Character Study: Kermit Henson Doyle

Kermit Henson Doyle was conceived under the blackberry bramble in his grandparents’ front yard, front yard being relative in the middle of nowhere. His mother, Leila, was 21 years old. His father, David, was about to turn 40 when he was t-boned on the highway six months later. The age difference never mattered, it was just a fact in their world, like Leila having brown eyes and David having blue. David and Leila have to have a strong relationship in this book, because there are millions of people in age gap relationships that make it work for them. There’s a lot about age gap relationships out there that’s negative. I just wanted to bring a new spin to an old idea. When I was young, I was in an age-gap relationship that was flirty and fun- I’ll never forget it. We broke up because it got real, but I don’t think either one of us want to forget that time in our lives, because it was great while it lasted. For instance:

Her: I don’t think I liked chocolate ice cream until I was older.
Me: (slow drawl, dripping with sarcasm) Had it been invented yet?

David and Leila will be full of quips like this, because they don’t ever ignore that the age gap exists. It is not the elephant in the room, so therefore fair game in love and war. David can just as easily turn it around on his child bride and tell her to make sure she finishes her pablum before the New York Times. They’re full of it, and so in love with each other that neither can see straight, which is ironic because they are heterosexual. 🙂

It was in this spirit that Kermit was conceived- loving, willing, and totally unexpected. Leila did not want to get pregnant, but she didn’t NOT want to, either. She just didn’t know until she peed on the stick and saw the + that she felt the veil of The Virgin alight on her shoulders. It would be an honor to have David’s baby, and she felt like she had been called, annointed in some way. She did not feel that David had put her in a negative situation. Leila was honored that David trusted her this much.

And then he was hit by a car and died on the scene.

Leila struggles with this mission- to have David’s baby and cherish every piece of David that there is left on the earth.

David struggles with the fact that he “died in a car accident” and can never see Leila and Kermit ever again.

Daria struggles with knowing that as Gregory is stepping up and taking David’s place, it is eating David from the inside out… and at the same time, David’s love for Gregory has never been so white hot and pure because Gregory is the father he chose for Kermit two years ago when this plan was set in motion.

Kermit feels every one of these emotions under his toddler-aged skin, and will continue to all of his life.

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