One of the stories the narrator tells is of getting a torch pin from hir Jewish father. "For the fire you bring. For the light inside of you." Something like that; i forget the exact wording. Now i want a fire ring. Remember a while ago i was talking about wanting a ring? I forgot about it, but now i really want one. I like fire imagery a lot.
I definitely identified with a lot of what the narrator said about being an "ex post papa." The world needs more mentors and safe havens and all. And queer youth are certainly in particular need of surrogate parents (as a group -- some of us have the best biological parents we could ask for).
I loved the story of Little Lord Fauntleroy, about how he expected his grandfather to be such a good person and the grumpy old earl became so having this image projected on to him. I read the book a number of years ago, but i had forgotten about that.