Thursday, January 22, 2015

An Addition to the Family

Hubs and I flank our SIL-to-be
When my husband and I were young and fearless, we left our home state for work, settling 1,600 miles from friends and family. The move proved a good one, children came, and we made new friends, some of whom became like family to us. Week-long visits “back home” most summers linked our girls to their aunts, uncles, and cousins. The grandparents made a point of visiting us once or twice a year.

I don’t know when I started referring to my husband and daughters as “my little family.” Does every mother make a distinction between her nuclear family and its extensions? Do I make the distinction because my husband, kids, and I don’t see our kin on a regular basis?

Because my sisters aren’t in and out of my house every week, and my brother doesn’t drop by Sunday afternoons to talk sports and politics, I’m most myself with my little family. We get each other’s jokes, tolerate each other’s bad puns, and get a kick out of stumping one another with word etymologies. (It’s more fun than it sounds.) For a while, I feared I’d built too high a wall around the four of us. Would a prospective son-in-law be able to scale it? Would he mesh with the existing group?

I’m thrilled to tell you my little family is growing. Soon, I’ll gain a son-in-law who fits like the missing piece of a puzzle. What’s more, it’s been easy to welcome him into the family, be ourselves with him, and love him.

Because Son-in-Law-to-Be and Younger Daughter are young and fearless, they’re likely to settle 1,900 miles from me and my husband. They’ll form their own little family.

I can’t wait to visit.


Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! What exciting news. I am so happy that your daughter found a good man that the entire "little family" will love. That is so important.

And, if you need someplace to visit, you're always welcome at my house with my "little family."

Take care.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Congrats on getting a new son-in-law! I think the "little family" thing is more a feeling of household? I live less than 10 miles away from my parents, and that thinking is still there. Right now, we're at an in-between stage with our daughter--she's in college, so most of the time me, the husband, and the dog are "my little family."

Sheila Seabrook said...

Congratulations, Pat! Watching the "little family" grow is wonderful!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patricia/Jansen!

I'm so happy! (Do you remember we chatted about my daughter and her boyfriend this past summer?)

Between your comment and Jennette's, I'm thinking a lot of us take comfort in our little families.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Jennette!

Hope you know I envy you Isis the Dog in your little family.

A feeling of household, huh? I have to think on that, especially since Younger Daughter and SIL-to-be are in South Korea right now, but I don't feel they're that far away because we're exchanging lots of wedding dress pictures and Save the Date card ideas via the Internet. When the initial wedding-planning excitement ebbs, I get a dog of my own.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Sheila,
My SIL-to-be is Canadian. I'll be the annoying tourist mispronouncing schedule and about.

Anonymous said...

Well Pat, your SIL is certainly a good-looking young man. And to the extent that someone can look like a nice person - he does.

Even after moving 1,600 hundred miles from the world you knew always remember that in a certain way Montclair State is "family" to you too.

- Patrick

Liz Flaherty said...

Congratulations to you all. That has always been the saving grace of my kids living "away"--the fact that they move to interesting places.

Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

Pat I do remember we chatted about your daughter. And mispronouncing schedule and about is not our problem - it's theirs. They say it wrong. (Ha)

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Jake said...

Hi, Pat!

It means so much to me to read your touching words. It is so nice to know that I have both your and Ted's love and support. We can't wait to start our own little family. We will cherish your visits, as we have on our current adventures. I look forward to seeing you in Norway!

I love "y'all" :)

- SIL-to-be

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patrick!

In this case, looks don't deceive. My SIL-to-be is exceptionally nice.

I think of Montclair State every fall and wish I could see the trees change color. I don't, though, think of it as family. That said, I'm close to Sue, a fellow English major I met during orientation. Whether she likes it or not, she's part of my extended family.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I like your attitude, Liz! Yes, my kids live in interesting places. You know, even the daughter in Houston is in a neighborhood that's a lot more interesting than mine.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patricia/Jansen,
The daughter who's in South Korea requested a bus ticket to the city where she lives, but she mispronounced the initial vowel and was given a ticket to a different, more distant city. She caught the error because the price was much higher, and she and the ticket agent straightened out the problem.

This is my long-winded way of saying mispronunciations are our problem.

You are charming and can sing, dance, and emote away communication problems. I'm not so gifted.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Jake, we love y'all back!

Anonymous said...

I think that's what I was trying to say - that you might be lucky enough to have one friend from college who you are still close to and the Montclair experience made them "family" to you - in a very extended way.

MSU (as they call it now) is certainly beautiful in the fall especially on those crisp days where you have a clear view of NYC.

- Patrick

Karen McFarland said...

Congratulations Pat! This is wonderful news my friend! Just from the picture I can see how well future SIL fits into your family circle. So happy for all of you. Now, the wedding planning. And oh how precious these coming days are. Have fun and enjoy every moment. ((Hugs!))

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patrick,
I consider myself lucky to have found and kept Sue as a friend.

Stay safe in the blizzard!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Karen,
These days are precious, indeed. Thanks for stopping by.