I was just in Vancouver where she lives for the CBC and decided to go out a day early to spend time with her. We had dinner together with my sister-in-law and then I invited Mum to join us for the festivities the next day at the CBC 75th Anniversary/Culture Days. It was a chilly day, but down she came to stand outside and be a part of the event. She says she was there for me, but it turns out that she was really there to see Johnny Reid who was opening the day's events. He was charming and fantastic. She loves him. Partly because he’s talented and partly because he’s Glaswegian.
|Sheila McCarthy from Little Mosque on the Prairie, Ron James from The Ron James Show, |
and Deb's lovely Mum-in-law
My wrangler had her stand in a strategic spot to be sure not to miss him. He came by and said hello, and she told him she was from Glasgow too. Her reward was a wee chat and a kiss. As a result, I do not have to give her a birthday gift for the rest of her life!
It was so nice, having her there. She just fit in seamlessly. Some people would feel awkward from both ends of the spectrum, but I loved it and so did she. She is charming and easy with people and it was fun for her to get a peek inside this wild world of live TV. Everyone was so kind and friendly to her. Her only disappointment was not meeting George Stroumboulopoulos. I promised her, but every time he was free I was busy. So maybe I do owe her more gifts after all.
A friend recently told me that she finds it so funny that I call my in-laws Mum and Dad. I don’t know, maybe it’s old fashioned now, not done. It’s not for everyone, I know that. My husband worked with my Dad and knew him as a peer before we got together so I get that it was awkward for him to change and I never expected it of him. He adores my parents and that’s enough for me. But this was something that was important for me. The second we said our “I do’s” I went up to them and planted a Mum and Dad on them! I think they were secretly very pleased.
When I was growing up, both of my parents referred to their respective spouse’s parents as “Mum and Dad”, although technically my paternal Grandma was referred to by all as “Ma”. I always hoped that when I married someone, I would find in-laws that I loved enough to honour them with that title. And I did. Lucky me.
Barbara: It’s funny the whole parent-in-law stereotype—the one where we don’t get along with each other. I guess it comes from that old saying: “You don’t pick your family.” And maybe you don’t get along because there’s so much “political” stuff in families and maybe it’s because you’re just not a good fit with each other.
I am lucky enough, like you, Deb, to have a mother-in-law that I love (and, too, a father-in-law when he was still alive). But I think we love each other for the same reasons as you: there is a will to work on a good rapport, a genuine mutual respect, and a healthy dose of lovely get-togethers like the one you describe here.
You are an amazing daughter-in-law, Deb. I know your “Mum” appreciates that beyond words.