Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend Week Two Chapters 22-42 ––Max's parents























We haven't talked much about Max's parents.
It's obvious that Max's mom is the bigger bread winner but the family dynamic doesn't seem to suffer too much by this as they're a loving couple and parents in spite of or maybe because of their unique situation being parents to a special needs child.

So let's chat for a while about Max's mom and dad

Has your opinion of them changed at all since the novel began

What's your over all feelings about them, their reactions so far to all that's happened and their feelings about Max.

Again please only use these as a starting point please bring up anything that concerns you or you want to bring to our attention.





18 comments:

  1. It is interesting what e treme stress will do to even the warmest relationships. In the case of Max's parent, there was alreay a tug-of-war of sorts happening on the care and tratmentvof Max. MaxXs dad did not handle Max's specialness all that well and tended to ignore it. Now we have a major traumatic event and those already taunt strings of communication are fraying even more. How very well the story and characters reflect life. I have had the privelege of knowing and being friends with several families with extracspecial children. All too often they were one parent families because the abscent parent could NOT handle the stresses and "guilt" of their most prized gift. They had no idea the great blessings and joys they missed be aused they never allowed themselves to see their child as a blessing. One parent. Cannot do it alone, and spend the much needed energy fighting the other 9arent at every turn. Okay enough of my soap box. :)
    I love Max's mom. She is doing her best and is willing to do whatever she needs to do. I think losing Max is opening dad's eyes to the blessing and prize he has...maybe he will come to see the beuaty of Max....
    Karen

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    1. Karen, thanks for your comment.

      and great segue into this.

      See I agree with what you're saying but I tend to give more leeway to Max's dad. Yes he plays ball with him like he's a little Babe Ruth but I still see unconditional love from him. Yes he has the occasional tug of war with Max's mom but they're still obviously and in spite of the difficulties of having a special needs child a loving couple. They're still contemplating having another child and even though Max's dad makes less than his mom and he tends to be a bit embarrassed by his profession he's always there in his role as father and husband.

      Maybe it's because of the fact that I've seen men leave because they couldn't deal with the needs of a child who needs more from their wives than they do. But I like and respect Max's dad.

      I think on a whole men look at things more literally while women more figuratively and especially in the case of Max's mom and dad.

      oops I knocked over your soapbox :)

      Thoughts

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    2. That's okay. My soapbox may suffer from a bad case of rosy glasses. :)

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    3. I have a theory:

      Women are more comfortable with problems than men. Men tend to want to solve all problems immediately, because a problem is a threat to our ego. If we can't solve the problem, one of our solutions is to ignore it. Pretend it doesn't exist.

      Women are more comfortable with problems. They don't mind talking about them, thinking about them, addressing them with more long-term approaches. They accept that life is full of problems and do not feel threatened by their existence or feel the need to solve them immediately.

      This is what I think is going on between Max's parents. I think.

      Thoughts on my grand theory?

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    4. Matthew Hi! as you can tell we're really enjoying your novel.

      Great theory I think you may be on to something.

      What do you think peeps?

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  2. Honestly, I'm really not crazy about Max's dad at this point. One would think with as old as Max is, his eyes would already be open to Max's problems. I also want to bury my head in the sand, but at some point you have to pull it out and face reality. I like his mother very much, not only because she sees and loves Max for who he is, but also because she understands him enough to know what he appreciates and can tolerate. Sorry, no soap box here, just some straightforward feelings. ;-) I'm sure I'll be changing my mind about his dad, but I'm not there yet.
    Elaine

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    1. Elaine, what no soapbox :)

      You never know you may never like Max's dad

      I'm not really sure why I'm making excuses for him, just my tender heart.
      thanks for the comment

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    2. You DO have a tender heart, and I should take a lesson. I've just found, through my experiences of reading books with you, that there's generally some twist that makes me feel differently at the end. But yes, I'm fully prepared to never like Max's dad.

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    3. Wow see I love a woman with an open mind :)

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  3. Elaine. I felt t he same way. You know. Just love the kid, he's yous. He's prec ious just like he is... maybe dad will come around
    Karen

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    1. Karen, not just love him the way he is, but accept that he has problems that need attention. You never know, if you take care of those problems things might improve...Fancy that!! ;-)
      Elaine

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  4. This sounds interesting, all of your comments have me curious.

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    1. Thanks for the post Kim, it's a good time had by all when we chat about books. Glad it's public now instead of only at B&N. See what you missed :)

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  5. Since the novel began, we see how the roles between Max's mom and dad have been reversed. In the beginning Max's mom was the stronger and more dominant of the two, but after Max went missing, we see that his dad took on a stronger role. In the principal's office we see Max's mom leaning on him for support physically and emotionally, while Max's dad took over questioning the police and the principal about how Max could have gone missing while on their watch.

    I've always liked Max's mom. She is Max's biggest supporter, always trying to find ways to help Max. She even sneaks into his room at night and kisses him without him knowing, so as not to upset him. She recognizes that there is an issue with Max that needs to be addressed and wants to find the help he needs. Max's dad on the other hand isn't ready to admit there may be a problem with his son. I do believe he loves Max. I've never seen him be mean to Max or declare he doesn't want anything to do with his son. In fact, he does things with Max that any father and son might do together, like play catch in the yard. I just don't think he's at a point yet where he's ready to face reality. For now, he'd rather ignore all the signs and live in a fantasy world.

    I can see how much both of Max's parents love him. Max's disappearance is going to change them both forever, no matter the outcome. My hope is that Max returns home safely to them. I think if he is Max's parents will be on the same page about him from now on. While this situation could tear them apart, I think if Max is brought home they will be so happy to have their little boy back, they will be able to face any challenges life might bring as a united front. They will appreciate the gift that Max is more than ever before and I think his father will be more willing to admit that his son needs help.

    April

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    1. Hi April, thanks for the comments.

      Yes you are right

      you are all right

      Why am I making excuses for Max's dad I do know that I still feel he's handling things in a way that I don't disagree with.
      This might be a good time for Matthew to chime in

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  6. Matthew, we've been having a great discussion this week and now about Max's parents.

    to me you've made them so realistic they could be neighbors, friends even family

    But I seem to be the only one who's not done on Max's dad.

    How did you feel about him while developing his character?

    thanks and thanks for such a wonderful novel to discuss.
    I've even picked it later in the year for my in-person book club

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    1. Hi Debbie,
      I felt great sympathy for Max's dad throughout the book. As a man, I can tell you that many of us are quite effective at denial, and Max's dad has some of this. But he also has hope, and hope almost always flies in the face of what is likely to be true. That's what makes it so hard.

      I was on Skype recently with an Italian literary festival, and a psychiatrist who read the book loved the portrayal of the parents. She said that parents of children with autism often have to mourn the loss of the child they thought they had before they can accept the child that they do have. Max's dad is in this process, I think, whereas his wife has passed through that phase already.

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    2. Thanks Matthew for responding to my question. And for your comments as we dive into your novel.

      What a very sad but true statement by your psychiatrist, to think you as a parent would have to mourn a still living child is almost too much to imagine.

      I actually have two author friends who have autistic children one the parents stayed together and one they didn't.

      thanks again for answering my question.

      Delete

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