Tuesday, February 19, 2008
My Mother in Law Rocks
So - many people have this odd relationship with their mothers in law. Think of the mother from "Everybody love Raymond" - who lives close to the family and still does Raymond's laundry.
I think of Samantha's mother from
I thank my lucky stars, all the time - for my mother in law. Besides being my mother in law, she is simply an all around wonderful person.
During those hazy first few weeks when my twins were born, she and my father in law would take the entire night shift for us. Just that one weekend night of sleep was priceless.
Her first question when planning activities is "What is best for the kids". (Not the typical so you can't fly 12 hours and back with two one year olds? Why not?) Not only that, she does all of this stuff - and never expects anything back. Expect to see her grandchildren every once in awhile.
I could go on and on about all the support she's given me and my family over the years. We'll just say, above and beyond the call of duty. She always calls first before coming over. What more do I need to say? She brings over new cleaning supplies - not as a subtle dig on how well we clean, because she actually wants to be helpful (she buys a bottle for herself and one for us in the process). In addition to this, she's a trustee for a college, she volunteers to support the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues, works full time, etc.
On many days she's my hero.
To give an example of the type of person that she is - last weekend, I was talking with her about a friend who recently had to attend a funeral while seven months pregnant. The loss was in her husband's family. At the funeral, the mother in law had at first not expected the friend (again, seven months pregnant) to stand in the line. But later, other family members started getting offended and telling her that she needed to be in the receiving line. Calling her up "come on down" like on the Price is Right. Okay, well, maybe I'm exaggerating, but it's still a bit unreasonable. Many of them also touched her belly - one of my pet peeves and (hopefully the word is getting out) a faux-pas for most women. Needless to say, after two or three hours of standing, she was exhausted.
As I told this story to my mother in law, she just kept getting more and more incensed. I knew as soon as I heard it - what her reaction would be. (Honestly, I didn't even have to tell her this story, I had a pretty good idea how she would react). And I was sure to tell her how I knew I had lucked out with my mother in law.
Stories like this just made me grateful (again) for her, who would sooner rub raw chicken all over her kitchen than place any severe social expectation on a pregnant mother, child, older person or person suffering from mental illness.