I Choose My Family

Family at the Magic Kingdom

My family and I at the Magic Kingdom

I consider myself a good son. Despite living two hours away, I see my mother monthly. I talk to her a couple of times a week. When I do see or talk to my mother, I am polite, respectful, etc. Therefore, my actions this weekend should be no surprise.

We had arranged for my mother to come for a visit this past weekend. My family and I had not seen her in a few weeks. The boys really enjoy seeing their bubbe (Yiddish for grandmother), and I want to foster that relationship.

When my mother comes for a visit, she, Ms. MMK, and I often watch a movie together. We eat snacks – popcorn or ice cream – and relax after the children have gone to bed. As part of my preparation for my mother’s most recent visit, I checked out my queue on Netflix. I skimmed through the titles trying to pick a movie which I thought would appeal to my mother. After consulting with Ms. MMK, I moved August Osage County to the top of the queue.

I knew little about the movie other than the stars – Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep – were women, and it was a drama. It had all the makings of a movie that my mom would like.

After getting through the viewing of August Osage County on Sunday morning (we watched part of it on Saturday night), I’m not so sure my mother liked the movie. In fact, here is a partial list of the words the three of us used to describe August Osage County:

1. Depressing
2. Bleak
3. Dark
4. Heavy
5. Confusing.

Ms. MMK missed part of the movie. Instead of asking for a recap of what she missed, she asked, “Did anyone smile yet?” My mother, ever the optimist said, “I think I would like it better if I saw it again.” My reaction was different. Watching August Osage County made me grateful.

You see my family is not perfect. Or even close. We don’t sit around a smile and wax on about how much we love each other. In fact, sometimes we yell and say nasty things to each other.

Don’t believe me?

Walk by the house sometime and listen up. Stay long enough and you are sure to hear my children fighting with each other, doors slamming, SJ crying, BR freaking out, Ms. MMK cursing, and me shouting.

Sometimes we are all in the house, but in separate rooms or simply not communicating. We are on our various devices, or watching television, or reading, etc. We can be oblivious to each other and perfectly content in that state.

Yup, my family has its challenges and downsides. In fact, when things are not going well it’s easy to believe that the grass is greener on the other side. Other families are happy, content, at ease. For other families, life is good and smooth.

Then you see a movie like August Osage County. The Weston family was in despair. Here’s a partial list of what one member or more of the family went through:

1. alcoholism
2. drug addiction
3. Suicide
4. Incest
5. Bullying
6. Broken marriage

Clearly, dysfunction was rampant in the Weston family household.

Thankfully, my family is closer to the Waltons than the Westons. We laugh with each other. We enjoy going out together. We support each other through all times. We are there for each other. We spend time together. We love each other.

The grass is greener on our side.

While my mother, Ms. MMK, and I agreed that the cast was very good in August Osage County and the movie had its interesting parts, we had no desire to live vicariously through the characters. Even worse, we didn’t have any snacks while viewing the movie.

After the movie ended, I adjusted my Netflix queue. Light fare is required for the next movie. I’m sorry my mother won’t be around with us to enjoy Delivery Man. Well, at least I’m not sending her to Osage County.

14 thoughts on “I Choose My Family

  1. Sounds like your family is both real and normal. That is always nice to hear/read/see.

    Sometimes when I read posts by bloggers I find it hard to buy the image they are selling because it feels like they are promoting something that isn’t real.

    • I know what you mean. Sometimes, I read posts and everything sounds so real. A postcard or Stepford family version. Anyway, we present what want others to see/know.

  2. Mrs. MMK curses??? Just kidding. Obviously no household, family or relationship is perfect but it sure is nice when you can feel that the positive far outweighs the bad.

    • She definitely does! Sorry to burst the bubble.
      Positive does outweigh the negatives here – just about every day. Ha ha.

  3. If there wasn’t cursing in my house, there would be something wrong. With everything we go through the movie may be a pick me up(Just joking of course)

  4. My mom lives with us and has since before the kids were born. My kids have a very close relationship with my mom and for that I am extremely grateful. My mother’s parents passed when I was a child and my father’s parents were very busy with their own so I only saw them a few times a year. I really believe a strong bond between grandparents and grandchildren creates inter-generational learning – my kids help mom with technology and mom tells them stories about not having indoor plumbing until she was 14.

    As for the movie, haven’t seen it yet but I’ve been wanting to. Thanks for the warning though, I’ll be better prepared for any “trigger” moments. Oh, and I’m glad your family is more like Waltons. I love reading about your family adventures.

    • I like the exchange between your kids and their grandmother. I’m sure it makes for interesting eavesdropping.
      Be ready for the movie – BLEAK!
      I’m glad you enjoy reading about us. I always appreciate your comments, but waiting on another one of your posts.

  5. Ms. MMK absolutely does not curse in public! I have been in many situations with her where she could have! Never saw the movie you are talking about, but Delivery Man was fantastic. By the way, your family is awesome!

    • Spend more time on Tanis Place if you don’t believe me.
      Looking forward to relaxing and watching Delivery Man. I appreciate the endorsement.
      Thanks for your kind words.

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