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vivico1
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midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please

In the middle of the book, we are seeing how Leigh feels and acts differently towards her son and daughter Kara. Parents often do favor one child over another, and thats pretty normal tho some are afraid to say it, they think it means they dont love them both or something, when they do. But we are seeing some real differences in how Leigh relates and what she thinks about each. Why do you think that is? What are the differences? How could they affect each child? Please no end of book revelations on how any relationships turn out here. Let's talk about what we are hearing here and why you think that is.
Vivian
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kiakar
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please



vivico1 wrote:
In the middle of the book, we are seeing how Leigh feels and acts differently towards her son and daughter Kara. Parents often do favor one child over another, and thats pretty normal tho some are afraid to say it, they think it means they dont love them both or something, when they do. But we are seeing some real differences in how Leigh relates and what she thinks about each. Why do you think that is? What are the differences? How could they affect each child? Please no end of book revelations on how any relationships turn out here. Let's talk about what we are hearing here and why you think that is.




I believe that you can relate better to a certain child than maybe another one. Usually the opposite of yourself, you can deal with better because sometimes you carry resentment or embarrassment over your childhood or the way you saw yourself back then. Sometimes you want things to be so different with this child than was with you. Leigh saw the shyness and quietness in her son so she could relate more to him but then she had wanted to be like Kara, lively, popular and smart, but she can't verbally explain to Kara why she resists the closeness deep inside she really wants with her because she does have the life she had wanted for herself. With Leigh, she chose the child that more resembled her life but looked on with awe at Kara because she is who she wanted to be as a teen ager.
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Wrighty
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please


kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:
In the middle of the book, we are seeing how Leigh feels and acts differently towards her son and daughter Kara. Parents often do favor one child over another, and thats pretty normal tho some are afraid to say it, they think it means they dont love them both or something, when they do. But we are seeing some real differences in how Leigh relates and what she thinks about each. Why do you think that is? What are the differences? How could they affect each child? Please no end of book revelations on how any relationships turn out here. Let's talk about what we are hearing here and why you think that is.




I believe that you can relate better to a certain child than maybe another one. Usually the opposite of yourself, you can deal with better because sometimes you carry resentment or embarrassment over your childhood or the way you saw yourself back then. Sometimes you want things to be so different with this child than was with you. Leigh saw the shyness and quietness in her son so she could relate more to him but then she had wanted to be like Kara, lively, popular and smart, but she can't verbally explain to Kara why she resists the closeness deep inside she really wants with her because she does have the life she had wanted for herself. With Leigh, she chose the child that more resembled her life but looked on with awe at Kara because she is who she wanted to be as a teen ager.



There are many factors that affects how a parent relates to each of their children. I think age is a major contributor. A child might be so enjoyable when they are little but become miserable as a teenager. They might not be so likeable at those times and hard to relate to but that doesn't mean they are any less loved. The different stages that children go through are defining who they are and they are always changing. It's like having split personalities sometimes! :smileywink: Growing up is a rocky road and there's no instruction manual for it.
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please


Wrighty wrote:

kiakar wrote:




I believe that you can relate better to a certain child than maybe another one. Usually the opposite of yourself, you can deal with better because sometimes you carry resentment or embarrassment over your childhood or the way you saw yourself back then. Sometimes you want things to be so different with this child than was with you. Leigh saw the shyness and quietness in her son so she could relate more to him but then she had wanted to be like Kara, lively, popular and smart, but she can't verbally explain to Kara why she resists the closeness deep inside she really wants with her because she does have the life she had wanted for herself. With Leigh, she chose the child that more resembled her life but looked on with awe at Kara because she is who she wanted to be as a teen ager.



There are many factors that affects how a parent relates to each of their children. I think age is a major contributor. A child might be so enjoyable when they are little but become miserable as a teenager. They might not be so likeable at those times and hard to relate to but that doesn't mean they are any less loved. The different stages that children go through are defining who they are and they are always changing. It's like having split personalities sometimes! :smileywink: Growing up is a rocky road and there's no instruction manual for it.


I love that you are willing to talk about favoring one child for various reasons,without worrying that someone will think that means you love one more than another. So many people are afraid to even say that, just like when someone is pregnant now, and you ask, do you want a girl or boy, well you know most people know which they are hoping for, but all are PC and just say, oh either is fine as long as they are healthy LOL well dont we already know everyone wants a healthy baby?? That is a PC dodge lol. As for the situation here, I think Kiakar in her last line there really has hit on something about how Leigh thinks about her two kids. She definitely seems to relate more to her son, than to Kara and in her case, its really making for a bad connection between her and Kara. Dont you think this is the more drastic side of that favoring one over the other, the unhealthy kind? It can poison a relationship if not corrected or understood, dont you think?
Vivian
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kiakar
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please



Wrighty wrote:

kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:
In the middle of the book, we are seeing how Leigh feels and acts differently towards her son and daughter Kara. Parents often do favor one child over another, and thats pretty normal tho some are afraid to say it, they think it means they dont love them both or something, when they do. But we are seeing some real differences in how Leigh relates and what she thinks about each. Why do you think that is? What are the differences? How could they affect each child? Please no end of book revelations on how any relationships turn out here. Let's talk about what we are hearing here and why you think that is.




I believe that you can relate better to a certain child than maybe another one. Usually the opposite of yourself, you can deal with better because sometimes you carry resentment or embarrassment over your childhood or the way you saw yourself back then. Sometimes you want things to be so different with this child than was with you. Leigh saw the shyness and quietness in her son so she could relate more to him but then she had wanted to be like Kara, lively, popular and smart, but she can't verbally explain to Kara why she resists the closeness deep inside she really wants with her because she does have the life she had wanted for herself. With Leigh, she chose the child that more resembled her life but looked on with awe at Kara because she is who she wanted to be as a teen ager.



There are many factors that affects how a parent relates to each of their children. I think age is a major contributor. A child might be so enjoyable when they are little but become miserable as a teenager. They might not be so likeable at those times and hard to relate to but that doesn't mean they are any less loved. The different stages that children go through are defining who they are and they are always changing. It's like having split personalities sometimes! :smileywink: Growing up is a rocky road and there's no instruction manual for it.




This is so true, Wrighty! If only we had a magic wand for raising kids. That is the only thing that would make things smoothier.
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please



vivico1 wrote:

Wrighty wrote:

kiakar wrote:




I believe that you can relate better to a certain child than maybe another one. Usually the opposite of yourself, you can deal with better because sometimes you carry resentment or embarrassment over your childhood or the way you saw yourself back then. Sometimes you want things to be so different with this child than was with you. Leigh saw the shyness and quietness in her son so she could relate more to him but then she had wanted to be like Kara, lively, popular and smart, but she can't verbally explain to Kara why she resists the closeness deep inside she really wants with her because she does have the life she had wanted for herself. With Leigh, she chose the child that more resembled her life but looked on with awe at Kara because she is who she wanted to be as a teen ager.



There are many factors that affects how a parent relates to each of their children. I think age is a major contributor. A child might be so enjoyable when they are little but become miserable as a teenager. They might not be so likeable at those times and hard to relate to but that doesn't mean they are any less loved. The different stages that children go through are defining who they are and they are always changing. It's like having split personalities sometimes! :smileywink: Growing up is a rocky road and there's no instruction manual for it.


I love that you are willing to talk about favoring one child for various reasons,without worrying that someone will think that means you love one more than another. So many people are afraid to even say that, just like when someone is pregnant now, and you ask, do you want a girl or boy, well you know most people know which they are hoping for, but all are PC and just say, oh either is fine as long as they are healthy LOL well dont we already know everyone wants a healthy baby?? That is a PC dodge lol. As for the situation here, I think Kiakar in her last line there really has hit on something about how Leigh thinks about her two kids. She definitely seems to relate more to her son, than to Kara and in her case, its really making for a bad connection between her and Kara. Dont you think this is the more drastic side of that favoring one over the other, the unhealthy kind? It can poison a relationship if not corrected or understood, dont you think?




You are so right about favoring children. No matter what we say, we do. Of course more times than one, it seems we favor the good child, but that is just because that child is easier. We do not want difficult chores. Who does! So alot of times, we will admit, hey, I would rather deal with the good child and relish being with the good child. But we have to balance that time with the difficult too. We will be the ones to pay in the end if we do not give equal time to the problemed child. Its like when I was a medication nurse, I loved the quiet sweet easy going patient over the abusive, rude one that wanted to refuse their meds just when I am on a time schedule. But I know I have to deal with both, and sometimes I would be so stressed, I would pick the good one first but that leaves the worst for last and less energy to deal. So we have to learn to cope with the easy and difficult child. Life is not meant to be an easy street. So we face it and go on. Usually then it turns out ok.
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please


kiakar wrote:

You are so right about favoring children. No matter what we say, we do. Of course more times than one, it seems we favor the good child, but that is just because that child is easier. We do not want difficult chores. Who does! So alot of times, we will admit, hey, I would rather deal with the good child and relish being with the good child. But we have to balance that time with the difficult too. We will be the ones to pay in the end if we do not give equal time to the problemed child. Its like when I was a medication nurse, I loved the quiet sweet easy going patient over the abusive, rude one that wanted to refuse their meds just when I am on a time schedule. But I know I have to deal with both, and sometimes I would be so stressed, I would pick the good one first but that leaves the worst for last and less energy to deal. So we have to learn to cope with the easy and difficult child. Life is not meant to be an easy street. So we face it and go on. Usually then it turns out ok.


It may be easier to spend more time with the child that is behaving well but you are often spending more time with the child who isn't behaving so well. That can cause resentment for the child that is being good. When I was a teacher this was often a problem. There would be one or two kids in a class that would misbehave and it takes a lot of time and energy to deal with them. It's very similar to what Kiakar went through with her patients. My students who were doing what I had asked them to do would get very frustrated. They were behaving yet I was paying more attention to the other student. It was taking away from their fun during class time. It sends a very mixed message to the kids but it's hard to get around the situation.
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please

[ Edited ]

kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

Wrighty wrote:

kiakar wrote:




I believe that you can relate better to a certain child than maybe another one. Usually the opposite of yourself, you can deal with better because sometimes you carry resentment or embarrassment over your childhood or the way you saw yourself back then. Sometimes you want things to be so different with this child than was with you. Leigh saw the shyness and quietness in her son so she could relate more to him but then she had wanted to be like Kara, lively, popular and smart, but she can't verbally explain to Kara why she resists the closeness deep inside she really wants with her because she does have the life she had wanted for herself. With Leigh, she chose the child that more resembled her life but looked on with awe at Kara because she is who she wanted to be as a teen ager.



There are many factors that affects how a parent relates to each of their children. I think age is a major contributor. A child might be so enjoyable when they are little but become miserable as a teenager. They might not be so likeable at those times and hard to relate to but that doesn't mean they are any less loved. The different stages that children go through are defining who they are and they are always changing. It's like having split personalities sometimes! :smileywink: Growing up is a rocky road and there's no instruction manual for it.


I love that you are willing to talk about favoring one child for various reasons,without worrying that someone will think that means you love one more than another. So many people are afraid to even say that, just like when someone is pregnant now, and you ask, do you want a girl or boy, well you know most people know which they are hoping for, but all are PC and just say, oh either is fine as long as they are healthy LOL well dont we already know everyone wants a healthy baby?? That is a PC dodge lol. As for the situation here, I think Kiakar in her last line there really has hit on something about how Leigh thinks about her two kids. She definitely seems to relate more to her son, than to Kara and in her case, its really making for a bad connection between her and Kara. Dont you think this is the more drastic side of that favoring one over the other, the unhealthy kind? It can poison a relationship if not corrected or understood, dont you think?




You are so right about favoring children. No matter what we say, we do. Of course more times than one, it seems we favor the good child, but that is just because that child is easier. We do not want difficult chores. Who does! So alot of times, we will admit, hey, I would rather deal with the good child and relish being with the good child. But we have to balance that time with the difficult too. We will be the ones to pay in the end if we do not give equal time to the problemed child. Its like when I was a medication nurse, I loved the quiet sweet easy going patient over the abusive, rude one that wanted to refuse their meds just when I am on a time schedule. But I know I have to deal with both, and sometimes I would be so stressed, I would pick the good one first but that leaves the worst for last and less energy to deal. So we have to learn to cope with the easy and difficult child. Life is not meant to be an easy street. So we face it and go on. Usually then it turns out ok.


I guess what I find interesting and in more than a general parenting way about Leigh's relationship to her kids is that she seems closer to her son from day one. Which sure you may be closer to kids at one age than the other or who is easiest to get along with than the other but in her thoughts about them, you get that it is more than this. Both of her kids are good kids. The remoteness between her and Kara seems more than just that between any teen daughter and mother, its more. Her son she is, at least in her thoughts, more overly protective of than Kara. He seems frail, alone, awkward. Kara is popular and seems very self assured around others. You can see a mother being close to who she perceives as maybe a weaker child, in need, but why would that alienate you from the one doing great? Thats whats wrong here...thats what making it hard to connect to Kara now, this way of seeing them and her role to them that is now evident from before the accident.

I think from what we have learned so far about her young life with her mother, she may want her kids to BE more like Kara in fact is, but she has nothing to relate back to then on how to BE with them. I think she thinks she understands Justine's world better than Kara's because she sees herself in his vulnerability as a child. But I also think Justin is a pretty smart cookie and is probably handling some of his problems better than she thinks, and that he also knows shes tries for him out of a bit of her own need too. He is a pretty easy going boy but yes, shy and awkward. In other words, he has flaws, something Leigh can relate too. She doesn't know them in Kara, until now maybe and maybe thats why she is unsure what she feels about it and is trying to figure out why she would be. I think Kara knows, in some way, this is true, her mom needs her to fail somehow to relate to her and thats got to be hard to have on you.

Their dad Gary, seems to be a pretty good man,caring about the kids and if he ignores Justin more than Leigh thinks he should, some of that, I think is the normal way some fathers are when they dont perceive an immediate problem and he does act, when she points it out and with love. He does really try to help with the basketball hoop. He just seems a little befuddled like most men when they try athletics with t their non athletic son, not mean, just befuddled and trying lol. I think too, that part of my original question too that I was wondering from you mothers is, do you think this kind of preference, based on how Leigh percieves things, can be dangerous or bad for kids emotional health as they are growing up? Does this seem more to you than just the normal preferences of the everyday parent? Won't it have repercussions?

Message Edited by vivico1 on 10-08-2007 06:43 PM
Vivian
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Wrighty
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please


vivico1 wrote:
I guess what I find interesting and in more than a general parenting way about Leigh's relationship to her kids is that she seems closer to her son from day one. Which sure you may be closer to kids at one age than the other or who is easiest to get along with than the other but in her thoughts about them, you get that it is more than this. Both of her kids are good kids. The remoteness between her and Kara seems more than just that between any teen daughter and mother, its more. Her son she is, at least in her thoughts, more overly protective of than Kara. He seems frail, alone, awkward. Kara is popular and seems very self assured around others. You can see a mother being close to who she perceives as maybe a weaker child, in need, but why would that alienate you from the one doing great? Thats whats wrong here...thats what making it hard to connect to Kara now, this way of seeing them and her role to them that is now evident from before the accident.

I think from what we have learned so far about her young life with her mother, she may want her kids to BE more like Kara in fact is, but she has nothing to relate back to then on how to BE with them. I think she thinks she understands Justine's world better than Kara's because she sees herself in his vulnerability as a child. But I also think Justin is a pretty smart cookie and is probably handling some of his problems better than she thinks, and that he also knows shes tries for him out of a bit of her own need too. He is a pretty easy going boy but yes, shy and awkward. In other words, he has flaws, something Leigh can relate too. She doesn't know them in Kara, until now maybe and maybe thats why she is unsure what she feels about it and is trying to figure out why she would be. I think Kara knows, in some way, this is true, her mom needs her to fail somehow to relate to her and thats got to be hard to have on you.

Their dad Gary, seems to be a pretty good man,caring about the kids and if he ignores Justin more than Leigh thinks he should, some of that, I think is the normal way some fathers are when they dont perceive an immediate problem and he does act, when she points it out and with love. He does really try to help with the basketball hoop. He just seems a little befuddled like most men when they try athletics with t their non athletic son, not mean, just befuddled and trying lol. I think too, that part of my original question too that I was wondering from you mothers is, do you think this kind of preference, based on how Leigh percieves things, can be dangerous or bad for kids emotional health as they are growing up? Does this seem more to you than just the normal preferences of the everyday parent? Won't it have repercussions?

Message Edited by vivico1 on 10-08-2007 06:43 PM



You bring up so many good points here Viv, and so does everyone else. These bits and pieces are like parts of a puzzle and they are all important to the whole picture. Let me tell you, parenting can sure be a puzzle sometimes! :smileywink: It's so hard to help another person grow up when you feel like you are still growing up yourself. Leigh didn't have very good role models and she doesn't seem very confident in her abilities. And as it's already been mentioned, she relates to Justin because he is similar but she worries about him. She knows Kara is confident and popular but that's not comfortable for her, although it's probably what she always wanted herself. She must be proud of her daughter but maybe envious as well. She seems to keep this doubt bottled up inside. I haven't finished the book yet but I think that Leigh struggles with all of her relationships. She tries hard and it's not that she does a terrible job she just doesn't know what to do sometimes.

Those are interesting questions you asked too. I think every parent has doubts about what they do and how they treat their children. I know I do. I wouldn't think that Leigh's treatment of her kids would cause any dangerous problems. Many of these are normal differences just because she has a boy and a girl, they have different interests, are different ages, etc. She does try to make the differences minimal and they aren't cruel so I see them as more typical kinds of dilemmas. She tends to keep the more obvious ones to herself. She tries not to let her favoritism be known, even to herself.
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please


Wrighty wrote:
Many of these are normal differences just because she has a boy and a girl, they have different interests, are different ages, etc. She does try to make the differences minimal and they aren't cruel so I see them as more typical kinds of dilemmas. She tends to keep the more obvious ones to herself. She tries not to let her favoritism be known, even to herself.


hmm, I wonder how well she is actually doing that tho, since right off the bat we see that Kara is not going to run to her, come to her, talk to her, over something so horrific you would think the girl would fall into both her parents arms. Or even more so, when really tragic things happen, even daddy's girls can need their mama's really bad. But something has set up this dynamic between them more than the normal stuff we think about that there is such a distance that Leigh feels it and knows it the minute she walks in. And I agree, I think she has problems probably with most relationships. Guess we will find out more in the next couple of weeks as we read and go, but this really stands out right away.
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please


vivico1 wrote:

Wrighty wrote:
Many of these are normal differences just because she has a boy and a girl, they have different interests, are different ages, etc. She does try to make the differences minimal and they aren't cruel so I see them as more typical kinds of dilemmas. She tends to keep the more obvious ones to herself. She tries not to let her favoritism be known, even to herself.


hmm, I wonder how well she is actually doing that tho, since right off the bat we see that Kara is not going to run to her, come to her, talk to her, over something so horrific you would think the girl would fall into both her parents arms. Or even more so, when really tragic things happen, even daddy's girls can need their mama's really bad. But something has set up this dynamic between them more than the normal stuff we think about that there is such a distance that Leigh feels it and knows it the minute she walks in. And I agree, I think she has problems probably with most relationships. Guess we will find out more in the next couple of weeks as we read and go, but this really stands out right away.



You're right, it does stand out right away. It's so obvious you can almost feel the tension. It would break my heart if my kids turned to someone else for comfort in such a desperate situation. I wonder if the favoritism came first or not being able to relate to each other. It's like the chicken and the egg question.
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please


Wrighty wrote:

vivico1 wrote:

Wrighty wrote:
Many of these are normal differences just because she has a boy and a girl, they have different interests, are different ages, etc. She does try to make the differences minimal and they aren't cruel so I see them as more typical kinds of dilemmas. She tends to keep the more obvious ones to herself. She tries not to let her favoritism be known, even to herself.


hmm, I wonder how well she is actually doing that tho, since right off the bat we see that Kara is not going to run to her, come to her, talk to her, over something so horrific you would think the girl would fall into both her parents arms. Or even more so, when really tragic things happen, even daddy's girls can need their mama's really bad. But something has set up this dynamic between them more than the normal stuff we think about that there is such a distance that Leigh feels it and knows it the minute she walks in. And I agree, I think she has problems probably with most relationships. Guess we will find out more in the next couple of weeks as we read and go, but this really stands out right away.



You're right, it does stand out right away. It's so obvious you can almost feel the tension. It would break my heart if my kids turned to someone else for comfort in such a desperate situation. I wonder if the favoritism came first or not being able to relate to each other. It's like the chicken and the egg question.


I think a feeling of not being able to relate, on either side, brings about the favoritism in relationships.
Vivian
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please

The book could come across differently for every reader, but here's the way I see it: I like the word 'befuddled'that someone uses earlier - I think that describes both Leigh's and Gary's positions in trying to parent the child each one is less comfortable with. They both love both of their children, but as you point out, Leigh is more comfortable with Justin, and Gary is more comfortable with Kara. I think Leigh has always identified with the underdog - She sees herself as one; she wins awards for her work with disabled stdents. She is protective and caring with Justin, and after the accident, she cannot push Bethany or her mother out of her mind.

But the pre-accident Kara, with all her success and confidence, intimidates Leigh a little, or maybe she just doesn't feel she can relate to her, or she just doesn't know how. There may even be a little jealousy, though Leigh represses that feeling. It doesn't fit at all with all the work she's done to give her children a better childhood than she had. But she might do better to admit the feeling and face it head on.

Gary, on the other hand, grew up with more affluence and security. He's successful at his career, and he was a successful athlete. He comes from a strong family, and he has happy memories of growing up. He's affable, easy to get along with, and so it's easy for him to relate to pre-accident Kara, and to want to protect her after the accident. He loves Justin, but he's uncomfortable with suffering, with awkwardness. He just doesn't know what to do with it. And I though I think the way he protects Kara after the accident is admirable, he doesn't spend too much time thinking about Bethany. He circles the wagons in a way that Leigh cannot.


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Wrighty
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please

Thanks Laura!
Those summaries clarify some things. I think we all have had very simlar thoughts about the characters and their relationships. You pull it together so well. Have you ever thought about being a writer? :smileywink:
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please

As a mother, I understood Leigh's mothering of Justin- after all, he needs her. What are we to do with our children when they don't need us anymore? :smileyhappy: Justin needed Leigh, and Kara did not. Leigh tried to converse with Kara on an important topic, and was completely blown off- told, without words- you don't know me, I don't need you, I don't want you, just go away. That's extremely difficult for a mother to cope with, emotionally and intellectually.

Laura's assessment of Leigh's jealousy struck me also - have you ever had a friend who seemed to have it all together, know just how to act in every situation, always says the right thing, has lots of friends and just makes you feel like a child? I think that's how Leigh felt with Kara. Kara was athletic, popular, and self-confident. The same could be said for Leigh's mother as well- compared to her, Leigh was the one who had it all together.

I think we would all do well to let our children know that we are not just their mother - we actually have lives that have nothing to do with our children. Some children never seem to realize this. And mothers through the years have been chastised for it.
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please


Stephanie wrote:
As a mother, I understood Leigh's mothering of Justin- after all, he needs her. What are we to do with our children when they don't need us anymore? :smileyhappy: Justin needed Leigh, and Kara did not. Leigh tried to converse with Kara on an important topic, and was completely blown off- told, without words- you don't know me, I don't need you, I don't want you, just go away. That's extremely difficult for a mother to cope with, emotionally and intellectually.

Laura's assessment of Leigh's jealousy struck me also - have you ever had a friend who seemed to have it all together, know just how to act in every situation, always says the right thing, has lots of friends and just makes you feel like a child? I think that's how Leigh felt with Kara. Kara was athletic, popular, and self-confident. The same could be said for Leigh's mother as well- compared to her, Leigh was the one who had it all together.

I think we would all do well to let our children know that we are not just their mother - we actually have lives that have nothing to do with our children. Some children never seem to realize this. And mothers through the years have been chastised for it.


Got to disagree with you on the "Justin needed Leigh, and Kara did not" thing. Kara needs her mom so much right now but doesn't feel she can get it there, this is not just teenage rebellion, this is a relationship that developed into this over the years. I do agree that Leigh also has jealousy issues with her daughter, that when you listen to her, even she knows she might feel something like that about her daughter but doesn't know why and doesn't want to.

I saw Dr. Phil today and they did a segment on Münchhausen by proxy. Most of us have heard of this over the years, not too much lately, but its where mother's physically harm their babies and little kids so they can take them to the hospital and get attention and sympathy for themselves . Sometimes the children die. Today they talked to a woman in prison for this with two of her children, and one baby she buried in the back yard after she says, "it was dead at birth". The one girl said her mother buried the baby alive. The older girl, who was talking, not with the mother there or hearing her of course, and the police and medical professionals, said this woman took one girl into the hospital over 400 times in two years. Sometimes she didn't do anything to these girls, they weren't sick, but she would take them, sometimes she caused it. Anyway, I am sure every mother here has heard of this and its horror. Why I bring this up here is that it made me think of what I would call "emotional" Münchhausen's by proxy.

On a personal note, it made me think of my mother that way. If things bad happened in my life, its never been about me, she runs to people looking for sympathy for what this is doing to her the long suffering mother, while the harm inflicted on me in the background, is actually saying things like, you ruined Christmas because you couldnt wait two days to have your gall bladder taken out. You lost your boyfriend, just to hurt me. You had to herniate your disk and blow it out and be in the hospital, when I wanted to come for a visit and had to just stay alone then. But to everyone around her, oh my my, what can I do, I just feel so bad, I dont know what to do, its my baby! See what I mean by "emotional" MBP? Altho, she is quite willing to take credit for things that I do well in my life, then I am her best trophy. Well, lets say I was, this does not happen anymore because I am wayyyy too old to look for something she doesn't really know how to give, so I dont talk to her anymore at all. We never bonded..ever.

I do not believe Leigh is this bad ok? Let me make sure you get that for sure right off, but I did think about this book and this issue with Leigh when I thought about MBP (my initials for it, not an official one I doubt lol) in an emotional way. Leigh, is not comfortable with success, she has had some herself but not in emotional ways with others. I think its great that she has Gary, he seems to understand at least and she seems ok with him even if a bit irritated at times. But, mother daughter, and women in general as with her nosey friend (just lost her name in my head sorry) but she can't connect with Kara's on an emotional level, Kara knows this and I think right now, even Kara with her own guilty feelings of the accident, feels like yeah, now if i will break down and show my failure here in some way, mom WILL be glad about that, she wants that ,can understand that! I think she is hurting and she doesnt know how to be with Leigh either. Leigh is like in a mini emotional MBP thing. Its not that she wants the attention for herself, but she would be more comfortable with Kara, if she was more messed up and crying in her lap and Kara can't do that now, not right now anyway. She is processing a whole lot of her own feelings to "do it" the way her mom needs her to, to make Leigh able to "mother" her.

I think this is all leading up to what will define their relationship for the rest of their lives and define what each will be individually too. It is definately a defining moment beyond just this teen likes that parent more than the other, that one doesnt need help this one does or any of those things. This is about Leigh's mothers past, Leigh's past, her present and her daughter's present and future. This is a generational thing that this horrible tragedy is going to force them all to finally face.
Vivian
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please

Sorry, I should have clarified - I meant, pre-accident.
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please


vivico1 wrote:

Stephanie wrote:
As a mother, I understood Leigh's mothering of Justin- after all, he needs her. What are we to do with our children when they don't need us anymore? :smileyhappy: Justin needed Leigh, and Kara did not. Leigh tried to converse with Kara on an important topic, and was completely blown off- told, without words- you don't know me, I don't need you, I don't want you, just go away. That's extremely difficult for a mother to cope with, emotionally and intellectually.

I think we would all do well to let our children know that we are not just their mother - we actually have lives that have nothing to do with our children. Some children never seem to realize this. And mothers through the years have been chastised for it.


Got to disagree with you on the "Justin needed Leigh, and Kara did not" thing. Kara needs her mom so much right now but doesn't feel she can get it there, this is not just teenage rebellion, this is a relationship that developed into this over the years.

On a personal note, it made me think of my mother that way. ... We never bonded..ever.

I do not believe Leigh is this bad ok? ...but she can't connect with Kara's on an emotional level, Kara knows this ...Its not that she wants the attention for herself, but she would be more comfortable with Kara, if she was more messed up and crying in her lap and Kara can't do that now, not right now anyway. She is processing a whole lot of her own feelings to "do it" the way her mom needs her to, to make Leigh able to "mother" her.

I think this is all leading up to what will define their relationship for the rest of their lives and define what each will be individually too. It is definately a defining moment beyond just this teen likes that parent more than the other, that one doesnt need help this one does or any of those things. This is about Leigh's mothers past, Leigh's past, her present and her daughter's present and future. This is a generational thing that this horrible tragedy is going to force them all to finally face.



I agree that Kara needs her mother but they have a frustrating relationship. Leigh has no good role model and even though she lacks a lot emotionally, she does try hard and she is a million times better than her mother. Some mothers don't seem to have the mom gene. They can't take care of their children because they're too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves. Unfortunately Leigh's mother is that way, Viv's mother is that way and we have a family member that way. It's unfair that their children have to basically go without a mother. I think Justin has a better understanding of her and he is more sensitive. Leigh knows that he will always have a tough time fitting in and she feels protective of him and does more for him. She is drawn to the underdog, with her students as well. Justin also lets her do more for him, for both of their sakes it seems. Kara has always been strong, determined and independent. Leigh would love to be that way herself but can't relate to it at all. Kara doesn't need as much attention. Obviously all kids - all people - need attention but Leigh knows that Kara doesn't have the same needs that Justin does. And being a teenager can really strain the parent/child relationship.

Last year and this year I've had seniors in high school and it has automatically granted them the ability to know it all. They assure me that they are adults now but their attitudes can reflect that of a young child. We not so affectionately refer to this as "senioritis". My once darling, loving children become nonverbal (grunts, "huh?", "whatever", are some of my favorites), are experts at the eye roll whenever I say something, are very opposed to hanging out with the parents any more than they have to, and they think we are idiots most of the time. It makes me crazy. Thankfully my son in college is now starting to appreciate good old mom and dad a tiny bit. There is hope! They are great, well behaved kids who are active, well adjusted and have many friends, they just don't reflect that at home the senior year. (and I have one more kid to go!) I have to admit, I had some senioritis myself and I now talk to my mom every day. I know it's temporary. I see so much of that in Kara. I don't think she has a very high opinion of her mom even before the accident. Does anyone else feel that way or is it because of my own life that I project that on her?

This is a huge tragedy that they have to deal with and it will affect the rest of their lives but that doesn't have to define their relationship forever. People grow and change and so do their relationships. They can always work on making it better at any time during their lives. They both have to want it and they have to be willing to work at it. Leigh will always be teaching herself to be a parent. Someday Kara will see it all differently. When she sees Leigh as a person with her own history and not as just a mom. And then she'll have her own kids and they'll do it right back to her. :smileywink: Karma.
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please

[ Edited ]
wrighty wrote:
This is a huge tragedy that they have to deal with and it will affect the rest of their lives but that doesn't have to define their relationship forever. People grow and change and so do their relationships. They can always work on making it better at any time during their lives. They both have to want it and they have to be willing to work at it. Leigh will always be teaching herself to be a parent. Someday Kara will see it all differently. When she sees Leigh as a person with her own history and not as just a mom. And then she'll have her own kids and they'll do it right back to her. Karma.



I guess I may not have said it the way I was trying for. I dont mean this tragedy will define their relationship forever and that it is a static from then on. Its not the tragedy that will shape it, its what it will now make them face, and that is how they relate to each other. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to do so. What I am saying is, I really believe thats what the story of the accident is about at all, a way to get us to what the real story is and thats these mother daughter relationships. This to me is a defining point in all their relationships and it will either help it to start to change and grow into more than it has obviously been, or they could lose this opportunity that has been unfortunately thrust upon them that could bring about something more and that could leave them as static as two generations of these women already have been. I really dont see their relationship as something that when Kara gets older and sees Leigh as a person with her own history, or through a mother's eyes herself now, that its going to be any different just because she grew up. I know this happens to most of us, I do, but did it for Leigh? Does Leigh look back at her mom any differently? No, because they never worked it out, if it even could be and what I am saying is, this could be the case again with her and Kara IF they dont do something about it this time. Kara could grow up very self sufficient but feeling exactly the same way about her mom as she does now and Leigh could feel exactly the same way she does now about Kara, growing up doesnt always equate with growing wiser. I just mean, here we see two generations of women's relationships, and they haven't been working well as they are, and this event may be the trigger to work on that, help define which direction they will go from her.

Maybe my family is so screwed up, I am over analyzing this myself ok, or seeing things I think are problems more than growing pains when what you guys seem to be saying is thats what they are. Maybe thats all it is, but it doesnt feel that way and for me personally then, (I'll say for me only since I can only speak for me :smileywink:) that if this, as a story, is no deeper than that, in where we are going in these relationships, thats its just growing pains faces tragedy, then it falls short of its potential of something that, beyond just an interesting little story, could have many people think about their own relationships in a deeper more meaningful way. I will just wait till this next week see where the book goes and check the end of book posts then.

Ok, I won't say more on this line of thought. I DO see both the mother's and daughter's side here ok,its not all on Leigh, I know that, and after all she was a daughter too. But I am beginning to feel like a Kara in a land of mother's who are willing to put it down to teen age rebellion and "she will learn" when she grows up. I feel the frustration of a daughter here, I have never been a mother, not "officially", so I kind of feel like I am Kara banging my head against a wall and ready to stop now and say....ok, whatever, its not important. LOL! :smileywink: :smileysad:

Message edited by Admin for formatting only.

Message Edited by Kevin on 10-25-2007 02:56 PM
Vivian
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Re: midbook discussion: Leigh's relationship to son and daughter, no end of book revelations please


vivico1 wrote:

I guess I may not have said it the way I was trying for. I dont mean this tragedy will define their relationship forever and that it is a static from then on. Its not the tragedy that will shape it, its what it will now make them face, and that is how they relate to each other. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to do so. What I am saying is, I really believe thats what the story of the accident is about at all, a way to get us to what the real story is and thats these mother daughter relationships. This to me is a defining point in all their relationships and it will either help it to start to change and grow into more than it has obviously been, or they could lose this opportunity that has been unfortunately thrust upon them that could bring about something more and that could leave them as static as two generations of these women already have been. I really dont see their relationship as something that when Kara gets older and sees Leigh as a person with her own history, or through a mother's eyes herself now, that its going to be any different just because she grew up. I know this happens to most of us, I do, but did it for Leigh? Does Leigh look back at her mom any differently? No, because they never worked it out, if it even could be and what I am saying is, this could be the case again with her and Kara IF they dont do something about it this time. Kara could grow up very self sufficient but feeling exactly the same way about her mom as she does now and Leigh could feel exactly the same way she does now about Kara, growing up doesnt always equate with growing wiser. I just mean, here we see two generations of women's relationships, and they haven't been working well as they are, and this event may be the trigger to work on that, help define which direction they will go from her.

Maybe my family is so screwed up, I am over analyzing this myself ok, or seeing things I think are problems more than growing pains when what you guys seem to be saying is thats what they are. Maybe thats all it is, but it doesnt feel that way and for me personally then, (I'll say for me only since I can only speak for me :smileywink:) that if this, as a story, is no deeper than that, in where we are going in these relationships, thats its just growing pains faces tragedy, then it falls short of its potential of something that, beyond just an interesting little story, could have many people think about their own relationships in a deeper more meaningful way. I will just wait till this next week see where the book goes and check the end of book posts then.

Ok, I won't say more on this line of thought. I DO see both the mother's and daughter's side here ok,its not all on Leigh, I know that, and after all she was a daughter too. But I am beginning to feel like a Kara in a land of mother's who are willing to put it down to teen age rebellion and "she will learn" when she grows up. I feel the frustration of a daughter here, I have never been a mother, not "officially", so I kind of feel like I am Kara banging my head against a wall and ready to stop now and say....ok, whatever, its not important. LOL! :smileywink: :smileysad:



I like having these discussions Viv and I get what you're saying. I'm almost finished with the book so I don't know how far into the future this goes but like you said this story is centered around Leigh's past and how the family is dealing with the accident now. We can only speculate what the future will bring and I'm having fun doing that! I understand that you're saying that Leigh and her mother have come to a fork in the road and the direction they chose will change their journey, possibly forever. I agree with that I'm just saying that it doesn't have to be forever. I think we understood each other but we were talking about two different things. I was talking more about the possible future and I think you were talking more about the incident now and what it could do to their future. Please forgive me for speaking for you, especially if I'm wrong, but it seems there was a subtle difference in our topics. :smileyhappy:

Their family has a lot to overcome but I do think Lara might grow up to look at her mother differently. The big difference with Leigh and her mother is that Leigh is trying to be a good mother and form good relationships. She doesn't always do it very well but she does want it. Leigh didn't grow up to view her mother differently because there wasn't anything different about her mother. She never changed and never tried. If anything, when Leigh becomes a mother she doesn't understand how anyone could abandon her kids. Her mother only cared for herself. Leigh and Kara may never have a good relationship but I don't think they are doomed yet. (and you didn't say that either) There are a lot of factors and the teenage rebellion is only one of those. At this stage of her life it's a big one for Kara but definitely not the only one and that will change eventually. We're not saying totally opposites things here.

And don't worry Viv, you're not the only one with a screwed up family! :smileysurprised: Not by a long shot! I bet we all could tell some good (and bad) stories. I know I can. This story has made me think about family relationships and about the accident itself. It's made me think about a lot of things. Don't wait until next week to post again either. We need more participation and discussion on this good book. I'm anxious to finish it so I can get to some of the other threads. We don't have to agree on all of the ideas either, we shouldn't. There is no right or wrong and we all think differently. We should speak up more too. It makes for better conversation. As always, thanks for chatting with me! :smileyhappy:
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