Friday, May 16, 2014

Respect and Thoughtfulness

Families work because of respect and thoughtfulness... love manifested through respect and thoughtfulness.

Chris' parents have been here this week helping us take care of Tracey Ann while Hubby and I are at work.  They are here on the heels of my parents having been here for the past three weeks.

As one can imagine, it is an adjustment to have my mother-in-law (and father-in-law) here, helping out, taking care of Tracey Ann, helping with cleaning, laundry, and meals after having had my mother here doing the same thing.  Both of these mothers are wonderful women... and both of these women are wonderful mothers, but one of them is MY MOM -- the one who taught me how to cook, and clean, and launder, and run a home, and care for a child... and the other is the woman who raised my husband... but not the woman who taught me how to cook, and clean, and launder, and run a home, and care for a child.

My mom and I can finish each other's TO-DO lists, household chores, and sentences.  My mother-in-law and I do not share this innate similarity.  Simply put, we do things differently.

All of that being said, families work because of respect and thoughtfulness, and my mother-in-law is really good at being a part of a family, and specifically, really good at being a mother-in-law.  I can tell, every day, that she is trying so hard to not only take care of my daughter, but to do things my way in my home.  She has repeatedly learned my way/method of diapering, feeding, napping, laundering, and dish-washing and made a pointed effort to remember all the little specifics of how I run my home.  It makes me feel so respected that she has taken time and effort this week and learn how I run my home, and try to follow suit.

... And yet, she is still herself in my home, bringing her own personality, humor, thoughtfulness and joy to my household.  We were chatting a few nights ago about Spring, and somehow the subject turned toward gardening and flowers.  Without thinking I mentioned two things.  1) Someday I hope to have an herb garden outside because herbs seem to be so simple to grow yourself, but I can't have them inside because Lexie will eat them.  2) My mom plants flowers every spring, and one pot is always full of purple pansies.  She thinks of this pot as honoring both her mother and my dad's mother (my grandmothers) because her mother loved pansies, and my dad's mother loved purple.

Yesterday, I knew my mother-in-law had been working in our yard, but I didn't know that I would come home to a surprise -- a flower box and flower pot full of purple pansies and herbs.  I now have an herb garden... and my own spring time tribute to my grandmothers.

I did not grow up with a lot of extended family around me, and so growing into Chris' family has not come naturally to me.  Thankfully, I have such a thoughtful mother-in-law who demonstrates her love for me through her respect and thoughtfulness.

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