Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ode to my In-laws...

There is an old saying... something along the lines of "you don't just marry the man, you marry his family." I've heard horror stories. Awful, horrible things about awful horrible people. Things about in-laws that I'm not sure how marriages could survive. I'm sure a lot of people can relate, and are probably thinking about their crazy in-laws (or should it be out-laws?) as they read my words. Me? I can think of only one time when I was actually upset/angry with my husband's parents, and that was when they left us in AZ to move to SC. With a 6 month old baby. Like we were supposed to figure the whole raising children thing on our own. I know, I don't know what they were thinking, either.

It is weird how things happen. As they were leaving, we were busy planning to follow right behind them, but we held back. Something just didn't feel right. It was maybe one of the smartest things we ever did, on account of that whole lousy economy thing. I don't know how long it would have taken for us to find jobs, or to have health care for our sweet babies once again, but I'm glad I didn't have to find out. Instead, we held out for a ridiculous 2.5 years. Over those years, my feelings bounced back and forth to those of sadness (that my children weren't getting to see more of J's folks) to feelings of justified indignation. I knew J's parents were sad to not be a more regular part of their grand babies lives, but they were the ones that had left, after all... right?

Then, in October of 2011, the bomb dropped, and what most would see as some strange curse was actually a complete blessing for us. J and I both being laid off from the same company equaled two severance packages.. enough for us to move our lives to SC to be closer to J's parents, and land on our feet. And we did. Every potential hurdle we faced we overcame. Every obstacle was easily avoided. We made it here, and we've started to make a life here. We founds jobs quickly. We love our neighborhood. And now, we are becoming permanent residents through the purchase of our home.

All this to say that I couldn't imagine having done any of this without J's folks by our side. Ma and Pa In Law, as I lovingly refer to them. It would be more than enough if they just loved the crap out of our children. And they do. But they do so much more. They love us, to start with. J and I can be difficult to love, so I have a great appreciation for that. I'm sure there is a lot of eye rolling going on behind the scenes...  the shared glances of "you have got to be kidding me!" But they tirelessly continue to put up with our nonsense. They kept us under their roof for over two months. Let us fill their space with all of our crap. Endured the long nights of Johnny crying at night for no particular reason for. ever. and. ever. They let me warm my butt by their fireplace every morning when it was -52 degrees outside. They helped us move out into our own place, helped us get established, showed us around, introduced us to the neighbors. They spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to help us make our space more livable. Pa-in-law faithfully drove his tractor down the street to cut our grass any time he cut his own. Ma-in-law volunteered making meals for the boys in the evenings, which I especially appreciated when I was too tired to think after a long day of work.

As if that weren't enough, they have risen above and beyond with this whole "buying a house" thing. Have a crazy financial circumstance but still want to get a home loan? Ma and Pa-in-law knew just the person who knew just the person. Oh, and an appraiser. And an inspector. Bam. Need to buy a fridge but don't have the time to do the research? Never fear, Ma-in-law to the rescue (with her trusty side-kick, and our new neighbor, Miss Ann). Have a formal living room full of boxes you never unpacked from the time you moved from Ahwatukee, to Maricopa, to Gilbert, to SC? Don't even sweat it. Ma-in-law will come spend a few hours with you on a Sunday afternoon and get the entire thing (save one box) banged out in no time. Oh, and she's also got a plan for your entire move to go smoothly. And don't worry, you can eat dinner at her house for a few nights since your kitchen will be in transition.

All they needed to do to earn my love was adore my children. They do... to the moon and back... and so much more.

No. You can't have them. They are mine!
{Susie (aka, Ma-in-Law, Grammy, Grandma, or as this little fellow now calls her, Namaw) w/ Johnny, shortly after he was born}


{Mike (aka, Pa-in-Law, Papa, and now BaBa per little Johnny) w/ Mikey}