First off, I'm not trying to score pre-holiday brownie points here...
The fact simply is- I genuinely love my in-laws. From the very get-go, there were a number of potential obstacles in the way of a smooth transition going into my relationship with Mrs. Tony C. The biggest being the fact that I had practically gone to school with her parents.
Let me state for the record, they are both OLDER than me by a few years.
So for those of you not keeping up, I am indeed
significantly somewhat older than my lovely wife. A fact that has never been a new revelation nor point of contention with either of us...ahem...especially me. The age issue never seemed to bother anyone around us though, at least as an issue important enough to vocalized to me.
Anyway, back to my original point and off this self-justification for cradle robbing.
So, I love my in-laws. What's not to love? My mother-in-law is a quite remarkable lady. She beat breast cancer back in the year 2000. Not only did she beat cancer, she early retired from her lifelong career, went back to school, and is now an oncology nurse helping other cancer patience. She takes her job to heart and works with a passion that is recognized by those needing the service. I don't tell her enough how proud I am of her and that she is truly a hero to me.
My father-in-law is somewhat of a kindred soul. We share a lot of the same passions, with a primary passion for God. He is a tremendous role model not just for his children and grandchildren...but also for me. Unbeknownst to him (to this point), I often gauge my own moral stature on a particular issue based on his personal insight to the issue. That's not to say we agree on all matters, but clearly grown men in an informed society can disagree and both stand on solid moral footing. I would be very uncomfortable being on a different moral footing than my father-in-law.
I'm going to use a term that is often overused where I live but beyond all doubt applies to my in-laws...they're just good people. My oldest daughter is not their maternal granddaughter, but you would never know a difference between her and the younger two girls with them. They come to her soccer games and show genuine affection for her and have since she and I joined their family. I can't emphasize enough what that and that alone has meant to me.
My in-laws drop by our home quite frequently, and I'm really glad they do. Now we all know the visits are geared to interact with the grand kids, and I'm perfectly at ease with that fact. I enjoy their company. I enjoy it so much we vacation together in the summers...something I look forward to each and every year. In my heart I know, the more my in-laws are around my three girls, the more the love of God is being demonstrated to them. Plus, I have the luxury of seeing the product of their joint parenting efforts daily...and I must admit I'm quite impressed.
Did I mention my brother-in-law? He's a pretty cool dude too...I just don't want to give him the big head, so keep that between us.