Memorial Day weekend every year is promised to my in-laws. It’s their traditional time to “open up” their lovely mountain cabin for the summer – turn on the water, winterize the snowmobiles, change the sheets, and vaccuum up the dead flies. Sounds fun, right?
I used to look at this weekend as a bit of a curse. The weather is usually too cold & wet to enjoy the outdoors much, so I’m stuck inside with my husband’s “kind but quirky” family, trying to keep my kids from getting in the way. To make things worse, my mother-in-law is always so concerned about things being done just the way she likes them that she rarely lets me help much. Can you believe this used to hurt my feelings? I come from a family where if you’re told to sit out it’s because you’ve been deemed incapable of doing something properly. So I took her refusals of my assistance as a sign that she thought my cleaning was subpar.
What a fool I was! I was looking a gift horse right in the mouth and not even knowing it. I had a pass to sit back & relax – enjoy my children, enjoy a book, enjoy nature – and I was concerned about her opinion of my cleaning abilities?
Now, when we go up for our traditional Memorial Day weekend, I look forward to it! I always offer to help and usually spend a bit of time washing windows or sweeping the porch. But when my mother-in-law takes over, I run for my pack. I get out the letter I’ve been trying to finish or the sewing project that’s half done. I do Sudoku and play Go Fish with my kids. I take photos of the world awakening from winter. And I don’t feel bad about it.
My Mother-in-law’s desire to do everything her way used to make me crazy. Now I realize that I can love her for it and enjoy the benefits of it. Sometimes it’s nice for a Traveling Mom to put her feet up & not worry about the work!