Monday, April 10, 2006

How my daugther's birthday party helped me enjoy my in-laws...

Let me begin by stating that I absolutely love my in-laws. I could not have asked for better. Yesterday we had my daughter's one-year birthday party over at their home. My in-laws (whom I will refer to as Mom and Pop H.) are notoriously late. Late for meetings, for meals, for...well, everything. Even a funeral once. Yesterday, that no longer mattered to me.

You see, they invest their time in people. And people tend to be a rather messy business. My wife and I and the birthday girl arrived at their home to the usual chaos. Mom H. sweating in the kitchen, cleaning up from the previous occasion. Pop H. moving chairs. Sixty minutes to go until the party begins. Pandemonium.

Usually, I immediately get frustrated, then become quiet. I'm courteous, but that's all.

That's how it started yesterday. I grabbed the vacuum cleaner and grumpily started in the living room. Late, late, late. I looked over at Mom H. to see her reading a story to my daughter in the dining room. Forty-five minutes to go.

I started arranging furniture and looked over to see Pop H. playing with another grandaughter. Thirty minutes to go. Now Mom H. is helping her grandson wake up from a nap. Twenty minutes. Pop H. is playing with my daughter, making her giggle.

Ten minutes to go.

You know what, who cares about the time. Mom H. is carrying my daughter around the house, and my daughter is happy. If you spend your lives with people, you're just going to be late. You don't get to clock-in and clock-out of a conversation.

Keep being late, Mom and Pop H. And keep making my daughter laugh.

No comments: