What's it about?
A married couple and their families are faced with a life and death decision that changes their lives.
What'd I experience?
Prior to the show, I watched the most recent episode of Modern Family. The show gives me a good laugh, and it's that feel good comedy, similar to that of my childhood. It was a funny episode as always, and as I headed to the theater, I was in a pretty uplifted mood.
Then, the show hit me like a ton of bricks. I was shocked that things escalated so quickly. It opens with Kenny's parents arguing, which continues throughout the play. They'd go from a decent moment, joking with each other, to a full blown argument. I went from having a chipper day to one full of drama, and I couldn't keep my eyes off of it.
Kenny's mother creeped me out with a line she said... One that resonated with me: "I never think. That's why I'm so happy all the time." I felt like she read my mind, because I've not only thought that, but I've also said it as well. I feel like I spend so much time preoccupying myself, so it shuts out all the bad going on around me and in my head. How did she know? Unless she's felt the same way I have. Hmm
If reading my mind wasn't enough, Kenny's mother also made me feel like I was looking right at my reflection. The person she was and the way she felt about certain things reminded me of... well me. When speaking about living without their son, she gives it a positive spin, something I would also do, saying that it's a new phase in their lives that they just have to get used to. Her views on pregnancy correlate with my own as well. She never understood the glamour and belief that the desire to have children/be pregnant was innate. She describes her experience of being pregnant as painful and at the time extremely unbearable. At this point, I feel a strong connection with her character because damn. she just gets me.
Kenny enters and every scene after that is crazy intense. I kept receiving new information that I didn't know what to do with or how to react. Kenny reveals that his future child has a severe deformity. I can't for the life of me remember the name, but from the little googling I did, congenial and malformation are words I remember. His soon to be child wasn't developing properly. They (the sex of the child is never revealed) have a larger head and fluid in their brain. Kenny and his wife have the tough decision of choosing to terminate the pregnancy or to carry the baby to term. He even gives a depressing statistic that 90% of babies with that deformity die shortly after if they are even carried to term, and my heart sinks.
The rest of the play consists of the parents trying to figure out the best way to advise their children, with the consensus being that they shouldn't interfere with their children's decision, but Kenny's dad disagrees. He fights for the child's life, and for a lot of the play, I took his side. There was a part of me that believed in that 10% just like him and that believed that the child was no longer a fetus. After many jaw dropping, crazy soap opera like revelations - like Kenny's mom had an abortion no one knew about and Gale's (Kenny's wife) parents had a son who died in a car accident - Kenny's dad joins the consensus. Welcome to the dark side man. Cookies are on that table over there.
At this point and long after I've left the show, my head is spinning just thinking about it all. I don't know what I would do with such a heavy decision like that. Probably shut my eyes tight and hope it was all a dream. Yeah, I'd do that for about 10 minutes till it really sunk in. In the beginning, I believed the child should be carried to term because there was still a chance that everything would turn out fine, but I didn't take into account the lifestyle changes both the parents and the child would be facing. The doctor spoke about how bad the baby's condition was and the long term effects, but I've seen so many medical shows that have miraculous changes that I believe in the impossible. Then again, the baby might not make it to term, and even if it did, it might not live a long life. See how I'm on the fence about this? I don't know what I would do, and even writing this, I keep tossing the idea back and forth in my head, trying to find the right decision. Like it's that simple. Like there's this answer that we're all overlooking. I'll probably be wondering what the right answer is for days to come, but I definitely didn't expect my day to end like this. I need to go think about this.
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