Most marriages are a mess, and the children get caught between two bitter, antagonistic parents. My parents stayed married for 27 unhappy years, till their kids were grown, and this was a catastrophe for us.
Alice Adams wrote a sweet note to me after my first novel came out when I was 26, and I was so blown away that I sent her a bunch of stamps by return mail. I have no idea what I was thinking. It was a star-struck impulse.
The whistle is always waiting to be blown, and in some ways, it gets me to do better work.
If you asked me, parents were supposed to affect the life of their child in such a way that the child grows up to be responsible, able to participate in life and in community.