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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Good Daughter-in-Law

Chaulk another one up for Lois.

Friday: I'm at Track and Field day for our Catholic Elementary School, visiting with my friend, who yells over to my sister-in-law, "So, what time did you have to get up this morning to fertilize Mary Ann's yard?" (Mary Ann is my mother-in-law.)
My sister-in-law, Lois, is diligently volunteering her time today -- now helping at the soccer kick contest we are watching.

Thoughts swarm through my head. (Neither Cole or Alex is kicking right now anyway.) Lois woke up early to weed and feed Mary Ann's yard? How am I supposed to compete with that? Suddenly, my early rising to perform yoga at 5:15 seems completely selfish.

My husband has one brother and three sisters. Thus I'm one of two daughter-in-laws. Now, I'm truly not a very competitive person. So, don't think this is some sort of contest. And I really, really like Lois. We share a great deal in common and she's genuinely sweet. But I happen to have a great need to be liked. And it's been difficult to gauge the likeability factor in the great stoical family of the Kramer's. Especially when you feel you are being compared to a daughter-in-law who

1) Creates and delivers extrordinary meals to all of the men working in the field. My husband usually instructs me to "just pick up pizza from Pizza Hut".

2) Makes desserts that consistently sell out when we're assigned to work our Wednesday night the parish's Bingo. My special box recipe of Oreo Surprise never comes close to selling out. I usually push the leftovers on my husband and kids. (My mother-in-law has offered to make my dessert several times, but I hate to impose.)

3) Mows and trims her entire yard (is it two acres wide?), while managing to create large beautiful flower beds throughout their farm. And I guess she's doing a little extra landscaping at the in-laws as well. But in my defense -- supposedly the good "topsoil" was scraped away when we built our house. I'm sure that's why my flowers all die even though the grass grows.

4) Successfully hauls her three busy sons to their games and practices while ensuring they all succeed academically as well. I think I can at least match her on this, except I only have two kids.

5) Manages to attend her niece's and nephew's events in addition to her own. This one amazes me. Who could fit in an additional game or recital if their own child isn't there? I've had a few good intentions, but they rarely pan out.

(Sidenote, in case you're wondering, her house is always clean as well.)

But I'm inspired to be a better daughter-in-law.

Saturday: I call Mary Ann to see if she wants to attend Alex's soccer game. It's her last of the season and it's supposed to be nice outside. She hesitates only a moment, then acquieses. Aha! See? I am a good daughter-in-law!

The rest of the story... The games starts thirty minutes late. It's bright, sunny and really quite warm. Mary Ann forgets her sunglasses. My oversized diva sunglasses won't fit over her glasses. She doesn't accept my stupid-looking hat. The wind begins to blow at an uncomfortable level. The game begins. The other team chooses to do fifteen minute quarters with at least twenty minute breaks in between. The game seems to never end today. Finally, we triumph ten to two with Alex "almost" making two goals. Mary Ann doesn't know much about soccer, but is gracious despite the conditions. At least I'll be able to treat her to a nice lunch for her suffering!

Doug calls. The planter's broken down and he needs me to run his tools to him immediately. Since we're twenty minutes away, I must speed home. Sorry Mary Ann -- no lunch for you today. But thanks for spending the morning with us!

So much for my quest to become like Lois. Oh, well, there's always another dessert to try at Bingo. Has anyone ever tried the Turtle version of the Oreo box recipe?

1 comment:

mike yuen ken paahana said...

my mother was so good to my gf how cum she was so meen back to her, now i c how her mother is meen 2 me 2