i know most women when confronted with the idea of moving in with her mother-in-law for an extended period of time would shudder at the thought, and i have to admit, i did have to think twice about it at first. it's not that i don' t love my husband's parents; they are awesome, but i am a person who likes her space. and sharing a house is a scary thought for someone like me.
but on the flip side, we have a very special situation. kari and lynn aren't your typical in-laws. anyone who knows them, or even knows of them, knows that they are some pretty special people. and i have to say, now living here for going on 5 months; they are not only special, but amazing.
they are such a testament to what a loving family is and should be. i learn so much by watching them love each other, love me, and love my kids. unconditionally.
i never feel judged for my parenting style or that they are just trying to stick it out until we move to belgium. they never heavy sigh when they have to step over the train on the kitchen step, or wince when titus won't stop crying. they don't get mad when i've dried a load of clothes with the ballpoint pen or burned the rice on the stove. it's amazing to me, because, i know i would.
i wasn't sure how i was going to be able to handle a full time job and two kids. but being here with "lolly and duh-duh" (as they are known in our house), i am somehow able to make it through each day and still have my hair.
on those days where i have completely exhausted my supply of grace and patience with my children, lolly comes home brimming over with a whole new supply and loves on them. she cheerfully and willingly makes dinners, gives baths, cleans up (multiple times) after my little matchbox car lover, and holds fussy faces.
dutch, my little outdoorsman, spends most of his mornings outside with duh-duh. they work in the garden, and listen to dave ramsey while they fix the car. they play in the ditch and they go get the mail. duh-duh always knows when the garbage truck is coming down the road and they run to the front of the house to "go see". it allows me to get work done that otherwise i would have to finish at night. it's a blessing.
they love my kids as much as i do. sometimes more i think. and yet, they have struck that very delicate balance of being great grandparents and yet, letting us be the parents. there is no tension or strife here, just love. they respect us as people, as parents and yes, even as friends.
and these people are some of the hardest working people i've ever seen. they rarely ever just sit and "unwind" or lay around on a saturday. duh-duh is always working on some project or another and lolly seems to have endless energy when it comes to taking care of her house and those in it.
i didn't have this kind of relationship with my grandparents, and i am so happy that my children get to; even if just for the short time we have left in the united states.
i know i will miss morning coffee at the kitchen table. miss having them around to talk to and laugh with. miss the advice and wisdom given so gently and without judgement. miss recounting the funny things dutch or titus said or did that day. miss praising the kids unabashedly, because let's face it, these two children are the smartest, cutest and funniest children ever to walk the planet. and in this house, that will never be disputed.
my name is liz, and i live with my in-laws.