Monday, March 19, 2012

Finding My Story: The In-Laws

Family Group  Photo Credit:  anyjazz65

I have already written about my parentsmy grandparentsmy great-grandparentssome other family members,  the younger ones, and the girls.  Today I am going to talk about my in-laws.  Now you are thinking about multiple jokes and episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond.  I have to say that I am very blessed to have pretty good in-laws.  They are not perfect, but I have a wonderful husband who never takes offense when they act not perfect and I comment about it.  Those however are rare occasions.  On most occasions, they are pretty great people that I will tell you about below.

I have heard multiple stories about my paternal grand parents in law.  My paternal grandmother in law who would fix a meal at like midnight if someone came in that late because she always wanted to make sure you were comfortable.  My paternal grandfather in law who played major league baseball and made more money working in a steel mill was a very strong personality who had no trouble standing up for his beliefs.  On that side of the family, there are aunts and cousins that have made me feel welcome by sharing stories and photos with me at family gatherings.  They know I love a good story!  My maternal grandparents in law always took Drew and his cousins on trips around the country.  Grandma always worried about us when we were away and loved to just watch us playing in her pool.  I'm pretty sure she got a kick out of me throwing Drew in fully clothed.  I hope that I can love and accept new family members like they have loved and accepted me.

My father in law has always been very conscious that I am away from family.  As a newlywed, it was was very comforting for him to ask after my family.  It was comforting for him to worry about me being away from home and missing my family.  I love seeing him play with Ben on the floor or outside.  My father in law is also a hot rod fanatic.  In the last few years, I have learned quite a bit about cars in the last few years and I've found that car shows can be pretty fun.  I have also been comforted by his knowledge of cars because I don't have to worry about what is going on with mine.  Drew can tell me because his dad taught him and when Drew has a question he is always there to answer.  He's around to fix something when we need it or he has a contact that will get it fixed for us.  Since I know absolutely nothing about cars, I appreciate that.  His actions for family speak volumes about his love for those people.  I hope my actions speak that much.

My mother in law and brother in law are wonderfully creative people.  They constantly encourage me to explore my creativity and lend me their expertise often.  Some of my headbands, coasters, and most of my pictures of Ben are from their expertise.  Ben has rocking chair and a red wagon that have come from my mother in law's hard work.  My brother in law often engages me in intellectual conversations about books or social issues.  That really goes a long way to not making me feel like a freak for thinking about that stuff so often.  They both love Ben to pieces and go out of their way to engage him.  Recently my brother in law taught Ben how to paint with dandelions.  My mother in law works hard to teach him numbers and letters.  She is so intentional about teaching him things.  When he was a baby, there was more than once that we had to call her after midnight because Ben was screaming and we were out of ideas.  Sometimes he was hungry and we didn't realize it until it was too late.  Sometimes he was sick.  Sometimes we had no clue what the problem was, but we were exhausted.  They share everything they have with anyone who needs it.  I pray that I share that well.

And last, but certainly not least is Drew.  I don't know how to summarize all that he is in just a paragraph.  He constantly challenges himself.  He loves jock things and geeky things.  He is athletic and artistic.  He is a car guy and a chef.  He makes me laugh all the time.  He trusts me enough to cry in front of me.  He loves cars, comics, art, professional wrestling, movies, God, me, Ben, laughing, good food, and so much more.  He is the most amazing man I have ever met.  He does things for people and shares himself with them.  He talks to them and laughs with them.  I really can't write a sentence to summarize him or his impact on me.  He makes me a better person every day that I have known him.  I am so blessed to be his wife.

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