Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ode To My In-Laws!


I've been married to my husband for almost 5 years. Before we started dating, a girl we both knew called Joe "the best kept secret in the ward." She had NO idea how right she was. She'd never met his parents. Honestly, if I'd met thousands of people who could possibly be my future in-law's, I would have chosen Cathy and Larry, hands down.


I often hear horror in-law stories, and sometimes wish I could add my $.02 (just because I like having something juicy to talk about), but I can't think of a single negative thing to say. My contribution to the horrible in-law conversation would be this: "My mother-in-law is awful, because when she watches my kids, she also cleans the stains out of all their clothes. Can you believe that?" Or about my father-in-law: "He provided the best living example to Joe of how to live within your means. I sure wish he'd encouraged debt a little more."

I can honestly attribute every good quality that Joe possesses to his parents--his parents that I am so thankful my kids get to call grandparents.

My father-in-law's birthday is today, and my mother-in-law's tomorrow. All they wanted for their joint birthdays was a day in the temple with the whole family. And while we all should have been responsible to make sure it happened, they were the ones arranging babysitters (or paying the babysitters we'd found), feeding all 18 of their grandchildren, and all 6 of their own children and spouses so that our pre-temple evening wouldn't be hectic. We should have been the ones feeding them!

I don't think a day in my MIL's life goes by that she doesn't happily give multiple acts of service. In addition to caring for her own elderly mother (which should really give her the right to say "no" to anything else requested of her), it's a rare day when she's not also tending multiple grandchildren, sewing blankets for premature babies, making dinner for someone who's sick, inviting someone else to dinner, etc. She's Wonder Woman multiplied by 10 million. She really does it all.


She has the amazing ability to see the good in all people, and all situations. But she's also really good at making those of us who sometimes like to complain--like me--feel validated. If she were normal, as in not-the-model-of-perfection that she is, she'd probably be thinking, "Girl, you have no idea what hard is...you only have two kids...I had six." But she sits and listens, and I guarantee that thought doesn't even cross her mind. Because of her ability to listen with love, my mother-in-law has become one of my closest confidants. I'm a lucky girl.

My father-in-law is just as incredible. He often claims that he's going to make it into heaven hanging on for dear life to his wife. But we all know that they will march together, side by side, equally worthy. I will forever be grateful to Joe's dad for the things he taught his children. He taught them self-reliance. He taught them hard work. He taught them service. He's one of the most talented men you'll ever meet, but unless you see him in action, you'd never know, because he's also one of the most humble. He won't boast of the homes he's built, the websites he's created, the cars he's fixed, the organ he plays, the Monopoly games he's won, or the service he's rendered. You just have to see it. If Joe has a project he's working on, his dad volunteers to help. If Joe needs advice, his dad has the right kind to offer. If we have a new game needing playing, he joins right in. Teenage-me would never have believed that my favorite people to hang out with are...parents!

So for your birthdays, Mom and Dad G, I hope you know how much we love you. I hope you know that I am watching everything you do, praying that just a little smidgen of goodness will rub off! When I married Joe, I had no idea I was landing myself on such an incredible goldmine. You were Joe's best kept secret! I love you! Happy Birthday!

P.S. I know Joe's parents will be horrified when they read this. They hate this kind of attention. But too bad. Some people are just too good to go un-recognized!

13 comments:

Jaclyn said...

Amen Robyn! I couldn't have said it better.

Carrie said...

Yes I second that!! We really do have the BEST in laws there are. We love you Mom and Dad.

Diane said...

That is just about the sweetest thing I've read! I'm so grateful that you love your in-laws so much! We love them too!

Erin said...

Can I just cut and paste this to my blog? Well said, dito, amen, etc. They ARE really the best. It's almost like it's too good to be true, but it really is true!! Love you mom and dad and Happy Birthday you two!!!

Aly said...

That was so sweet Robyn! You really are so blessed to have such amazing in-laws!! You are pretty amazing yourself, I am sure they are so grateful to have you as a daughter-in-law!!!

Jake said...

Well said Robyn! My parents are amazing examples to me, thanks for writing that blog. It explains how I feel about them too!

Annakaisa said...

What a sweet post!!

Niki Carpenter said...

That was really, really, sweet Robyn! I am sure they love having you in the family, too!

Kimberly said...

That was a really thoughtful post! I'm glad you have such great in-laws!!

esherman10 said...

What a nice post! You must have great in-laws...lucky you!

GrandmaCathy said...

I've been at a loss for words since Joe read us this post. First let me say thank you to Robyn and others for your kind coments. Robyn is one of those rare individuals who has chosen to see the good in us and overlook the bad--we have plenty of faults but lucky for us she chose not to spotlight those. She makes us sound alot better than we are but it has given us something to work toward. Thanks to a great daughter in law -- and good friend ! ! !

Tami H. said...

Robyn, if anyone needs a self esteem booster, all they need is you as a friend (or family member). It is a talent to see the good in people (even if in some people its easy).

I have a question about vinyl lettering. Does your sister still have a business in this? Could you give me her contact info if so?

Supermar said...

David and I both feel the same way about our in-laws. We are amazed at the horror stories people tell and are so thankful that all our in-laws (including siblings) are our best friends. What would we do without them?! I often joke with David saying that the Lord knew I wouldn't be good at making friends on my own so he made sure I got a ton with being in his family.

So good to hear I'm not the only one!