Sunday, 27 July 2008


One may well wonder what on earth I am going to write about my mother-in-law, seeing as how they seem to have a bad name, but I have another story to tell all together which will shed a much softer light on the species!

Every week Roger's mother comes to dinner and has done so since we moved here in 1990. The first thing she does as she gets out of her car is check on the vegetable garden, along side of which she parks. She always notices things and always says lovely things, never commenting on the odd spade she may have had to drive around or the overgrown weeds that need removing. As she walks, now with her stick, to the front door she is always the first to notice the scent of something flowering or the bright colour of a flower off to one side of the garden which wasn't out last week.

We all sit around before dinner and talk about the week and I show her things I have picked that she may not have eaten before and she will always try anything and nearly always enjoys the new tastes, such as the Chinese Seashells or a carob pod, or sweet potato leaves in a salad or yacon bulbs sliced up to have with cheese.

At this time she asks me for this week's homework! By this she means that she wants me to print out a few things that I have written for the blog during the preceding week that she then takes home and reads at her leisure. And read them she does and she likes also to read the comments people make and then we talk about it all the next week. Sometimes I don't give them to her until just before she leaves because otherwise she can't keep her eyes off them and starts reading them while I am trying to talk to her, avid as she is to see what's been happening in my mind and in the world of blog since last week!

She always knows what's the latest in world politics and news, recently published books, new restaurants, and latest trends in all sorts of things. Even our boys are amazed at what Granma knows about new venues or visiting bands. And the best thing of all is that she thinks she is lucky to have a daughter-in-law like me..... funny because really I don't do nearly enough for her. But what she likes is the chance to discuss things, knowing that all of us will say what we think, that we all have opinions and no-one ever minds how robust the debate gets, because at the end of the day we are all friends and can laugh at ourselves.

When I was a child I don't remember discussing world news or views much and I now feel very lucky to have a mother-in-law who brought up her children to know about the world around them and that we can now pass this on to our own children. She is 80 now but her thinking is more up to date than most people half her age. Lots of women these days aren't as lucky as I am to have a mother-in-law like mine and when I grow up (??) I want to be just like her in many ways.

I asked her about writing this last week and she said "Fine, but don't give me that one to read, give me something interesting." But maybe I will sneak a copy of it into her basket and let her bask in her own glory a little.....


Jumbleberry Jam said...

Oh, I want to hug your Mother in Law! What a dear heart. I'm with you...hoping to be just like her when I grow up. Thanks to DH there's a chance I will. How I do love enthusiastic, worldly, Australians :-)

katecontinued said...

I envy you this lovely, stimulating woman in your life. And, despite what she may say - she will be moved by your words. I'd like to hug her myself.

Unknown said...

What a great post for your MIL! How sweet! I also have a wonderful MIL, so they aren't all bad.

Maggie said...

As Bobbi says WE are not all bad, just a good mix like everyone else.
I think your MIL will like this quote from Shakespeare.
"nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so"
Granny Maggie

Ian said...

Kate, you're very sweet to write this about your Mother in Law who sounds wonderful tonight. I'd like to meet her. My own MIL died several years ago but she was lovely too... and now I see Maggie is not only a MIL but a grandma as well.... it's great to learn all this from here in my room.

Maggie said...

Hi, Ian I just wanted to say the KGI forum page looks good, I love the smile faces, I think Kate said you were helping with that.
I have just discovered fast dial and that I can refresh my chosen blogs, so far I have 70 favourites!
Can't stop to chat I'm off to Granny sit.