One of the trickiest bits of the books is conveying a true and warm sense of parent love even as the parents of the books are off on their own projects and dealing with business. It is very important to me that parent positivity remains a Wilfair strong suit, even as the main characters weather things on their own.

Fair is very much connected to her mom and dad, via video chat, and she speaks with them several times a day. She spends some quality time with her father, too, in "Redwoodian" and "Stay Awhile."

Monty and Gomery are absolutely their moms' biggest fans. I think the cousins are both ready to leave the motel, age- and maturity-wise, but they feel complicated about leaving their mothers to run things. Not that their moms aren't capable, but for support reasons. It has been established Gomery and Monty cover the motel's nightbell, to give their mothers a break.

I just know that if Gomery got an apartment he'd wake up every night at 2 a.m. and wonder if his mother was having to check in after-hours guests. Monty would probably not wake up at 2 a.m. every night but he'd likely quiz his mom about how often she was waking up for the bell.

And because she didn't want him to worry, Billie Overbove would probably fib to her son and say "almost never." And Monty would probably fib to himself, wanting to believe that.

Ages 19, 20, and 21 are funny. You can live apart from your family, and manage, for the most part. But you still have complicated feelings and little homesicknesses over your parents or siblings or the people you spent the majority of your life living with. Everything you've known has very recently changed in a major way, and it can be discombobulating.

You also are walking that line between still wanting and needing guidance and wanting and needing to try things out and make mistakes. Actually, scratch that. At 19 or 20 you're more on the make-mistakes side of equation.

But I suppose parents make mistakes, too. I think about Sutton's father almost more than any other character who has been mentioned but not met in the books.

There are parents yet to meet, maybe related to our Wilfair friends or maybe parental in spirit. I adore both.

And there are some wonderful moms who visit this blog. You've shared sweet kid photos and you've weighed in from a parental perspective. I support this, invite it, welcome it, and love. Happy Mother's Day! And Happy Mother's Day to my own incredible mom and mom-in-law, too! xo

cr: normanack


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