Among the Hidden
How we cite our quotes:
"That's okay, Luke," he said. "I'm not sure I'd want any son of mine getting too good at baking, anyhow. That's what a man gets married for."
Matthew and Mark guffawed.
"Getting married soon, Luke?" Mark teased.
"Sure," Luke said, struggling to sound as devil-may-care as Mark. "But don't think I'd invite you to the wedding."
He felt a cold, hard lump in his stomach that wasn't the bread. Of course he'd never get married. Or do anything. He'd never leave the house. (10.24-28)
Ouch. It's a big joke to Mark and Matthew, but not so funny to Luke, who knows that he'll never be allowed to marry. This scene not only shows the dynamic of Luke's family (like, come on Mr. Garner, what's wrong with men baking bread?) but also calls to mind the future family that Luke will never have.
"I don't know," he said. "I don't know any Jennifers. Just Matthew and Mark and Mother and Dad." He knew his parents' real names were Edna and Harlan, but he wondered if he shouldn't keep that secret. Just in case. (15.38)
Even while breaking every rule in the book, Luke is still very much aware of protecting his parents. Looks like the impulse to keep the family safe goes both ways.
"Mom was going through some snobbish upper-class phase with husband number one."
"She's had more than one husband?" Luke asked. He didn't know that was possible.
"Sure," Jen said. "Dad--who's really my stepdad--is number three." (16.37-39)
Given the traditional Garner family dynamics, Luke probably finds three husbands way more shocking than three kids. It's also a nice bit of proof that a family can look a lot different from mom, dad, and two kids. Hopefully third time's the charm for Jen's mom.