Musing upon the arrival of the in-laws…

My mother and father-in-law are in town for a few days. They arrived last night while I was pulling my shift at the Temple, and will be here until sometime Sunday. It’s kind of nice having company over, and the kids love having Grandma and Grandpa around.

Every so often it reminds me of the fact that my kids didn’t get a Grandma or Grandpa from my side of the family. They got some uncles and aunts, some cousins, and some “fake” relatives like Uncle Dave (chalain), but my Mom and Dad are a single wedding portrait on the wall, taken back in the late 60’s. I wonder whether they would have been good grandparents. They divorced shortly before their deaths (Mom in a car accident two years following the divorce, and Dad had a heart attack two years after that), so if they’d lived and remarried, maybe I’d have been stuck trying to explain why there were four grandparents on my side of the clan. Maybe I’d have a step-mom and a step-dad I could irrationally resent, so visits from paternal grandparents could be poisoned by my own bitterness. Or maybe everything would have been wonderful, and there would be an additional source of Christmas presents for the children of the perpetually impoverished cartoonist.

No, I’m pretty sure that if my parents had lived, I would NOT have become a cartoonist. Things would have been different enough that pretty much everything I’ve done in the last 20 years would have been done a little differently, with the cumulative effect being dramatic. I don’t believe in the butterfly effect on the scale of butterfly->hurricane, but the life or death of a relative would certainly cascade powerfully through several generations of human events. It’s remotely possible that I would have gone to law school, inherited my father’s practice in Florida, and ended up today as a dumpy, balding, middle-aged attorney.

Okay, take another look at the LJ icon for this post… see? It could have happened. The smile would have been different, though.

I’m glad my kids have grandparents on Sandra’s side. I miss my own parents, but I’m happy with the way things are today. Any changes I need to make are changes I’ll make in my present, and my future.


4 thoughts on “Musing upon the arrival of the in-laws…”

  1. While I’m definitely sorry your parents weren’t able to enjoy being grandparents, much less remarrying… having multiple sets isn’t a big deal. Both sets of my parents’ parents divorced, and all but one remarried; as far as I knew, I just had 7 grandparents.

  2. My parents remarried… (my father is on his third marriage now) and they’ve moved off. My son will probably never know my father and will only see my mother twice a year or so. At least my inlaws live within walking distance.

    I only hope that my father-in-law lives long enough that my son will remember him (he’s not well). :/

    I only knew my grandparents on my mother’s side (and they were a very important part of my life – I miss them greatly – I wish that they had lived long enough to meet my wife, they would’ve liked her very much) – my parents were separated shortly before I was born and divorced when I was 8… I only met my paternal grandmother twice that I remember and never met my paternal grandfather. Some of my half siblings (I have enough to field a baseball team, plus) knew them well – I don’t know if I should feel jealous or not.

    My son loves my inlaws dearly and it makes me happy to see him with them. He’s such a happy kid (he’s 2 years and 3 months now)…

    Sigh, I’m getting all emotional and mushy… time to stop… and get back to working on the CFL websites that I’m updating. 😉

  3. My Granddad remarried before I was born (after living in sin for many years of course) so I had a step-Grandma, and it was pretty cool.
    To me, she was just my Grandma (my actual Gran lived in another state) and my Mum certainly didn’t resent her. In fact, she was the one who persuaded my Granddad to marry her.
    Only problem we had was my parents trying to explain that she wasn’t actually related to us. Kinda difficult to explain to kids that Grandma isn’t Mummy’s Mum.

  4. Grandparents in odd numbers

    My Mom’s Mom has been married (and divorced) 3 times. I’ve met my biological grandfather in passing one time when I was about 6-7 but I don’t remember it at all except the house smelled funny and they had a huge dish of peppermint candy.

    My whole life it was just “Grandma Dot” on my Mom’s side and “Grandma and Grandpa” on my Dad’s. It struck me as weird that other people had 4 grandparents when I was little. *chuckle*

    I think that the irrational resentment issue is actually getting less and less frequent as divorce becomes more mainstream for Americans (not that this is necessarily a good thing). Kids with only one parent or 7 grandparents etc are becoming more and more normal. Makes for less resentment when other kids don’t think of you as weird.

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