Oooh...look...two posts in one day. How productive am I?
I actually meant to post this yesterday, but I'm mid purge (aren't I always lately?) in the bedroom (last room to really give the old heave-ho to), so I never got around to it yesterday.
When I married my husband, I also gained a second family. His parents and siblings (and now their spouses!) are such warm, wonderful, loving people, and they embraced me right away. I am so blessed to have been so welcomed and that they are such good people (no scary MIL stories here!). When my oldest was born, hubby and I had all of our parents (except my dad, who was present in spirit) there for the birth. My sweet FIL stayed in the family waiting room that was attached to the birthing room for as long as he could, until I started to get vocal, and then he headed down the hall, where it was a little less stressful (and likely much quieter). He was right back in there, though, after Liam was born and was one of the first folks to hold the little guy.
By the time my second was born, my FIL had taken a consulting job in another state, and wasn't in town much. He was greatly missed by everyone, and when the job finally ended, we were glad to have him home. Not long after he came home, I started a semester of full time classes, and hubby and I couldn't work our schedules out so that one of us could be home when the other was working/in school some of the time. My FIL stepped up to the plate and offered to help keep an eye on the kids.
I will admit, at first I was a bit nervous about the whole proposition. Not so much for the sake of my children, because I knew they loved their grandpa and would be happy to spend time with him, but for my poor FIL, because I wasn't sure he understood the depth of what he was about to get into. Particularly since my youngest was not yet potty trained. Which meant diaper changes. This also meant he would have to put the youngest down for a nap in the afternoon, which was not always the easiest, along with the added responsibility of picking up the oldest from school a couple of days. I figured it would all end up being a lot more of a hassle and stress than he might be willing to put up with. I should have known better, considering what a kind-hearted and generous person he is and what a great dad his son (my hubby) has turned out to be.
Of course, things went swimmingly. The boys loved spending time with grandpa, particularly the youngest. They would play trains and cars. They would snuggle and nap together. They would work in the yard. They would take walks. My oldest was mostly content to watch his favorite afternoon TV and play a little computer, and while he did play with Grandpa, he never seemed to get into it as much as the little guy.
Once I found out I was pregnant at the end of last semester, I knew I probably wouldn't go back this semester (particularly since I'm done with all the coursework I need to apply to med school), which meant that we no longer needed Grandpa to watch the boys, as I would be home. Now that fall has circled back around again and school is back in session, I've noticed that my FIL is missing his time with the boys. I've also definitely noticed that he and Jonah share a special bond.
So yesterday, my FIL called up and asked if Jonah could come out and play. He'd planned a day for the two of them to spend together, with lunch at one of Jonah's favorite spots and a trip to buy birdseed to feed the birds, all topped off with an overnighter. When I asked Jonah if he would like to go play with Grandpa, he couldn't get dressed fast enough. He kept going to the door and opening it to see if Grandpa was here yet. When Grandpa arrived, Jonah hopped out the door and down the steps excited as could be. My FIL always greeted him as per usual with "Hey, my man!" and he scooped Jonah up for a big bear hug. I can't help but smile just thinking about it. They just lit up in each other's presence.
It's the kind of thing I had hoped that the boys would have with my dad, were he still here, but I'm so glad that they have an opportunity to get to know my FIL in this way.