30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 16

“On the sixteenth of Thanksgiving, I want to show thanks to my in-laws.” (sing it to the sound of “12 Days of Christmas”) I’ve heard nightmarish stories about in-laws, and I know that no matter what moms will always believe they know what’s best for their children, even after they’re married and have their own lives and have kids and etc, etc, etc…. My husband – luckily – doesn’t really have to worry about my parents. They just want to make sure that duties and responsibilities are shared between the two of us, and as long as we go home to the Philippines once every one to two years (at least while my grandparents are still alive), they’re content (and I’d really like to go every year, but airfare is starting to burn our wallets). My darling husband “warned” me about his family, and in his defense, he knew how different his family and I view the world, and he wanted me to not push too many buttons. However, I’m absolutely grateful for both sides of my husband’s family, and there are very distinct reasons as to why.

My mother-in-law is a total gem. She’s a model citizen; no joke. She volunteers at one of the local animal shelters, cares for her mom, keeps tabs on her grown kids, and works her butt off. She tries to help people and pets as much as she can without even second guessing others’ motives. (Scary and honorable at the same time, right?) I’ve yet to see her lose her temper, and though we differ in our views of and takes on various ideas, we have one common thing (person), her son… my husband. Their relationship is one that many families I know lack and desire, and her strong sense of enthusiasm and hyper activity is contagious. Yet, by the end of one afternoon, my head is reeling from fatigue, trying to keep up with her. It’s no wonder she’s so fit in her middle years! I admire and am grateful for her readiness to help and her offers of doing this or that or this or that. She’s got a lot of heart, even if she worries a bit much at times. *nods head vigorously* My husband really takes after her in heart and concerns, but it’s that part of her in him that balances my craziness out, and I do need balance. *nods head vigorously*

My father-in-law is the tall, quiet, survival type. My husband and I joke that I fit in with his dad more than he does, as I grew up with guns, hunting, fishing, and country life (in general). Yet, I know that under the rugged exterior is a big ol’ teddy bear. I know because my husband is the same way. He looks intimidating when you first see him, but he’s the biggest sweetheart when you get to know him. (Proof is the bartender in the Philippines who dealt with my husband during our stay at the resort. The guy admitted to me that he was scared to disappoint my husband because of his size, but my husband shocked him with his politeness… and tips.) My father-in-law does this once (or twice) a month phone calls with my husband that I wish I could do with my dad, and I can see that my husband is secretly happier after the conversations (even if he won’t admit it). My father-in-law opened and welcomed me the day we met without ever meeting me or really speaking to me. He only had what my husband told him of/about me.

I couldn’t ask for more supportive and individually strong in-laws. If it weren’t for their uniqueness, my husband wouldn’t be who he is. He’s both sturdy and gentle, adventurous and cautious, and independent yet knows when to ask for help. For all those pieces that make my husband such a great balance as a person, I have my in-laws to thank for the qualities in him.

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