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I think what you said about the chief being the mother is really cool and good way to conceptualize that character - but maybe something that should be shown over time through actions & allusions instead of that specific line. I think what comes off as "cliche" about stuff like that is that it's just like the easiest, quickest way to address this big abstract relationship/idea - when something a little more subtle might be more interesting! just an opinion though
Weeell I don’t expect the reader to realize how serious she is about the family thing yet… So far there’s only a single line vaguely hinting at it after all :D In future chapters there will be a scene or two where the chief will more obviously rationalize her actions with her ideas about family and a mother’s duties. Look forward to it!