thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers

C.S. Lewis in The Abolition of Man: Hitherto the plans of educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted and indeed, when we read them — how Plato would have every infant “a bastard nursed in a bureau”, and Elyot would have the boys see no men before the age of seven and, afterContinue reading “thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers”

like a child constantly wondering and surprised at nothing

“I am sorry I cannot explain the thing to you,” he answered; “but there is no provision in you for understanding it. Not merely, therefore, is the phenomenon inexplicable to you, but the very nature of it is inapprehensible by you. Indeed I but partially apprehend it myself. At the same time you are constantlyContinue reading “like a child constantly wondering and surprised at nothing”

we send our children into the wilderness

That is how life goes—we send our children into the wilderness. Some of them on the day they are born, it seems, for all the help we can give them. Some of them seem to be a kind of wilderness unto themselves. But there must be angels there, too, and springs of water. Even thatContinue reading “we send our children into the wilderness”

the truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups

Two complimentary passages from The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: I tried to pull the dream that had upset me so to the front of my mind, but it would not come. There had been betrayal in it, I knew, and loss, and time. The dream had left me scaredContinue reading “the truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups”

we cared little for what lay beyond

Long have we tended our beasts and our fields, built our houses, wrought our tools, or ridden away to help in the wars of Minas Tirith. And that we called the life of Men, the way of the world. We cared little for what lay beyond the borders of our land. Songs we have toContinue reading “we cared little for what lay beyond”

children are capable of giving advice in the most important matters

One can tell a child everything, anything. I have often been struck by the fact that parents know their children so little. They should not conceal so much from them. How well even little children understand that their parents conceal things from them, because they consider them too young to understand! Children are capable ofContinue reading “children are capable of giving advice in the most important matters”

the good that you sow in the hearts of your children

It will be enough if you take care to instruct your children in the fear of God…. The good that you sow in the hearts of your children while they are young will blossom forth in their hearts when they come to full maturity, and after enduring the bitter trials of school and contemporary life,Continue reading “the good that you sow in the hearts of your children”

anything that was good or beautiful in his writing

George Sayer, in his essay “Recollections of J.R.R. Tolkien” from the book “Tolkien: A Celebration” (edited by Joseph Pearce): In the pew in front of us there were two or three children who were trying to follow the service in a simple picture-book missal. [Tolkien] seemed to be more interested in them than in eventsContinue reading “anything that was good or beautiful in his writing”

forgotten chambers in the dark house of infancy

According to Christianity, we were indeed the survivors of a wreck, the crew of a golden ship that had gone down before the beginning of the world. …The modern philosopher had told me again and again that I was in the right place, and I had still felt depressed even in acquiescence. But I hadContinue reading “forgotten chambers in the dark house of infancy”