Friday, April 17, 2009

When In-Laws Become Family

Fatherhood Friday at Dad BlogsHappy Fatherhood Friday everyone! Welcome to first time visitors and old friends alike.

As late as last night, I had nothing for you today. Nothing interesting or funny to share not that I ever do. And then my phone rang. It was my brother-in-law, "So, what are you doing for breakfast?", was the greeting. Being that he lives about 12 hours away, my immediate response was "Having breakfast with you?". Ding, ding, ding, ding. I answered right!

He would be passing through the area to visit his parents and driving all through the night, but would be here in time for breakfast and a few hour visit. I just welcomed him at the door (5am) and showed him to a bed.

I love that he is here, even if our visit will be short lived. He doesn't have to be. He is choosing to fit us into his tight schedule because he wants to.

He has 3 daughters, almost all grown, and his wife died a few years back. We are the in-laws. In-laws that he has no obligation to. In-laws that he could just write off and be done with. Many of us I plead the 5th would love the opportunity to be done with our in-laws. But he makes a regular effort to keep in touch and keep the relationship going, always making time to stop in when he's with-in a hundred miles.

In reality I should hate this guy. I was only 13 the first time that we met. He told me that I looked like Ralph Machio and he was kind of right. Thanks for the bad haircut mom(you can stop laughing anytime now). This is not what a teen girl needs to hear. Our relationship was off to a rocky start.

I was still in high school when he married my sister and within a few years moved out of state, taking my much loved nieces and sister with him. Strike two.

As years passed, I remained close with my sister. We would visit back and forth with our families. His home was always open to us, but he didn't have much in the way of choice about it, he was married.

Over time we did enjoy each others company and got along better and better, but always in the context of my sister telling him he had to being our strongest bond.

It's now been 23 years since the Ralph Machio incident and we have found much more common ground than I would have ever thought possible. I almost feel bad for all those times in High School when I hid his car keys or gave him bad driving directions. Almost, but not quite.

In the past few years we have come to recognize that we would want to hang out together, even had he never married into the family. We share jokes and wine and memories and I am glad we do.

I am glad that he is here because he wants to be. I am glad that he feels welcomed and wanted and more than just an in-law, but also a friend. But most of all, I am glad that he brought me a bottle of my favorite ice wine from a great little winery near his home.

I better go pick up some bagels.

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24 comments:

Rob said...

Cool Post. That is awesome you two get along now and enjoy sharing memories. Did you really look like Ralph Machio? I loved him in the Karate Kid. LOL. Happy FF. Check out my FF post at http://www.pbandsmellysdad.com/2009/04/my-ramblings-of-week.html

Jason said...

I've been really fortunate with in-laws. My wife's parents are awesome(I think they like me better than her sometimes). And my brother in law is great as well(even though he took my sister, niece, and nephew from Ohio to California for 2 years, but they'll be back by November so all's well now ;))

Have a great visit with your brother in law!

Melisa with one S said...

That's awesome!

Grab some beer for yourself while you're out for bagels.

PJ Mullen said...

That's great that you have that kind of relationship. My in-laws have been here for a week now and are leaving today. I'm sad that they are going, I wish that they lived closer.

Andrew's Daddies said...

This is a great post! You looked like Ralph Macchio??? Damn WM, we could have dated in school. I would have definately asked you to the prom!!
I'm happy that both of you keep in touch with each other..not out of obligation but because you both need each other in your lives. That's touching.

New Dad Blog said...

Ralph Machio. . .Classic

surprised mom said...

This is a touching post. I'm happy to hear about your closeness with your brother-in-law. As far as the Ralph Macchio comment, I would have hid his keys, too, and worse. I'm one of the lucky ones who has a great relationship with her in-laws. I hope you have a great visit!

WeaselMomma said...

@ Rob ~ Sadly I did. It all had to do with bad home haircuts and a tan, but I did indeed look like Ralph Machio. Luckily, by the time 'Ghost' hit theaters I resembled Demi Moore.

@ Jason ~ That's cool. It's great when you have good in-laws.

@ Suburban Scrawl ~ Done and Done!

@ PJ ~ A week with my husbands parents would initiate a search for the bodies.

@ Andrew's Daddies ~ ROFL! Do you think that life would have different had you known me then? That would be a huge feather in my cap!

@ New Dad ~ It was pathetic, but true.

@ Surprised ~ I do love my BIL so. He's great to have around.

Bella Daddy said...

As a sibling with 10 brothers, and ONE sister, I have to admit, we should stay in better touch.

Kudos!

Oscar said...

I got along better with my mother-in-law than my wife.

seashore subjects said...

Wishing you a marvelous visit!

MileHighDad said...

Almost, but not quite.
Seems to sum it all up!

-Justin said...

Good deal! I get along with a sister-in-law like that, and it's great!

heh-heh Ralph Macchio... what happened to that guy?

KWG said...

Sadly it's just the opposite with my family. My sister and I are estranged and don't talk. We rarely see her ex as well, but when we do he's very nice to us - even if he was (and is) an ass to my sister and their kids.

Sigh. Sorry for the buzz kill. Uplifting post.

Mama Smurf said...

I love this post...such a happy post.

...but...I am a little disappointed that a Ralph Macchio photo wasn't included...

I think I may actually be resembling Ralph Macchio today. I just got a major hair cut. I'm look'n a little "butch".

terri said...

It's amazing how such relationships develop over time. I found myself hugging my own brother-in-law on Easter, telling him I couldn't wait for them to move back here, and wondering when the heck I started wanting to hug him.

Maybe we love them because our sisters loved them...

Tara R. said...

I hope you all have a wonderful, albeit short, visit.

Momo Fali said...

I am very close with my husband's family and it's wonderful. Out of his 10 brothers and sisters, there is only one I don't get along with.

Tom said...

That's really great that you have a family that likes to stay together. Mine is sort of the opposite.

Mocha Dad said...

It's great when you can keep family ties strong.

Busy-Dad-E said...

I really enjoyed the theme of this post. As an only child, I've always thought of my wife's sisters as siblings rather than in-laws. I'm fortunate that the feeling is mutual. It would require a special relationship to get me to go buy bagels at 5am!

Michelle said...

You're lucky there. If my in-laws called me, I wouldn't be thrilled to see them. I don't dislike them, but they aren't my favorite people. They're very differnt from me, with very different values. I love how you have that bond... I'd love one like that.

And reading between the lines, I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister. I can't imagine the grief you've gone through in your life.

Laura said...

I think I have enough material for my own blog now that my FIL has been with us for the past 10 weeks & will be here for at least 10 more for back surgery (pre-op, procedure, & recovery), but it wouldn't be anywhere near as funny & uplifting as yours...might drive some to drink (or drink more heavily!). I am close w/ some of my siblings-in-law, so I appreciate your tribute to your BIL, but I'm really wishing for a break from any in-laws right now!

Sorry to be a downer, & sorry to say that our pedicure party for May has been cancelled due to the above! I hope we'll get together sometime, & I'm so happy you're still in the states!!

Charlie on the PA Turnpike said...

About that Ralph Machio crack, consider this:

You're getting considerable hits daily on your blog, and that's not counting the FF link that and your posts on dad-blogs.

Something tells me RM only dreams of being as popular as you are!

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