I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I picked up this month’s book for the From Left to Write book club, The Kids are All Right. I got through it in one weekend, partly because it was such an easy read. Told from the viewpoint of four siblings they recount the difficult childhood they managed to survive after losing both parents one right after the other.
I can’t say that I can relate to losing my parents when I was a kid. Because I didn’t. I grew up with both parents in a pretty normal suburban upbringing. But surprisingly I did find some things in this book that I could relate to.
My parents divorced about a year after I was married. My brother, sister and I were already on our own and living our own lives. We were grown ups. But with the loss of our parent’s marriage there was also a loss of our home base. Just like the Welch siblings in the book.
That seemed to be the most poignant theme of the whole book, was the importance of a home base, even for adults. A place where the family gathers on holidays. The place that somehow manages to remain the same even as life constantly changes all around.
I’ve tried very hard to make my home that base over the last decade and I think I’ve done an OK job of that. And somehow I kept thinking about that while reading this book. That and something my dad always used to tell us. He used to say that someday our siblings will be all we’ve got left to tie us to our past. And it’s so true.
The most surprising thing I got from the book came after I finished reading it. I jumped in the shower and suddenly, without even thinking about it, I began to cry.
You see my brother lives quite a few hours away and it’s not very often I get to see him and my little sister moved to Missouri a few weeks back. And though life often keeps me moving, the Kids are All Right made me stop and remember how much I love my brother and sister. And how much I miss them.
And that’s the best thing you can get from a book.
A “From Left to Write” Book Club post. In conjunction with the book club, I received a free copy of this book, but was not obligated to write about it.