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Holland: What Childhood Should Be

Holland is for me what childhood should be: freedom, bikes, canals, fields. The brick row house in downtown, The Hague, where I spent the 5 middle years of my childhood was the best home I ever had. To think of its big, leaky bedrooms with fireplaces, its ballroom-sized bathrooms, and its furniture-stuffed attics is to bring me a sensation of sleepy protectedness. A canopy that holds fast even under drumming rain. That home had for me what Patricia Hampl, the memoirist, calls "the radiance of the past," for it was home the way it is when you are young: the home your parents give you.

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