We saw our in-laws off at the airport last Friday. The 7-week visit finally came to an end. All in all, it was a successful visit. First of all, My mother-in-law and Bob did not get into a fight at all thanks to my husband’s amazing ability to be on his best behavior this time round. Secondly, it was heartwarming to see the change in my father-in-law’s attitude towards the babies. At first he was a bit overindulgent with Okra, our baby boy, but later on he spent about equal time with both babies. You can tell that he loves them both equally. Finally, I feel that they have also changed their attitudes towards me. Although we had the previous incident that left a bad taste in my mouth, my mother-in-law did come around a couple of days later and told me to call her “pathi” whenever I would like. I appreciated her change of heart but I hadn’t called her anything since the incident. Right in front of the security check point at the airport when we all said our goodbyes, my mother-in-law hugged me and kissed me on my cheek. My father-in-law also hugged me and touched the side of his head on the side of my head. It was a tender moment. I was touched by their gestures. I remember the last couple of times when we did the whole airport scene, I got a side hug from my MIL and a handshake from my FIL. Time has changed and I feel that despite the cultural differences in things like how to address my in-laws, their gestures meant and “you are a part of our family and we appreciate you”.
The house felt empty after they left, but it also meant I got my kitchen back. Most importantly, I have my clean kitchen floor back! Cleaners came as we left for the airport. My mother-in-law is the best cook but is not the cleanest or the tidiest person when it comes to washing and cleaning. Let’s just say that the kitchen counter and the floor were constantly sticky despite my best effort to clean up after her. The area around the sink was always wet. The sponge for washing dishes lied in the sink soaking wet. The different cloths for wiping hands, counter, and dishes were all mixed together and smelled the same. My MIL worked hard to clean the kitchen on a daily basis after all the cooking at night, but a cleaning service was necessary to get all the grime off. Bob can now walk barefoot on the kitchen floor without feeling like he has to rub and clean his feet all the time.
My mom came home the day after my in-laws left. It is so nice to have her back. The babies actually remembered her. Bunny is usually the suspicious one when it comes to people, but she observed my mom for a few minutes and immediately smiled at her. Surprisingly it took Okra a little more time to stop looking skeptical at my mom. She commented on how both babies have changed: Okra is taller, his face is skinnier, and he has become so social and fun. Bunny is mobile and crawling all over the place. She is so smart and tries to figure things out on her own. My mom had missed them so much and is now in paradise as she gets to spend time with the babies again.
Routines are back. Meat is back in the fridge. Life is back to normal.