms around him."
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
November 12, 2007 – Shelved

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