Monday, November 18, 2013


So I recently diagnosed my cranky and chronically tired daughter with what I called growing-up-itis.  The diagnosis was confirmed when all physical causes were ruled out, to my relief.  But as I talked to her about her malaise, a phrase from a book came back to me: "You have a bad case.  Of what?  Of growing up."  It took me a minute to place the quote and then, I knew.  It is from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, one of my favorite books of all time.

A quick perusal of my copy of the book turned up the exact quote, which I then read to my daughter (all italics are original):

"Everything was changing.  Francie was in a panic.  Her world was slipping away from her and what would take its place?  Still, what was different anyhow?  Sh read a page from the Bible and Shakespeare every night the same as always.  She practiced the piano every day for an hour.  She put pennies in the tin can bank.  The junk shop was still there; the stores were all the same.  Nothing was changing.  She was the one who was changing.

"She told papa about it.  He made her stick out her tongue and he felt her wrist.  He shook his head sadly and said,

'You have a bad case, a very bad case.'

'Of what?'

'Growing up.'

"Growing up spoiled a lot of things."

And that sums it up perfectly.

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