Due to his negligence and occasional endangerment of his children, many people dislike Rex Walls. They think he’s an awful, unfit parent. However, Rex was a loving, caring father who teaches his kids important values, with many positive parenting traits who just messes up from time to time. The reader can see how much Rex cares when he gives his kids stars for Christmas because he doesn’t have money for toys. Rex says, “Years from now, when all the junk [the other kids] got is broken and long forgotten, you’ll still have your stars” (Walls 41). Looking back at her childhood, Jeannette often says that Rex giving her Venus is one of her fondest memories.
Rex was almost always positive about negative things. He always liked to look at situations as adventures vs. hardships. Giving his children stars when money’s tight is a good example of trying to be positive about something negative. When Rex woke them all up in the middle of the night and told them they had to leave, he would make it sound adventurous. He would say that the FBI or the Mafia was after them. When they spent the night in the desert and didn’t have pillows, Rex told them it was part of his plan to get them to have good posture. He said, “The Indians didn’t use pillows . . . and look how straight they stood.” (18). Another example of both a positive parenting trait and turning things into an adventure is shown on pages 36-37 when Jeannette says there’s a monster under the bed. When told about a monster under the bed, most parents would just tell their kid to go back to bed, Rex turned it into an adventure. He made up a story about the Demon and they even “chased it off”. In the process of chasing it off, Rex basically showed Jeannette that she wasn’t afraid and that she should face her fears.
With the exception of the bar scene (210), Rex Walls is a very protective father. When there was a fire, “I wanted to reach over and shake them awake, but I couldn’t move ....