From our family circus to yours: thank you.

My mom was an avid newspaper reader. Every day at lunchtime, my mom would call her only time-out of the day. Even when we were little, we knew that if Mom was sitting at the kitchen table, a sandwich and chips on a paper plate to one side and the newspaper splayed in front of her, we weren’t to bother her. If one of us ignored the rather obvious signs, she would calmly intone not to bother her, that she was eating lunch.

Mom would read the local news first, glance over at least the headlines (and quite a few articles) in the national news, read Dianne Williamson’s column so she could rant about her later, and then she would end with the comic strips and the crossword puzzle. That’s how she pulled me in to newspaper reading: she would often chuckle and tell me to come read Lucy or Marmaduke or Beetle Bailey or Garfield  any of the others I can’t remember. And of course, there was her favorite: Family Circus.

I imagine it had something to do with the fact that she grew up in a giant family, and then raising a large-ish family of her own. There was always someone who seemed to be in whatever stage the Family Circus kids were at. My mom loves little kids and was always able to find the funny lurking under the exasperation; in fact, that might be why we all lived to grow up. Heh. When I was older, still at home but living my own life as teenagers tend to do, my mom would often ask as I breezed through if I had read that day’s Family Circus or other comic she had thought particularly applicable. More often than not, she had folded the newspaper so that the comic was ready for me to read. It became a touchstone, a way to make me stop and talk for a moment. Even though it was usually over nothing, Mom found a way to connect over something seemingly irrelevant nearly every day. Things like that mean so little at the time and have come to mean everything now that I’m grown “grown.”

Rest in peace, Bil Keane. Thank you for making the little things count, for sharing so much of your life in little windows over the years, and for reminding us all that circus or not – it’s always about family.


Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “From our family circus to yours: thank you.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Missed this news in the chaos of Eli’s b-day. He will be missed. Your post is beautiful.

  2. Mary Says:

    I used to LOVE to read that comic strip! I heard on the radio that Bill’s son, Jeff, has been writing the strip since Bill retired. They also said that the family was there when he passed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: