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Writing Cormier's Children
Robert Cormier's letter to Dana 15 March 1989
In this letter to Dana, presumably a young reader, Cormier writes about finding inspiration for his novels in the lives of his children. He also speaks to the timeless nature of emotions, especially those of adolescence.
177 Main St. USA, July 1972
In this column, Cormier writes about the age transitions all four of his children are experiencing: 4 to 5, 12 to 13, 15 to 16, and 20 to 21. Each stage is a different moment in time. Near the end of the column, Cormier talks of how parents, too, pass through different developmental stages. And, speaking from his own perspective as a father he reflects on how a son turning into a man makes for a new friend, but a daughter turning into a woman comes with a sense of loss.
"Trying To Convince My Heart" John Fitch IV Column
In this column Cormier shares the bittersweet feeling of a parent saying goodbye to his child, over and over again, as she grows up. Even in the happy moments of children's summer trips to camp, to Cape Cod, or when they are bubbling with excitement over their first crushes, Cormier feels pangs of loneliness as he watches them grow toward adulthood, and away from childhood.
"When It's Time To Say Goodbye" John Fitch IV Column
In this column, Cormier writes about saying goodbye to his son after settling him in at the college dormitory. He ponders the differences between saying goodbye to a son and saying goodbye to a daughter. The father-daughter goodbye is more sentimentally or emotionally expressive than that of the father-son goodbye. He comes to realize that all of their lives have been filled with goodbyes and that all has already been said. This column was later reprinted in the St. Anthony's Messenger in the "1177 Main St. USA" column in November 1972.
"A Bad Time for Fathers" Woman's Day
This short piece recounts Cormier's bittersweet feelings as his daughter prepares to leave for college in Boston. He shares an awkward exchange with his daughter's boyfriend, who is also distraught that she will be far away. While the father looks down on the boyfriend as a clutz and annoyance, he also identifies with him and perceives him as a competitor for his daughter's affection.
This magazine article tells the story of several fathers whose daughters have left home for college. Interviews with sets of fathers and daughters echo themes of tension between fathers and daughters particularly regarding emotional intimacy and communication as well as newfound understandings of one another. A portion of the article details Cormier's memory of the night before his daughter left for college when he faced the reality that she was not a child and, at the same time, recalled scenes from her childhood. The article also mentions the communication and letter writing habits of fathers and how those habits differ from those of mothers. The article says that mothers focus on daily life, grades, and health while fathers talk about boys and political or social issues of the day.
Are Women More Emotional Than Men? In this article in Scientific American by Cindi May (2017 Aug. 30), the author surveys popular culture sensibilities and portrayals of men and women and juxtaposes those with several pieces of recent research.
Why the Father-Daughter Relationship is So Important. In this article in Medical Daily/Healthy Living, by Susan Scutti (2013 June 12), the author traces ways in which these relationships leave their mark on daughters whether for good or ill, both physically and psychologically.
Life Span Development. In this Annenberg Learner (2001) psychology program, the reader can view a presentation that is based on the idea of a life-long developmental arc.