During the whole of my childhood I knew only two youngsters whose families were not intact. One was a boy in my neighborhood, quiet and almost unbearably shy, whose father had died and who was being raised by his mother. The other was my classmate for part of a year in junior high school. This boy would not talk much about himself, but we were somehow able to learn that he was being raised by his grandparents, following his own parents’ divorce.
This was the only divorce I and my friends had ever heard about. The boy himself was different from most of us—impulsive, hyperactive, and, though bright, unable to focus his attention on work. He became so disruptive that he was suspended from school, an event unique for that time and place. In my own family circle, his circumstances were felt to be the height of misfortune, and his fate was discussed in the most sorrowful terms. “What will happen to the poor child? What other troubles lie in wait for him?”
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