Cursed by a Happy Childhood is a warm, funny, bighearted collection of one dad’s reminiscences about the kinds of lessons we all learn--sometimes the hard way, often without even realizing it--on the road to becoming a grown-up. The book began as a diary of sorts that Carl Lennertz wanted to keep for his eleven-year-old daughter, a way to let her know that he understood something about being a child and dealing with the milestones she would soon be approaching as a teenager.
As Carl began to write, he realized that his stories--of friendship and cliques, fitting in while being yourself (a neat trick!), music and books, first job and first love, teachers and other role models--are stories we all share and are as poignant and recognizable to parents and adults as they would be to his daughter. The book soon grew into a keenly observed, deeply felt reflection on the ways we’re all pretty much the same despite the obvious differences demanded by our stations in life--old or young, parent or child, male or female. Who, after all, ever really gets control of their inner kaleidoscopic mix of hopefulness, vulnerability, silliness, uncertainty, ambition . . . and fear of looking dorky in front of the cool kids?
Cursed by a Happy Childhood is rich with vignettes of youth and life that point to truths larger than the stories themselves. Most make us smile, a few make us wince, and all epitomize the power of memory to entertain, educate, and affect. The lesson that Carl learned--which we can all learn through his gently humorous and sometimes profound words--is that the little moments are the big moments, and that we can and should enjoy our own stories and take heart in the magic way they have of helping us feel a little closer, a little stronger, and a little happier to face each day.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Cursed by a Happy Childhood|
|Release Date: 05-04-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Cursed by a Happy...|
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Cursed by a Happy Childhood
To My Fellow Parents
This book began as a diary I started to keep for my 11-year old daughter.
She was two years away from a birthday with "teen" in it, so I felt the time was right to put down on paper some thoughts and advice that might be of use to her in the future. I started with some important things happening in her life now, and then, if it applied, I'd make a connection to a good memory from my childhood and teen years. Everything I planned to record were things we'd either talked about already or would when the time arose, but I felt a strong need to get it all down in one place.
Was I really writing this in order to pass along some supposed wisdom to her, or was I doing this for myself? Were things just happening so fast that I felt a need to take time out to look back as well as anticipate what lay ahead? (There's an idea: time-outs for parents.)
A beautifully bound journal that had long been awaiting use (where does the time go?) was soon filled with a stream of reflections. I hadn't handwritten so many pages since the long-ago college days of earnest ten-page letters to a faraway friend or girlfriend, but I had tapped a reservoir of wonderful recollections of my rural upbringing. There was so much I wanted to say, but I worried that my adolescence might not be relevant, that it was just too different a place and time. Me: boy/small town/Sixties. Her: girl/big city/2002 and counting. But I was surprised, pleasantly so, at what I found as I wrote.
It has been a dozen years of parental learning on the job for my wife and me, and what did we know going in? Teachers have degrees, but parents are "graduated" with a hodgepo