Families, Food, And Lonely Children~ In Which I Scream About One Of My Favorite Tropes Of ALL TIME

Greetings, blogger buddies!

So there is a story that you can tell me over and over again, and I will not get tired of it. Not even a little bit. Here it is:

Once upon a time there was a Sad Child dealing with some level of Severe Loneliness and/or Trauma. Then one day a Kind, Warmhearted family more or less adopted said Sad Child and proceeded to love them, feed them Wholesome Meals, and show them that they don’t need to apologize for existing.

Also, usually the Sad Child has NO IDEA how to handle this, which kind of just breaks my heart.

I love this story SO MUCH. Tell it to me again, please. (It won’t get old, I promise.)

Seeing as I am obsessed with it, I have compiled a list of characters that embody this trope, and I have written this post to share them with you (because I am sure all of you want to hear this story over and over again as well, I mean, why wouldn’t you?).

Books:

Joseph and the Hurds (Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt)

Loneliness Level: 10/10

Trauma Level: 11/10

Most of the time Joseph milked with his eyes closed and the side of his face against Rosie, like she was a pillow.

Orbiting Jupiter

Joseph is fourteen and he’s already a dad. He’s tried to kill a teacher. He’s been to Stone Mountain juvenile detention center.

HE NEEDS HELP. SOMEONE SAVE THIS CHILD.

(Um, pardon my outburst, but I have so many feelings…that is going to be a trend in this post, I’ll just tell you now.)

When Jospeh goes to stay with the Hurd family, he won’t let anyone touch him. He won’t let anyone stand behind him. This kid needs all the emotional support from the family’s cow Rosie that he can get- even if at first he doesn’t know how to respond to the kindness of the human members of his new foster family. But the Hurds aren’t going to let Joseph go without feeding and loving him as much as they possibly can.

(I’m definitely not crying on the inside right now…)

Beck and the Freys (A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews)

Loneliness Level: 9/10

Trauma Level: 9/10

“I refuse to hear apologies for gracing our fine home with your waif-like presence.”

A Thousand Perfect Notes

Beck has a mom, but she’s not the kind of mom who makes you good food and hugs you and gives you the emotional support you need to be a balanced human being. She’s more the kind of mom that drills into your head that the only value you have is in your ability to play the piano.

So it’s a good thing August Frey and her parents exist.

August embraces Beck. And she feeds him. And then she invites him to her house, where her family feeds him. And while all the feeding is going on, there is also the constant bombardment of BECK, YOU MATTER AS A HUMAN BEING.

(And I feel like I also have to mention Beck’s little sister Joey, whom he loves and protects… even though that doesn’t really fit with the rest of what I’m talking about. But there, she’s been mentioned.)

Laurie and the Marches (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott)

Loneliness Level: 9/10

Trauma Level: 4/10

Laurie was sick and lonely; and, feeling how rich she [Jo] was in home and love and happiness, she gladly tried to share it with him.

Little Women

Honestly I don’t remember much about the details of this since I haven’t read this book in ages, but I do know that Laurie lives alone with his grandfather and the March sisters adopt him and they’re basically his family.

I know that later there’s all the awkward romance stuff, but we can’t forget that first and foremost Laurie just needed to be a part of a family and the Marches were more than ready to provide that for him. And it’s kind of beautiful?

Matt and all three of the families that take him in (Just Like That by Gary D. Schmidt)

Loneliness Level: 10/10

Trauma Level: 10/10

Matt Coffin ate everything on the table, stopping only once, then twice, to look at the rows of bookshelves that lined the walls of the parlor beyond.

Just Like That

Matt is kind of on the run, but along the way wholesome people keep trying to adopt him. First there is Pastor Darius and his wife. Then Mr. Tush and the two Myrnas (one of whom is a cat). And finally Mrs. MacKnockater, who just might be able to make him stay.

You can be sure that all of these families are top notch and that they never fail to feed Matt. Matt just has the “everything is my fault” syndrome and thinks the only way to protect people from his past is to run away. This kid.

Willa and the Gelesses (City of Orphans by Avi)

Loneliness Level: 9/10

Trauma Level: 7/10

“It’s not right for a girl to live on the street alone.”

City of Orphans

Willa has been living on the streets since her mother died and her father disappeared. She is tough and knows how to take care of herself. But that doesn’t mean that deep down she doesn’t just want a family to love her.

(Pay no heed to the waterfalls cascading out of my eyes.)

When a newsie named Maks takes Willa home to his family, maybe she can let herself be a little girl again.

Sam and the De Laineys (The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews)

Loneliness Level: 9/10

Trauma Level: 9/10

“You might as well stay for dinner,” she says. “Sunday night is waffles.”

The Boy Who Steals Houses

Sam has been looking out for himself and his brother for years because he has to. But what if the De Laineys can remind him that he’s still just a kid who needs to be fed and loved??

I just have to say how much I appreciate the extent to which C.G. Drews uses food in her books as an instrument of community and HEALING of TRAUMA. That sounds a bit dramatic, but seriously, don’t underestimate the power of eating with people that you love.

Harry and the Weasleys (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Loneliness Level: 9/10

Trauma Level: 7/10

“I’m very pleased to see you, Harry, dear,” she said. “Come in and have some breakfast.”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry grew up in an unloving home, and though Hogwarts does become a home for him, the place where he first truly experiences the love of a family is in the Weasleys’ house.

The Weasleys are a big family with plenty of problems and squabbles, but they share a fierce devotion to one another, and they embrace Harry as one of their own at a time when he really needs it. Molly Weasley becomes the mother that Harry never knew but that he always needed, and I just…love it so much.

Peter and the Matiennes (The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo)

Loneliness Level: 9/10

Trauma Level: 6/10

And so when Peter had his first bite of stew, it overwhelmed him. The warmth of it, the richness of it, knocked him backward; it was as if a gentle hand had pushed him when he was not expecting it.

The Magician’s Elephant

Peter lives with Vilna Lutz- a crazy, strict soldier who doesn’t know (or care) what love is. Peter is an orphan. He wants desperately to find his sister, who he hasn’t seen since she was a baby. His only hope to finding her lies with an elephant that has miraculously appeared in the city.

During the course of the story, Peter is invited to the home of the small policeman, Leo Matienne, where he is fed warm stew by Leo’s wife Gloria. This may seem like an insignificant event, but oh, it is not insignificant in the slightest. Leo and his wife are so warmhearted, and Peter is so starved for warmth, that he is overcome by that bowl of stew.

To be honest, I am somewhat overcome by that bowl of stew myself.

Movies/Shows:

Lewis and the Robinsons (Meet the Robinsons)

Loneliness Level: 9/10

Trauma Level: 6/10

Lewis, a brilliant twelve-year-old inventor, grew up in an orphanage and wants nothing more than to be a part of a family. When he begins to lose hope of ever being adopted, he latches onto the possibility of reuniting with his real mother.

His wish will take him on a most unexpected journey and throw him into the path of the most wacky family imaginable. Meal time at their house is certainly an experience,and that’s all I will say about that. But for the first time, Lewis knows what it’s like to feel like he belongs somewhere.

Crazy time-travel and dinosaurs aside, this is genuinely one of my favorite Disney movies of all time, and it’s because this family trope is at the center of it.

Lucy and the Callaghans (While You Were Sleeping)

Loneliness Level: 8/10

Trauma Level: 3/10

Yeah, this is a romantic comedy. But what I love about it is that Lucy doesn’t just fall in love with the guy, she falls in love with his whole family. They take her in and they embrace her (and sure it’s all due to some over-the-top mix-up, but in the end we’ll just go with it). Lucy didn’t just need a prince charming. She needed a family (I wonder how many times I’ve written the word ‘family’ in this post).

And as for food, they definitely feed her. And while the eggnog may be questionable, I know for sure that the mashed potatoes were so creamy.

Rei and the Kawamotos (March Comes in Like a Lion)

Loneliness Level: 10/10

Trauma Level: 9/10

MY SON.

(I may have just finished watching this so my emotions may be a tad unbalanced.)

Rei is a seventeen-year-old professional shogi player. He lives alone. He lost his family at a young age and later became estranged from his foster family for Reasons. He is pretty much in a constant state of apologizing for existing.

Then he meets the Kawamotos, three sisters and their grandpa who are determined to feed him and love him whether Rei thinks he deserves any of it or not.

(Cries forever)

Kayo and the Fujinumas (Erased)

Loneliness Level: 10/10

Trauma Level: 10/10

Kayo.

(Already weeping violently)

Kayo is an outcast at school and is treated abhorrently at home, but she bears up under all of this cruelty silently. She has never known anything else.

(Weeping intensifies)

When Satoru Fujinuma asks to be her friend, she is wary at first, and when Satoru’s mom offers her refuge and a home cooked meal, she doesn’t know how to handle it. (NEITHER DO I.) NO ONE HAS EVER SHOWN HER THAT SHE’S WORTHY OF LOVE AND THIS POOR CHILD AND AND AND-

(Dissolves into incoherent sobbing)

Epilogue

It is a tragedy that so many people have never had someone take the time to let them know that they matter. It is amazing how profoundly a loving family and a meal can effect someone who has never witnessed these things before. And though it breaks my heart that there are people who haven’t had a home-cooked meal surrounded by a loving family, it just makes it all the more beautiful when they finally do.

Everyone needs someone to show them that they matter.

And feed them. Everyone needs someone to feed them.

Hence, my (slightly) overzealous adoration of this trope in stories.

Do you like this trope? Do you have any stories that contain this trope to recommend to me?? Are there any tropes that make you overly emotional? Have you read/seen any of the stories in this post? Do you think that food is an important element of relationships?

11 thoughts on “Families, Food, And Lonely Children~ In Which I Scream About One Of My Favorite Tropes Of ALL TIME

    1. It’s SUCH a beautiful trope!!! I am glad that you agree. YES, The Boy that Steals Houses is a really sweet story. And Mrs. Weasley! This trope- I LOVE IT SO MUCH (in case you couldn’t already tell from all the screaming in the post). Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. whoa i haven’t read any of these novels (except harry potter lol) and I NEED TO READ CAIT’S NOVELS AHHHH. they look so good and also i’m just such a huge fan of cait :’) also! all of the animes look REALLY REALLY GOOD, especially march comes in like a lion! and i need to watch While You Were Sleeping! that sounds sooo wholesome and I love wholesome movies 🙂 also Meet the Robinsons is one of my actual favorite movies ever, I’m so glad to hear you talk about it! the FAMILY aspect had me so so so emo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES, Cait’s books are so sweet and they will give you Feelings. The anime shows will also give you Feelings. I don’t even know what to do with all the Feelings I have acquired since I started watching anime.
      YAY, I am so glad that you love Meet the Robinsons!!! That movie is so amazing and it does not get enough love. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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