childhood

You could not moralize children out of growing up. Or teach them how to do it.

Stephen King, Doctor Sleep

Childishness comes almost as naturally to a man as to a child.

Isaac Asimov, Foundation

Before drifting away entirely, he found himself reflecting – not for the first time – on the peculiarity of adults. They tool laxatives, liquor, or sleeping pills to drive away their terrors so that sleep would come, and their terrors were so tame and domestic: the job, the money, what the teacher will think if I can’t get Jennie nicer clothes, does my wife still love me, who are my friends. They were pallid compared to the fears every child lies cheek and jowl with in his dark bed, with no one to confess to in hope of perfect understanding but another child. There is no group therapy or psychiatry or community social services for the child who must cope with the thing under the bed or in the cellar every night, the thing which leers and capers and threatens just beyond the point where vision will reach. The same lonely battle must be fought night after night and the only cure is the eventual ossification of the imaginary faculties, and this is called adulthood.

Stephen King, Salem’s Lot

There is no group therapy or psychiatry or community social services for the child who must cope with the thing under the bed or in the cellar every night, the thing which leers and capers and threatens just beyond the point where vision will reach. The same lonely battle must be fought night after night and the only cure is the eventual ossification of the imaginary faculties, and this is called adulthood.

Stephen King, Salem’s Lot

The essential and defining characteristic of childhood is not the effortless merging of dream and reality, but only alienation. There are no words for childhood’s dark turns and exhalations. A wise child recognizes it and submits to the necessary consequences. A child who counts the cost is a child no longer.

Stephen King, Salem’s Lot

What do babies dream of? She must be dreaming of the before-life, just as I dream of the afterlife.

Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

There is no such thing as grown ups.

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I wondered, as I wondered so often when I was that age, who I was, and what exactly was looking at the face in the mirror. If the face I was looking at wasn’t me, because I would still be me whatever happened to my face, then what was me?

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

She was also an adult, and when adults fight children, adults always win.

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I finally made friends with my father when I entered my twenties. We had so little in common when I was a boy, and I am certain I had been a disappointment to him. He did not ask for a child with a book, off in its own world. He wanted a son who did what he had done; swam and boxed and played rugby, and drove cars at speed with abandon and joy, but that was not what he wound up with.

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

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