Early in April my in-laws will be moving in with us. I can not give bunches of details of why but it will be a good thing for them and I know it actually will have its perks for us. My father-in-law is 85 and spends most of his day getting ready for the day and then going back to bed. He is unique as this has been his pattern for as long as I can remember really. My mother-in-law will be happy to be of some use and help around here. We will be crowded to be sure, but I guess we collect more family bit by bit. How does that saying go? To a mother of many, what are a few more mouths to feed and to love?
It will have its challenges too. I am about as laid back as you can get but believe it or not I do realize the work load that lays in my wake and I do my best to tackle the overwhelming amount of laundry, dishes etc. I just try not to talk too much about the overwhelming toddler/school clutter and just muster up the energy to get something done. Our other newer member to our family is Jim our 65 year old neighbor. Jim faithfully comes over to help with dinner and clean-up. His reward is snuggling Evan up and rocking him to sleep. I tease him that it will be an interesting picture when Evan is six, to see him rocking him to sleep. Smile. He realizes his routine will have to change. Jim is not married and has no children so it is a joy to me to see him enjoying 'his' family.
As I have told my mother-in-law Sylvia, she too will figure out her niche in the family. I suspect it will be in the laundry realm. If anyone has a knack for folding laundry, it is Sylvia. She knows how to hang up laundry and take it down.....neatly. Perhaps we will have matched socks in our drawers. She used to assist kids in folding their clothes in their rooms in days gone by on visits and I sort of objected. I am to the point that I will not care if she assists them. Perhaps then they will take some ownership of avoiding that sort of Grandma help by doing it themselves. Perhaps I will be able to walk through their rooms in safety???
I mainly encouraged Sylvia to be able to relax and just be a part of a family. To let Charles Sr., putz through the day and not worry about too much of his slowness as at 85, as it is not that big a deal. I am just amazed that my children still have all their grandparents and they don't know how blessed they are. Grandpas are 85 and 83 and Grandmas are 72 and 74. It will take some adjustment but this is what we do as families. They have no other options really and some people have enough money to have parents in nursing homes but.......that is not the plan so far. We shall see how it goes. They are our parents and that is what you do.....you take care of them.
I have sort of chuckled that Charles and Sylvia are following Charley and my retirement plan so far.......live with each child for a time period and then someone will be the one be there to assist them in their final rest. Charley and I call it Parent Roulette. Nice. We used to chuckle about that. Well......it is happening. It will be fine. I will be happy to see my elderly father-in-law have some acreage to wander around on with his son and sit and watch while Charley works on this and that. Sylvia says she knows how to weed too.
So stay tuned. Preparation in the meantime.