Sunday, December 23, 2007


Grandparents for your young children that aren't involved with their lives whatsoever?

No Grandparents for your young children to have some time getting to know?

Grandparents that overindulge your child, and try to trump the parents in gifts and first timers?

Grandparents that don't adhere to your child's schedule when you've left them in their care?

Grandparents that sing Music to their grandchild when they're only about 6weeks old?

Grandparents that think of adventures that may make a mom seem weary because it's different from what she's used to but that you go along with for the fun and memories for the children?

Grandparents that decorate an extra bedroom in their home strictly for their Grandchildren?

Grandparents that will teach them words from another language?

Songs from another language?

Words and Letters from another language?

Grandparents that will build PVC dividers to protect their grandchildren, even if it makes their own very nicely designed pool like silly?

Grandparents that will allow their Grandchildren to throw the pebbles that are part of their decorated zen garden near their pool?

Grandparents that will allow them to eat a Popsicle on their chocolate sectional couch, even if it means a drip drop or lot of liquid?

Grandparents that will give you their thoughts on any disruption they may see within your own home?

Grandparents that will send you books on parenting and marriage: Scream Free Parenting, Men are From Mars, Woman are From Venus?

Grandparents that will walk up to each other, lean in and just give each other a kiss while in a room full of other people?

Grandparents that will save to help out with their grandchilds education someday?

Grandparents that will remind the parents of their grandchildren when they need to calm down?

Grandparents that will set something up, and than change it, and then change it again, and than change it again?

Grandparents that will paint their grandchild's new bedroom when the mom is pregnant with their 2nd Grandchild?

Grandparents that will call and say they need their grandchild fix, and can you bring them up tonight for the weekend?

Grandparents that will gush to anyone and everyone about their grandchildren?

Grandparents that aren't afraid to look back on a photo of their grandchild and think, "I thought that was a good picture, looking back, the child looks like an over sized alien."

Grandparents that will roll around on the floor, stay up late laying in bed next to their grandchild when visits are in, and just talk on the same level to their grandchild?

Grandparents that bend the rules more often than the parents?

Grandparents that love their grandchildren even if they may grow up a completely different way than the Grandparents may like?

I'll take all of them but the first three, how about you?

Now, what if this was part of the equation? Still into it all?

Grandparents that start teaching them things about another religion?

Grandparents that sing them Christmas music when their grandchild is only 6 weeks old?
Grandparents that urge the parents to make a one side decision on religion, saying you can't have both?
Grandparents that don't always understand the other parts of religion?

I'll still take all of them, including these, because that is what my husbands parents are like, and it may be different than my views, definitely not all of them, either, but I still love who they are.

I love all of it. Every bit, because sure there are things that could be deemed as "are you serious, Clark?" But you all adjust, conform, change, accept, and once again, love. Than the laughter always comes, always!

I love that my mother in law can fly in a few days before we had our third and stay for 21/2 weeks with my 74 year old Grandmother in law and take care of our older two when we delivered Benjamin. They cared for them, drove them to McDonald's, took them to parks,...they amaze me at their zest for life. How many people do that? That's how I want to be, especially since I'll only always be a Mother in law when my sons take their wives-which I do want to be, as I don't really want my sons to be stuck on me like a mommas boy, and that's only because of how stressful that would make it for my daughter in laws someday.

How would I feel if in those types of shoes?
I don't think it would make me comfortable.

It's one thing to be a boy and to obsess and need his mom, but to be a grown man that has taken a wife, you can't be stuck on mom, you need to push off mom and grow with your wife. That doesn't mean you're supposed to stop loving your mom, but there's a big difference between loving your mom, and being stuck to her over your wife walk of life.

What about Our Poppy?

Our Poppy-born in 1922- husband to my Grandma in law, golfs daily, plays cards, works out, has pillow fights with his three great grandchildren that he just adores and inhales whenever we're in town visiting. His eyes twinkle, and although he'd been ill last year with his kidneys needing dialysis, he still walked up to me at our cousins wedding in New York last May, and stuck out his hand for a dance with me, calling me "babe," and "sweet heart."

The first time I met him, when I was pregnant with Jackson, I fell for him, our Grandpa. He shared his meal with me, and I know it sounds hokey, but here is this older set in his ways, elder man that owned diners in New York-like the Seinfeld types. His eyes are blue, his hair silvery white, he gets cranky real easy at servers, the TV, anyone out in the customer service world, and his heart is just golden. He turned to me after having met me, and, looking at his future not jewish granddaughter, he asked if I wanted any of his sweet potato fries-and he stuck his fork into them, and gave his fork to me to take the fries. I know it sounds funny, but to me I felt as if here is this older man that once again has to be faced with how his religion is changing, and how the reminders of lost family members during history's tragic time is still a part of who he is, he still is willing to share his food with me. Here it should be me, the younger one, the one more adaptable to change offering my food to him, out of respect. I know this is all a metaphor, but it's how it made me feel at the time.

I think it's just a common ground of respect for one another. I take the time to show them my love, and it's a balance from both ends.

He loves me to death, and to this day, when he sees me, just like Grandma, they'll say, "we fell in love with you the first time Bigdogg ever showed us a picture of you, and then we met you and WOW!"

You Can't Get Better Than That.

There's always more to Tell, more people to write about, more lessons learned.

What I've learned so far, to name just a few:

If you are the daughter in law marrying into a very close family, take the time and get all of the families birthday and anniversaries. If you have to put it on paper, or a calendar in your email, do it. Acknowledge them on their birthday with even a picture drawn from their grandchild. A phone call perhaps.

Eventually you'll memorize them, and that will mean the world to them.

If you feel like giving them things are hard to do because of what they may already have, give them personalized cards, calendars, address books, notebooks, a magnet that has your child's hand print.
Give them your time.
Give them your children's time.
Give them your respect because as they are elders, no matter where they come from, they all feel a certain way about respect, give it to them even if sometimes a tongue is bitten.

Understand that everyone is raised a certain way, and for the most part it's not the same, so giving that a strong consideration, learn to agree to disagree.

They can't possibly think the same, and they may do things that don't make any sense to you, but that's not to say that it's doing something the wrong way, for some it's just what they think is normal.

Be compassionate with the family, and engage yourself with them.

Just because it's different, doesn't mean it's wrong.

Give them your love, and they will see it, they will love you when they see the efforts. Sometimes for some it just takes trying a bit harder, making one extra phone call, that changes the way life is glanced.

Welcome To Crustybeef~

I'm not saying you should be stepped on either, I'm just saying that when you're introduced to your future family in laws, these are some things that work at building the relationship so that it makes your own family dynamics more comfortable.

Sorry for the clue how I went from all of that.

Two Days!!


Anonymous said...

it IS..and it is too bad that more in-laws don't get along... and good for you, for getting along with yours!

tex said...

Powerful statement....The G-P topic is always touchy, since I never understood it due to lack of G-P's themselves. But the in-law situation, I wish I could be a better son-in-law to mine, but I don't have the patience nor the understanding, which is wrong of me I suppose.

Mary said...

Wonderful post, as usual. You have so much insight and the ablility to express yourself in such loving terms. These relationships are a two way street and each party has to accept the other with love.

abbagirl74 said...

Great words for me to read as a possible future daughter-in-law.

Got your card today. You are such an amazing woman with the family to boot. Thank you for making me feel so special, even though we have never formally met. It means so much.

Mary said...

Check your email.

austere said...

A from the heart post.
There is a saying in my part of the world, you adjust some the first five years, and then the next fifty years you rule.

Not easy, I know.But it takes courage and you've got so much in return as well.

I liked the feeling of a thread you've brought in here. MIL to Sullivan's wife one day. eh. :)


JYAnkee: It hasn' always been easy, but there is love there-without a doubt there is

Tex: Understanding comes from learned patience-you're a daddy now and I bet you have learned quite alot about patience through your children. It is something that goes both ways, I should, I mean. As you and I know, that isn't always the case.

Mary: Thank you for your very useful tips on Manure's..this will come in handy when Jackson and Sullivan see GmaCK tomorrow night! Yes, it it definitely a two way street,..and respect should be given back, although at times it can be overlooked. One just keeps moving along!

Abba: YEA!!!!!!!! YOU GOT IT!!! I'm soooooooo glad! I hope so for you soon that you'll be a DIL! ANd you are welcome for the card-now you have a piece of Crusty within your own walls. :) hahah. I meant what I said, and I am glad we've "met."

Austie: I like that saying so much that I think it will be my next email monthly quote..usually I change my quote every month or so, with my Uncle, and this is a great says sooooo much!


SOUL: said...

your bacon wrapped shrimp sounds lots better than mine!!!
wanna trade?
i can't use peppers tho--soul kid don't like no hot stuff on her bacon n shrimp. :(( oh well. sacrifices eh? just kiddin. no i'm not.
anyhow--- it's christmas eve---- woo hoo!
pass the coffee...
merry christmas!

HAR said...

This post was so worth reading. I think that your in laws are very fortunate and vice versa.
I don't have in laws but could incorporate many thoughts from this post into my own life with my mom. Who has very little to do with her grandchildren but who I should learn how to accept for who she is.
Thanks for the nudge.