Did you know that every fourth Sunday in July is National Parents’ Day in the USA? Well, I didn’t either. I knew about Grandparents’ Day (the Sunday after Labor Day) and Children’s Day (second Sunday in June). Of course, we all know when Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are (yes, every day is Mother’s Day too, for those counting days).
“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2-3)
Since today is National Parents’ Day, several things come to my mind as I write this blog post: my own parents and my parents-in-law, myself as a parent, and my book parents.
Are your parents still around? My father passed away some years ago, but my mother is in fragile health. Due to the pandemic waves around the world, my brothers don’t want me to visit her yet. The last thing I’d want to do is pick up airport and airplane germs and carry them to her. However, we talk on the phone pretty regularly.
My father-in-law has also passed away a while back, but I’m glad that my mother-in-law is still around. We have meals together, watch TV together, chat about life and such. We both have cats, and thankfully the cats get along well with each other.
How about you? If your parents are still alive and don’t live in the same town as you do, how often do you visit them? If they live in the same town (or within driving distance of you), do you get together with them often?
As for me as a parent, I only have one child, and he’s in college. Whoa. Where did the time go! The other day, I wondered if I should dye my hair or leave it as it is, “salt and pepper.” I won’t go on, lest I accidentally reveal my age. Haha.
To be sure, raising a child is very hard, in my opinion. There is no practice run. In my case, with an only child, there was no older sibling to experiment my parenting skills on. In fact, it’s by the grace and mercy of God that we managed to learn through trial and error. By the time I found a book about godly parenting, my son was almost done with high school. As the first generation Christians in our families, my husband and I had to look to God, exemplary parents in the Bible, and godly parents in church for parenting guidance.
In the fiction universe, what types of parents do you like to read? What types of parents do you dislike?
In my story world, I love writing about the different types of parents in my books. I do go up the family tree in some of my books, and in one case, all the way to 1698. In other cases, I don’t talk much about my characters’ family trees.
Sometimes, I carry the story of the parents across the series and into the next series. For example, some of my readers might remember Jerome Pendegrast, the owner of the riverboat that houses Riverside Chapel in my Savannah Sweethearts series.
We first meet Jerome in Ask You Later (Prequel). The church prays for this widower’s salvation. He eventually gets saved, but is still single in Walk You There (Book 5), in which we meet his daughter, Tamsyn, the main character of that book.
Somewhere between Books 5-9, Jerome starts dating a widow from his church, Rhoda Untermeyer, and gets embroiled in her family drama in Wish You Joy (Book 9). They marry off the page, and Jerome gets along well with his stepson, the main character in Call You Home (Book 10).
Before we get to Book 10, there is a detour with family secrets involving Jerome in Reach for Me (Book 2 in the spinoff Vacation Sweethearts series), but since there is no way around the spoilers, it suffices to say that Jerome finally finds closure in a family matter.
Often, my book parents do not carry over to another series or have their own multi-book side story like Jerome. Whew. It’s easier for me to write about parents who stay within the confines of the same series. For example, Ned and Rose Brooks in Seaside Chapel.
Ned and Rose Brooks
We meet these two billionaires in His Longing Heart (Book 1), when their daughter Brinley comes home for her sister’s birthday party. Ned is a Christian, but Rose is not. Ned gives financial advice to his daughter’s fiancé.
Ned and Rose appear again in their son’s novel, His Morning Kiss (Book 3), in which there is drama involving their granddaughter.
Since Seaside Chapel is still ongoing (look for 12 novels in this collection), I can’t say whether these two are going to appear again in future books. However, I can say that they are patrons of the Sea Islands Symphony Orchestra (SISO) and the new SISO Hall that’s being constructed on St. Simon’s Island. So we might not have seen the last of them yet.
More Questions for you:
- Among all the novels you have read, have you ever been fascinated by parents in the book, causing you to want to know more about the couple?
- Do you celebrate Parents’ Day at all? If you do, what plans do you have in mind?
If you’re a parent, I wish you a Happy Parents’ Day tomorrow!
Joyfully in Jesus,