Thursday, May 14, 2009

81 and Counting

Was it merely a year ago that we were living it up on a big ship in Cabo San Lucas? Must be, because my father-in-law just celebrated yet another birthday, his 81st. He's in great shape, still able to watch 3 kids by himself. Only one kid he can't manage, but then again no one can manage that kid, which is why he's the only one off at school during the day. The day my father-in-law can't babysit our kids will be the day I start stressing. And not just because I won't have a free babysitter anymore.

I love my mother-in-law, but I relate totally to my father-in-law. I can completely understand his desire to sit around in sweats and watch TV all day, even if it is some garbage on the E channel (oh such mindless bliss). We could watch the Food Network and HGTV all day, everyday, without getting up to try a single recipe or decoration tip. It would drive me crazy, just like it does him, if I got unending phone calls during my twice-a-day naps with some obnoxious ring set at the highest volume. Or if my spouse was constantly trying to drag me to yet another "party" (religious meeting with food) or to the 1 out of 4 grocery stores that must be visited each week to save $5.

The husband and my mother-in-law say my father-in-law was not such an easy man to live with in his younger days. He was unemotional, rigid in his ways, seemingly unloving. Yet he showed his devotion by hanging in there, despite sons who drifted on their own for awhile, a wife who sometimes made unreasonable demands, and insane and/or alcoholic in-laws that lived nearby.

These days he's the submissive one. He lives for his wife, sons, and grandkids. When he sees the baby he smiles so broadly that you can see every single wrinkle for his 81 years. Otherwise, you'd never know he was 81.

I hope the husband has inherited his father's longevity genes. Because who else is going to drive me around to the pharmacy every other day and make dinner for us.

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