My in-laws have been staying at my house since New Years Eve.
But wait! No, stop cringing. It’s been kind of awesome. I KNOW, right?! And I’m not even kidding. They don’t own a computer either, so I’m not just sucking up here. (Oh, I suck up in other ways…just not THIS. Hah.)
My father-in-law (Wade) is a fantastic cook. He has been making most of the meals, things I would never consider & are so good. My mother-in-law (Lil, Ryan’s step-mom) is pretty much as tidy as they come, the woman even brought her own laundry soap from home. Home is 7.5hrs away. And it felt oddly rude to tell her she can just use my laundry soap since she lugged it all the way here and all. They spoil the Ladies just enough that they feel important, but not so much that they become brats. Dexter, on the other hand? Spoiled.freaking.rotten. Lil will let him flop and stretch and twist beside her on the couch, all the while petting him and telling him what a good boy he is.
Every single time they stay, Wade buys me sushi to take to work for lunch. Yes, every time. They’ve been hanging around in the mornings to give Marcie (our nanny) a break at coming in so early, and they help out so much with the Ladies that I haven’t once felt guilty about sitting down for a beer at night. They let us do our routines without interruption: discipline, bedtime, and breakfast are by our rules. The beauty is, we have consistent back up now. We’re up to four adults, three kids. It’s glorious.
On Monday, lazying around at home for New Years Day, Wade and Bella sat downstairs, snuggled up on the couch for THREE HOURS watching cartoons. When I mentioned to Bella that maybe she could let Pa watch what he wanted? She looked horrified and he just smiled, snuggled her in closer and quite sincerely replied it was no big deal.
This particular set of in-laws lives 660kms north of us. We don’t see them often, but the winters are hard up there & the walks across the frozen lake and back for groceries were worrying their kids. The cottage they turned into their dream home is stunning and nestled into some of the most beautiful landscape you’d ever hope to see. It’s no wonder they struggle to leave there and come back to smoggy Windsor. So when they do, they make the most of it, stay from December until March and float like gypsies between five kids and Ryan’s grandmother for a bed to sleep in and a place to put their shoes.
I admit it, I was hesitant to agree to it last winter. I’m a girl who likes her private time, I enjoy our routine and am easily flustered when I feel like I have to constantly entertain a crowd. Quite the contrary to my original fears, they were welcome house guests. Very respectful of space, helpful and accommodating to the hustle and bustle of our home. It’s been the same this time. They have plans they like to get to, leaving the house to Marcie when she’s around, they don’t seem offended that I spend a good chunk of my nights on my computer in the livingroom, they don’t become involved on either side of an argument and they always ask how our day was. It’s pretty nice.
Admittedly, people in small doses is mostly how I like my people. Ryan and his Dad are far too much alike when they spend too much time together (ahem) and it’s hard to be on my best behaviour (see: not yell at their son. We’re a house of yellers. We are all still alive and no one harbours homicidal tendancies. Get over it.) for longer than a few weeks. But something about the way my husband’s shoulders relax when he can chat with his Dad makes me loosen my grip on The Plan and just go with the flow.
Fact is, it’s nice to have them here. Take this as you may, but that’s not something I would have thought I would ever say. Solitude is one of my best friends & I’m more than a little territorial over my space. But my father and mother-in-law are lovely human beings, we are lucky to have them, they are so good to my family and it’s like a god damn fairy tale up in this piece, okay?
Hit me back next week when I’m all “sunshine & rainbows are stupid, where is my broomstick?” Hokay?