Monday, October 17, 2005

By Marriage

My daughter's experiences this weekend with her in-laws made me think about extended families, particularily people you are sort-of related to only by marriage. It's rather a strange association. Here you have two people who come from different families somehow find each other in this big wide world and get married. Now they love and accept each others' quirks... and because they love each other, they try to accept and get along with their in-laws. But what happens when you go another layer deep? When in-laws associate with in-laws? How does that work?

We've been on both sides of the fence. The lucky side and the bizzaro side. On the lucky side, we have a wonderful mom and dad who have raised three kids (two boys and a girl), whose middle son is married to our eldest daughter, and who are great people. They have done foster care for years and have many success stories - as well as heartaches. That's a given. They've been there for our daughter and their son through thick and thin and we appreciate that more than they'll ever know. They took in our grandson as their own and, in fact, spend much more time with him than we do! (Something I'd very much like to remedy in the future!)

Another of our lucky experiences has been with our younger daughter and her husband. His parents are terrific, if not a bit hyper (as Em has recently posted). His mom is a lot more like me and his dad... is... active. They are very supportive of the kids and his dad has a lot in common with his son, especially biking and bike racing. They've raised three very nice boys with SIL being the eldest. We don't know them very well, but what contact we've had with them (wedding planning, etc.) they were very easy to get along with and I think if we lived closer his mom and I could become pretty good friends.

The last lucky experience has been with our youngest son and his serious girlfriend - the one I call DIL2B. Her parents are former farmers and can relate to our lifestyle and they the ones we've spent the most time with, simply because they are such race fans that they go to sons' races a lot. They have raised DIL2b and her older brother, both of who are pretty outgoing and fun people, with major work ethics (this girl will go to a race and get home at 2 am and get back up at 4 am to drive 40 miles to work and/or school!) Her dad also is a great fabricator and has done some things for us that were very well done (for the race car and repairing farm equipment). Her mother is also going to school to be a nurse and working... !

I just think it's strange how you have these people that you don't know from a block of wood and suddenly you're related by marriage! The world gets smaller every day...

I'll save the bizzare one for another post... its a story in itself!