Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Falling in Love with my In-Laws!

As I glance across the room, I am warmed by the rare moment of my husband lounging with his parents.  The glow of relaxation and enjoyment oozing from his smile as they reminisce about his childhood, ignites butterflies in my belly.  I am pleased to know despite the stress and sleep deprivation, that the man I fell in love with is still here! It is so adorable to see a grown man cuddle up with his parents! Passing around baby pictures and comparing features to our boys is really wonderful to witness.  Everyone is happy. Everyone is present. Living so far away is hard; especially, when we enjoy moments like these.  

As I watch them like an after school special, I can't help but think of how anxious I was around my in-laws at first and how far we've come as a new family.  Slipping into a sweet think tank of emotions, I chuckle at the memory of our first visit. I was so overwhelmed, so desperate to please, so overcome by the differences, that I would tear up from implosion, usually around dinner time.  Being a new couple, there were a lot of emotions, I wasn't quite ready to explore with my husband.  I spent a lot of self therapy time in the bathroom. Often I would purposely dice super ripe onions for dinner so I could sob without harassment. I wanted to love them immediately and the guilt of my hesitation wore me down. Families are just so different, not bad, just different.  It usually takes a minute or two to get adjusted, even though technically you are supposed to fall in love with them instantly.  How could I call someone Mom and Dad that I really just met?  It was an interesting transition for me.  

And now, seven years later, after enjoying another wonderfully peaceful day with my in-laws. It dawned on me.  This comfortable feeling of just being able to be, not to mention the enjoyable conversation and the kind interactions were all turning our relationship in a new direction. My heart was seeing these people in their best light, the sort of light only family can see you in.   I finally became open to this budding love.  They were not just Eric's parents any longer, they were becoming my family.  More importantly they were becoming family for my boys. Witnessing the bonding process, the similarities, the quirks, the connectedness between them was moving to my soul. And it moved me to a place where I was at peace with my self in their company.  I felt safe. I felt loved back. I didn't need to try any more, I could just be.   It had been a long road to get here but I have arrived to a nice place where I can truthfully say "I have fallen in love with my in-laws!"

Just as I formulated this wonderful warm fuzzy in my whole being and considered starting a group hug, I am slapped back to reality by the  lovely yet familiar sound of post-dinner gas! Yup, I said it. Finally it had happened. No more trying to run to the bathroom.  We must all have been feeling the same depth of comfort.  Usually, offended or embarrassed, I found myself somewhat humored and even honored by this incident.  In fact in some cultures the best compliment you can give a cook is to loudly and proudly pass gas! At that moment, I took it as such. In all fairness, I did serve Cannellini bean soup!  After good chuckle and an open window,  I realized stinky or not, this was a moment to remember! This proudly marked the starting point to a new and improved relationship with my in-laws. We had come full circle and I am excited to enjoy them in this new light.  Atlas the time has come...Let 'er Rip!

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