Saturday night, my mother-in-law (MIL) flew in to stay with us for two weeks. She is her own person and has a special set of idiosyncrasies, and I love her just the way she is.
On Memorial Day, we broke in a new grill by cooking for her, my mother, and our neighbors across the street whose little girl is the same age as our son. My MIL got a picture of the two of them sitting in my lap, with me smiling down at these two adorable playmates. Watching them romp from room to room, chase each other through the kitchen, and put on my and my husband's shoes prompted me to rename them Bonnie and Clyde. Gonna have to keep an eye on these two!
I also love watching my son play with his grandmas. He adores them both completely and just glows in their affection. I'm also really grateful that they're both retired, and even though my MIL lives two states away she finds cheap air fare to come visit whenever she can. When both grandmas are around, this kid can hardly contain himself with so much joy (and mischief).
Hosting my MIL also comes with the normal challenges of having extra family around, but that isn't too big a deal. She has her own room and bathroom downstairs, so we don't get in each other's way and she doesn't have to worry about the boy waking her up. There are times, however, when I find myself stretched just a little bit by the strength and openness of her opinions. I take them seriously and respect them, and just hope she doesn't get too offended if I don't always follow them. But that is the dynamic nature of a blended family: different communication styles can flourish or flounder. In that case, respect goes a lot further than anything else. When all else fails, we can center on what we have in common: our son and a mutual love for science fiction and astronomy. This kid is destined to be a Star Wars fan.
That reminds me -- I should probably talk to her about acceptable discipline in our house. Probably too late now, since she's taking care of the boy today, but worth mentioning what we've been doing.