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He [the boy] remembered climbing the steps to the stage with his parents, his father by his side that year instead of with the Nurturers, since it was the year that he would be given a newchild of his own.

It is from The Giver. I have read this sentence 10 times and still can't pin it down. What is said there?

My guess is that the boy went to the stage with his father instead of with the Nurturers. The reason for that was that the Father was receiving a child himself. But then why the word parents was used if only the father accompanied him.

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    Maybe it means the father was with his son, instead of the father being with the Nurturers? – J.R. Jul 7 '13 at 16:31
  • He [the boy] remembered climbing the steps to the stage with his parents, his father by his side that year instead of with the Nurturers, since it was the year that he (his father) would be given a new child by his own (son). – JayHook Jul 7 '13 at 17:24
  • @JayHook Not quite; "by his own" is a typo here, it should say "of his own." – WendiKidd Jul 7 '13 at 17:57
  • @Wendi, do you think the question's title is grammatical? – user114 Jul 7 '13 at 18:13
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    @Carlo Well, you didn't ask me, but I'll answer anyway ;-) It was ungrammatical with if, which looked like a typo for of, so I changed it. I also changed the to this, but it was grammatical without that change. – snailcar Jul 7 '13 at 18:28
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The speaker's father is a Nurturer. That's one of the jobs in their society; taking care of the "newchildren", and then handing them off to their families in this ceremony. Since that's his job, normally he would stand with the Nurturers and give out babies to the families that come up on the stage.

However this year, the father is getting his own "newchild", so he isn't working with the Nurturers this year. Instead the father, his wife, and the son walk up on the stage together and get a baby from other Nurturers.

If you read a few paragraphs down, the father comments that she was one of his favorites in the nursery, so it's heavily implied that he was a Nurturer. I don't remember if it was mentioned earlier in the book; it's been a long time since I read it. But regardless, from context, this is the logical explanation. :)

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