Sunday, March 20, 2011

Family: past and present

Last night Kyle and I saw August: Osage County at Playhouse on The Square. The play won a bunch of awards a couple of years ago so perhaps many of you are already familiar with the plot, but for those of you who don't know of it: the play is about a modern-day middle-class family in Oklahoma. The Westons are all smart, sassy, intelligent people (the father is a poet and university professor, one sister is a professor of literature herself, another is a librarian, etc. etc.). As in any good Southern story, they are all hilarious and witty and incredibly sarcastic. They make each other roll on the floor laughing and scream-break-stuff-jump-over-couches miserable. The clan gets together in the family home in the midst of steaming hot August after the father disappears. They come together to support each other through a difficult time but, as it seems to be the case with families, end up hurting each other just as much.

I highly recommend you read the play, it's really wonderfully dark and funny and will have you thinking (not necessarily fondly) of your own family and your own weird family dynamics. The one question that I can't let go of after seeing this is how little I know my parents as PEOPLE, you know? I know them as my parents: mom is the bossy one, dad is the sweet one, mom is the one in charge, dad is the one who gets stuff done, mom is practical, dad is artistic. Now I am really left wondering why they seem to be that way and is that really who they are. How does one get to really know their parents?!

Our friend Kelly, who saw the play with us, was saying that it really made him think about the ways in which he relates to his parents more and more as he/they get older. He told us that he spent this past week working in his garden and remembered his mom doing just the same when he was little.

My parents did that too. They would spend a lot of weekends working their little plot and my sister and I would get so annoyed when they asked us to help. It truly felt like torture for us and what made it especially bad was that they seemed to enjoy it so much.

This past week Kyle built a raised bed in our backyard, he filled it with soil and we planted a couple of pepper plants. I could not have been happier. It was just so nice to spend some time in our little backyard, filled with wild flowers and bask in the sun after a loooong winter. I felt 10 pounds lighter.

When I woke up this morning and saw the little purple bouquet of flowers that Kyle had picked for me, I could hardly hold in my tears.


  1. Aww, that's so sweet! I never understood why everyone in my family loved gardening when I was younger either. Now, I feel the same way. 10 pounds lighter being outside, looking at things growing and living, digging in soil and smelling the dirt in the sun... Yes, it's beautiful. Nicely written!

  2. Thank you! It's so great to meet you!