I am very happy to introduce my guest for the week, Dianne Gardner, who asks if teenagers can turn their awareness of their parent’s inadequacies into respect for them, as Ian, the main protagonist in her book does, and grasp what a large part the power of love plays. Welcome Dianne and thank you for being here.
As much as Ian wants him to be, Alex Wilson isn’t a perfect father.
I’ve heard a little buzz about my book Deception Peak concerning that very subject. Alex Wilson, a grown man, a father, doesn’t make excellent choices, he’s a little selfish actually and the reader wonders if they can trust him. But really, as they say, there’s a method behind the madness! It wasn’t an accident.
I wanted to write a book that teen-age boys can relate to. I don’t come from a perfect family, and my kids certainly weren’t raised in one. I see many, many children being raised in single parent homes. Often the parents aren’t much more mature than the kids. Not their fault. Perhaps they had emotional issues that set them back. In Alex’s case, he’s still surviving the death of his spouse, and coming to grips with being a single parent. No one taught him how and he certainly didn’t expect things to turn out like they did.
A broken family means imperfection.
How could I put a perfect dad in a book meant for teens living in an imperfect world?
They’d know I was lying to them.
And you know, there isn’t anything in the Book of Life that says just because we reach a certain age (adulthood— when’s that by the way?) we’re going to make perfect choices… like there’s some software programmed into our brains that clicks on at age such-and-such.
If I were writing that message in my stories, than woe to the kids who’d be waiting around for the reboot!
It just doesn’t happen. And it isn’t fair to kids to try and convince them otherwise.
We are in the middle of a journey. Child, young adult, adult, senior, whatever stage we’re at, we’re learning and growing. Hopefully we get some sense as we grow older, but there are events in life that can set us back too.
What’s important, and something that I wanted to make sure the reader gets from the series, is that no matter how many faults Ian finally realizes his father has-he still loves him.
No matter how many personal problems parents have today; problems like Dad not paying child support, or not coming around to see their children enough, or Mom drinking too much, or Mom and Dad fighting, or even Mom and Dad not understanding what the kids are going through…the real issue Deception Peak addresses is, how can I love my parent despite his or her inadequacies?
For Ian, he doesn’t even see it as a choice. He loves his dad. Period. But he wrestles with passing judgment on him none the less. It isn’t until his eyes are opened to how others view the world, that he realizes his critical eye.
Indeed, the need for family becomes evident in the midst of tragedy, and Ian is exposed to tragedy.
One of the most crucial eye openers Ian gets is when he meets Vilfred for the first time. A cripple, unable to move but for his friendly smile and wise advice, Ian learns the story of Vilfred’s sacrifice to save an undeserving people from their own idol worship. It humbles Ian. Vilfred is a man who was much like his own father once. A hunter, strong, caring. With Vilfred as his mentor, Ian begins to appreciate his father, and to respect him.
As a side note, compared to some of the situations kids find themselves in these days I’d say Alex Wilson is a pretty cool dad – regardless of taking the plunge with his son into a dangerous and mysterious realm.
- PPBF: Parenting Advice from Andy Griffith…Set the Rules! (viviankirkfield.wordpress.com)
- 6 Lessons About Being a Man from Growing Up Fatherless (mryoungscholar.wordpress.com)