Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WCW - My Mother In Law

Yeah.  She's WCW worthy you guys.

Sunshine and BadAssery on two wheels right here.
My MIL.  JoAn.

Not Joan. Jo. An.

Bucky.  Grandma Bucky.  The glue that holds our family together.  The pint-sized Polly Pocket that is like concentrated sugar and fireworks and a quilt and leather and a party and love all squished into an impossibly tiny package.

With parents no bigger than a couple of Keebler Elves, it's no wonder you can stash her in a hospital waiting room chair for a long wait for labor...she can sleep anywhere.

She's been there always.  For everything.  For everyone.  The births?  I wasn't there, but I did hear grumblings that one person couldn't brush their teeth and another not allowed to poop for fear that she might be late to a grandchild's arrival.  She takes her attendance track record very seriously.

She makes sure we have traditions.  Each kid for their first Christmas now gets a rocking chair.  To mark their second birthday, their photo on her old rocking horse.

Lucky #13
#12 Rocking It

Everything is fair.  She makes things special not only for everyone and makes sure all are included, but she makes each person feel like the ONLY one.  She has a knack for celebrating the individuality in each of the points of light that makes our family, giving each the attention and nurturing they need to thrive and contribute back, that makes the tapestry so rich.

You wanna rock a pink tux? She'll support you!!

We are a giant, interesting bunch.  And we are chaotic and overwhelming.  And she seems to handle us all with ease like a champ.  I honestly don't know how she does it.

She wrangled us all into one place at one time.

ToddlerBandit was pissed about this, but she was determined to get all 13.
She's fun and funny and is always up for anything and never says no to a plan.  And by "plan" I mean she is always all in for "Do you want to go see Wicked in Spokane?" just the same as "Will you drop everything to watch my barfing kid?"

Always there.  For everyone.  For everything.  The only thing she says NO to is when you tell her not to bring food to your party.  "No."  She always shows up with something.

There's so many of us she can't be everywhere at once, so her calendar is sometimes full, and we laugh when she calls and her questions go like:

"Hey, what do you guys have going on for 4th of July?  2016?  I'm looking at camp spots and wanted to get the best one."

She's a planner, she's organized, she keeps us in line.  She gifts us calendars at Christmastime filled with everyone's pictures from throughout the year with everyone's birthdays and anniversaries marked, including those we are missing but who are still very much in our hearts.

She pre-guts the pumpkins every year.  This alone.....I mean....a pre-gutted pumpkin?

She comes with her own gear, prepared for anything, anytime, all packed in a Trader Joe's bag:

  • 1 box of wine if she thinks you don't "already have one uncorked"
  • Assorted snacks/treats she has baked at various times for holidays to deliver to children
  • Assorted candies because some other grandkid got candy and she felt guilty leaving yours out
  • 1 Quilting project for a baby or an upcoming graduate or other lucky recipient
  • 1 Assorted item that was left at either her house or someone else's house, deliverable to you
  • 1 Bag of assorted clothing hand-me-downs from another person's child to your child
  • 1 Cell phone with an unusually surprising ringtone
  • A cosmetics bag and/or complaints that she has helmet hair if arrival was via motorcycle

I've seen evidence of her skills with the scissors through the years and can confidently say I strive for that same level of excellence with my own children:

This photo will never die.

It's ok - it grew out!!
She has four children but treats us like her eight children.  Four sons and four daughters.  We are equal, we are unique, we are each special to her.  She lets us know that.  There's no distance she won't drive to sit in the rain to watch her grandkids succeed or at least try their hardest, no amount of time that she feels a waste to see that each of us that belongs to her is honored by having her spend her precious time with us.

And her love doesn't stop at the leaves of her own family tree.  Her heart is equally as dedicated to her extended family, her friends, and her community.  She is always there.  For everyone.  Always.

For all of that, I love her tremendously, and I'm so lucky to have her.  Today, my Mother In Law gets this spot this WCW.

(And my FIL. He has a hand in all that punkin' gutting too. And the clean up.
And the presents. He's the man behind the woman.)

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