Last night we had dinner with my mother-in-law, who, after a brief holiday, once again lives in the same city as we do. In fact, she now lives closer to us than she did when we lived in Fort Collins. Those of you who have been privy to my mostly petty struggles with her over the years will understand when I say that if I'd known, two years ago, that we would move seventy miles away only to have her closer than ever, I might never have agreed to leave in the first place (I think that "moving away from MIL" might have been in my "pro" column when I was trying to get my mind around moving.)
Well, in the past two years, she has mellowed, I have mellowed, and I'm now basically glad to have her only a stone's throw away (a stone thrown by a seven-league giant, besides). Here are my favorite things about living near my MIL:
1. As she gets older, and more in need of help, it is SOOOO much easier to help her when she lives only fifteen minutes away.
2. Once again she can do random fun things with the kids--and now that she's so close, it doesn't have to be all three grandkids. The special, one-on-one relationship that she had with Silas in his first few years can rekindle a little, and maybe she can spend some special time with Helen as well, just the two of them.
3. When we drive her home after dark (she doesn't drive at night anymore), it's just the right distance: the car has time to warm up, I can listen to a decent chunk of a radio program, and yet it's never so far it feels burdensome.
4. Okay, I'll admit: free in-a-pinch babysitting.
5. For the first time in about ten years, she seems relaxed and happy. This is good. This is very good. When MIL's not happy, ain't nobody happy.
Have a great day!