Thursday, February 18, 2010

Attack of the Mothers-In-Law!

Because she had to escape the harsh Minnesota winter, my mother-in-law came to Washington this week. What? Not Phoenix? L.A.? Cabo San Lucas? Well compared to the brutal Midwest winter, a “mild” Seattle winter is nothing! Plus, today it’s perfectly clear and a balmy 57.

When Carol comes to visit, life is good. We enjoy great conversation. Dishes are done. Grandchildren are giddier. Our kids’ parents rest a bit more. It’s all good. This week we had the double whammy. My parents arrived last week and stayed ‘til Tuesday morning. Three hours later, the other mother-in-law came to town. No rest for the weary (just kidding moms). My parents helped us celebrate middle child’s birthday. Again, great conversations. Dishes/laundry are done. And free babysitting! Wahoo, dinner & a movie!

Though I hear horror stories from some of my peers, Jana’s and my mothers-in-law and her father-in-law are perfect. Now if you want to talk about my parents and her parents, that’s a different story (ha, ha, just kidding again parentals). Oma, Opa, and Gami have been a huge blessing to us this past year, having visited us in three states in the past 12 months – and more than once in each location. It doesn’t matter where we move (no, we’re not going anywhere), they’ll follow us. They come to spoil the grandchildren, hug us, and tell us they’re proud of us: whether we deserve it or not. Aren’t parents great?

Ten months ago, Oma and Opa drove from CA to TX to help us move. Eight months ago, Gami came to visit us in Texas after a particularly difficult week. She just hopped on the plane to comfort us. Five months ago, Oma and Opa traveled from CA to TX to WA to CA to move our stuff (about 4-5,000 miles total). Gami is here on her second WA trip. Oma and Opa have also visited twice.

These unexpected (though expected because of their character) trips have been particularly sweet. The hard reality of the loss of CA and TX friends has hit me this week. With the onset of spring I begin thinking about golf. When I think about golf I think about my golf partner. Then I think about other friends we chose to leave. It’s bittersweet. In so many ways we’re in the right place, but it came at a price. On the encouraging side, we’ve found a community and begun friendships that are significant.

So as time passes, we are no longer completely lonely. Week by week, month by month we feel more at home. We eat dinner with new friends, we make lots of long distance phone calls, and we greatly anticipate the attacks of the mothers-in-law.

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