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Quotations about Childhood

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There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows. ~John Betjeman, Summoned by Bells

Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.
~William Wordsworth, "To a Butterfly"

Childhood: the period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth — two removes from the sin of manhood and three from the remorse of age. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it. ~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, 1860

Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons. ~Author Unknown

Childhood is a promise that is never kept. ~Ken Hill

Childhood is the fiery furnace in which we are melted down to essentials and that essential shaped for good. ~Katherine Anne Porter

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. ~Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory (Thanks, Harold)

When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood. ~Sam Ewing

In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in. ~Robert Brault,

The greatest poem ever known
Is one all poets have outgrown:
The poetry, innate, untold,
Of being only four years old.
~Christopher Morley, To a Child

Did you know that childhood is the only time in our lives when insanity is not only permitted to us, but expected? ~Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older. ~Tom Stoppard

I'd give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life's decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer day.
~Lewis Carroll, "Solitude"

It is never too late to have a happy childhood. ~Tom Robbins

What we remember from childhood we remember forever — permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen. ~Cynthia Ozick

The childhood shows the man
As morning shows the day.
~John Milton, Paradise Regained

To trade a childhood wonder for a plausible explanation — is there a worst trade one makes in life? ~Robert Brault,

Childhood is a short season. ~Helen Hayes

I leave to children exclusively, but only for the life of their childhood, all and every the dandelions of the fields and the daisies thereof, with the right to play among them freely, according to the custom of children, warning them at the same time against the thistles. And I devise to children the yellow shores of creeks and the golden sands beneath the water thereof, with the dragon flies that skim the surface of said waters, and the odors of the willows that dip into said waters, and the white clouds that float on high above the giant trees. ~Williston Fish, "A Last Will," 1898

In the happiest of our childhood memories, our parents were happy, too. ~Robert Brault,

And I leave the children the long, long days to be merry in a thousand ways, and the Night, and the trail of the Milky Way to wonder at.... ~Williston Fish, "A Last Will," 1898

Was there ever a time when the first doll was born? Was there ever a time when the little boys and girls, especially little girls, did not love dolls and did not have something of that nature to play with? Dolls and playthings have been around nearly as long as babies themselves. And I never saw a sane person in my life who regrets that it is so. It is amusing and inspiring to see the little children making merry with their dolls and their toy animals and their little express wagons and their whistles and their balloons and their jumping-jacks and their hobby-horses and a hundred and one other things. ~Silas X. Floyd (1869–1923), "Mary and Her Dolls," Floyd's Flowers: or, Duty and Beauty for Colored Children, 1905  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Oh, the golden age of the barefoot time,
While life was a fairy tale sung in rhyme,
When phantoms grim of a future day
Were hid in the mists of the far away...
Off for a swim on an afternoon,—
The moments—why would they fly so soon!...
The rosy skies of our barefoot days
Lie hidden from view by a misty haze.
~Adelbert Farrington Caldwell (1867–1931), "The Barefoot Time"

I had always thought that once you grew up you could do anything you wanted — stay up all night or eat ice cream straight out of the container. ~Bill Bryson

He carried his childhood like a hurt warm bird held to his middle-aged breast. ~Herbert Gold

All any child needs is the protection of loving parents and an alternative source of information. ~Robert Brault,

When Nobody does nothing wrong,
They say it is the cat;
Though Nobody be long and strong
And very likely fat.
His name is heard from morn till night,
He's known in ev'ry place;
He does the deeds that are unright,
Though no one sees his face.
~S.J. Adair Fitz-Gerald (1859–1925), The Zankiwank & The Bletherwitch, 1896

They seem older than eleven.... I seem to remember that at eleven my brood were howlers and screamers and runners in circles. These seem like grown men. ~John Steinbeck, East of Eden, 1952

      I, on the contrary, took it all in good part, and showed no signs of feeling even at the fatal moment when my foot snapped in two; and Rose, with a face of utter dismay, held up my own toes before my eyes. "O, my poor Seraphina!" she exclaimed, "what shall we do?"
      [S]aid Willy... "Glue is your only friend." So Rose glued the halves of my foot together.... I, however, could not but feel a misgiving that this was the first warning of my share in the invariable fate of my race. For I had already lived long enough to be aware that the existence of a doll, like that of everything else, has its limits. Either by sudden accidents, such as loss of limbs, or by the daily wear and tear of life, decay gradually makes its progress in us, and we fade away as surely as the most delicate of the fragile race of mortals.
      ~Richard Hengist Horne, The Doll and Her Friends; or, Memoirs of the Lady Seraphina, 1868  [Revised edition of Horne's "Memoirs of a London Doll," 1846. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

      I myself had a large circle of silent acquaintances. When other little girls came to drink tea, they often brought their dolls to spend the evening with me. Then I was in my glory. There was a constant supply of provisions: salmon, ham, bread, fine cheese, pies, and fruit, which was always ripe and in season, winter or summer. The currants were as large as apples and two cherries filled a dish. At these pleasant parties I saw a great range of characters: pretty English damsels, a Turkish sultana, a Swiss peasant, the Queen and Prince Albert, Sir Walter Scott, and Miss Edgeworth have all dined with me on the same day, and Robinson Crusoe came in the evening.
      But it was at these social meetings that I became most fully aware of the liability of dolls to loss of limbs. I never remember giving a party at which the guests could boast of possessing all their legs and arms. The lame footman, too, was propped up against the sideboard, where he stood looking respectable but awkward. Many an ingenious contrivance hid or supplied the deficiencies, and we were happy in spite of our losses; still, such was the case...
      ~Richard Hengist Horne, The Doll and Her Friends; or, Memoirs of the Lady Seraphina, 1868  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

But still dolls will be dolls to the end of all time! ~"The Nursery," The Good Child's Picture-Book of Pet Animals, c.1866  [Published anonymously, my best guess at an author is Laura Valentine. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Dolls will be dolls... ~Richard Hengist Horne, The Doll and Her Friends; or, Memoirs of the Lady Seraphina, 1868  [The full: "For it is not to be supposed that our devotion to human beings precludes us from cultivating the society of our own species. Dolls will be dolls; and they have a natural sympathy with each other, notwithstanding the companionship of the race of man. Most little girls are aware of this fact, and provide suitable society for their dolls. I myself had a large circle of silent acquaintances..." —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

There comes a time in every rightly-constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure. ~Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Childhood is that wonderful time of life when all you need to do to lose weight is take a bath. ~Author Unknown

This, too, is why our life in childhood is so full of infinite significance. Then, all is of equal importance to us; we hear all, we see all, all impressions affect us equally; while, when more advanced in years, we act with more definite ends, busy ourselves more exclusively with details, and laboriously exchange the pure gold of intuition for the paper-money of book definitions, and our lives gain in breadth what they lose in depth and intensity. Now we are grown-up and people of consequence, we are always getting into new houses.... Even our clothes are strange to us, we hardly know how many buttons has the very coat on our back. ~Heinrich Heine, "A Tour in the Harz" (1824), Travel-Pictures, translated from German

The older I grow the more earnestly I feel that the few joys of childhood are the best that life has to give. ~Ellen Glasgow

I love to swing in memories
sparkling time so long ago
having a good time
shoes off in the damp grass
stars and fireworks
home and peace.
~Terri Guillemets, "Happy childhood," 2018, blackout poetry created from Danielle Steel, Fairy Tale, 2017, page 259

The world knows how to straighten out a spoiled child but never makes it up to a child deprived. ~Robert Brault,

Old age lives minutes slowly, hours quickly; childhood chews hours and swallows minutes. ~Malcolm de Chazal

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