Friday, April 21, 2006

I have been thinking a lot about these two paragraphs out of Stephanie Zacharek's 2002 review of About a Boy.


More specifically, "About a Boy" is about the way human beings trade information and observations and feelings with one another, and about how others can sometimes make you see your way toward being the person you didn't even know you wanted to be. It's also about the ways parents unwittingly cripple their own children with their love, even by doing something as seemingly small as making them wear a goofy sweater to school.

When parents tell their children (as they rightly should), "Individuality is wonderful! Embrace it!" it's sometimes their own individuality they're championing, after having firmly imprinted it on their kids. Without being churlish or mean, "About a Boy" shows us how hard it is for parents to grow up, too, suggesting that letting your child become his or her own person might be the final and most important (not to mention the most difficult) act of shedding your own childhood.



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