My Dream Mother-in-Law

Okay, for once I have nothing more pressing to blog about today, so I’ll do one of those posts I’ve promised you for ages and never found a time to write.  By the way, no, I’m not in labor and I don’t expect to be anytime soon.  I guess I was wrong to propose today as BabyN’s birthday.  I guess in the next week or so we’ll see how right all of you were.

When my sister was in high school and started dating her high school sweetheart who is now her husband, my family still lived near, in a different suburb of the city where I live now.  Her boyfriend’s mom lived about ten minutes away, where she still lives now.  I graduated from college in December of my sister’s senior year and moved back to yet another suburb of the big city.  I spent most of my weekends at my parents’ house and hanging out with my family.  Inevitably, I hung out some with my sister and her boyfriend, and some of that time was even over at his house (ask him about playing video games on his bed sandwiched between his girlfriend and her sister; I bet he remembers that one).  Obviously I met his mother on one of those visits.

Even while they were in college, I got to visit with them and BIL’s mother some during breaks.  My parents had also grown close to her simply because their kids were together at a college in another state.

Then they got engaged and I was asked to be maid of honor, of course.  I’m not very aware sometimes of what is expected in social occasions or roles such as maid of honor, so it didn’t dawn on me that I was responsible for throwing my sister a bridal shower.  My sister’s future MIL stepped right up and volunteered to do most everything for the shower while including me in her plans so that I could feel involved.  I think the only thing I really did was make invitations and bring a gift to the shower itself.  It helps that she is wonderful at entertaining; she threw a better party than I would have ever been able to.  During this planning time, though, and the wedding itself that followed shortly, we got to know each other a little better.

By the time the wedding was over, sister’s MIL was forever part of our family.  We all see her kind of like we would our own MILs, without the baggage some of them come with.  That was also about the time that I was the only member of our family still living in the city.  Because of that, I sometimes got together with sister’s MIL just because she was someone I knew and liked and was basically family who lived close.

M and I met, and I was anxious for sister’s MIL to meet him, as her approval was nearly as important as my own parents’.  I knew when she liked him that he was in.  Unfortunately we moved across town when we got married.  I was pregnant at the time and not able to do much traveling across town to visit with her or any other friends I had left behind in the other suburb.

But one weekend my sister visited us, and of course had to go see her MIL while she was there.  We all made the trek across town, and on the way back I started bleeding heavily.  We thought I was miscarrying.  My doc was still in the other suburb, where I lived when I first found out I was pregnant, so we had to go to the ER over there, an hour away.  It was about 10:00 when we left for the ER, and we knew on a Saturday night that we wouldn’t be done too early.  We just planned to stay the night at my sister’s MIL’s house once we left the hospital.  Everything turned out fine, obviously, but we weren’t done until 3:00 in the morning.  It was a blessing to have that second home nearby so we didn’t have to drive back on no sleep after all that stress.  Sister’s MIL even stayed up to find out the verdict as soon as we got there; she was as worried as if the baby was her own grandchild.

When PJ was born in that same hospital, my parents needed a place to stay near the hospital.  Naturally, sister’s MIL opened her home to them.  Because of some odd timing of my departure from the hospital that Sunday in relation to the NICU’s visiting hours, it made sense to rest for an hour or two at sister’s MIL’s house before making the drive back across town, away from our newborn son.  Again, I was so glad to have sister’s MIL right there, even with my parents around as well.  I was more excited about her visit to the hospital than my own in-laws.

I will always associate sister’s MIL with PJ’s birth, even if we haven’t seen her too often since then.  I hope we can see her enough that PJ grows up thinking of her as yet another grandmother.  If I could have my way, I would trade his other set of grandparents for her in a heartbeat.  She is a wonderful woman, and I’ll always be proud that my sister had the good sense to marry her son so that she could become a part of our family.

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One Response to My Dream Mother-in-Law

  1. I always hoped I’d have a great relationship with my MIL, since my relationship with my mom is always so rocky. I was heartbroken when K’s mom died before we even got engaged. I felt better that he said she’d told him she knew we’d get married, but I had hoped to get to know her before she died.

    My high school boyfriend’s mom, though, has been a part of my life for a while now. She didn’t have a daughter — just two twin boys — so she really took to me when I dated her son. She and I still get together a few times a year. She’s even flying out to our Florida wedding! I always hoped my relationship with my future MIL would be like my relationship with my high school bf’s mom.

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