"You know, if you try to hold a butterfly tightly in your hand, it will die. You have to let it go... and if it comes back, it is truly yours, but if doesn't, it never really was."
Amanda Lane is generally very relaxed, with a hands-off style of parenting that borders on neglect - actually, it probably resides firmly on the "neglect" side of line. Her attitude can sometimes become frustrating for Jane.
She is into pottery and keeps a potter's wheel and kiln in the basement. Much like her children (Jane, Trent, Penny, Wind, Summer), she seems fairly clueless about the actual running of the household, and is just as mystified as they are regarding, for instance, what the strange red substance in the refrigerator is.
Examples of her parenting technique include an occasion when Trent lived in a tent for six months, while Amanda waited for him to get bored and come back inside. She also allowed her oldest daughter to live on Pez for a year.
Over time, Amanda seems to have grown used to the quiet of her home, and gets more than a little flustered when her entire family comes back home after being absent for years at a time. On that occasion, she begs Helen Morgendorffer for help - the fact that Helen recognizes her right away shows that they have met and perhaps even socialized a little. Helen advises her to have a family dinner, knowing that the stress of such an event can drive even close families further apart. It works.
Amanda was part of the commune lifestyle, and brought Jane along on a great many summer excursions to wherever and whatever communes are. She knows a woman from her "commune" days who now runs an artist's colony, at which Jane spends an eventful summer right before her senior year.
Amanda and her husband
Vincent are not terribly close, though they do occasionally seem to go on their globetrotting excursions together - for instance, when they go to Greenland and do the walrus-tusk-fertility-fetish-carving-thing.