“When I try to see her I see more distinctly how our lives are pieces in a pattern and to judge one truly you must consider how this side is squeezed and that indented and a third expanded and none are really isolated, and so I conceive that there were many reasons then to make your mother show herself a little other than she was. We lived in a state of anxious growth; school, reports, professions to be chosen, marriage for the elders, books coming out, bills, health – the future was always too near and too much of a question for any sedate expression. All these activities, too, charged the air with personal emotions and urged even children, and certainly “the eldest,” to develop one side prematurely. To help, to do something was desirable, not to obtrude diffident wishes, irrelevant and possibly expensive.
So your mother, whose sight seemed in some ways so clear, took it upon herself to be what people call “practical”…”
Virginia Woolf, Reminiscences