I’m not a member of the Walton family but I play a cohabitator in real life.
We live with my husband’s parents.
It was a rough decision but I was the one pushed for it. It was my idea. With our businesses struggling we were sinking fast and I wanted a chance to breathe.
We moved in, cluttering and stretching out their pretty little house.
Do they have room for us, you ask?
No. Not even close. But they made room for us. Without batting an eye.
Closets were cleared, drawers were emptied and air mattresses were purchased. We overflowed our storage unit and brought boxes and boxes to their house to keep. The garage is a maze of our belongings.
We are lucky and we know it. We now can catch up and save some money, which is what I believed was the reason for us to stay with them.
I was wrong.
In the past 21 years of marriage, I have not been the favorite daughter-in-law. I was a crabby mama bear when my babies were born. I’ve said unkind things. I’ve maintained my distance due to my own issues. I could have tried harder.
Yet, on the second morning of our arrival, My mother-in-law said to me, “Karyn, I want you to feel comfortable here and treat this as your own house”
I. Am. Home.
This is huge for so many reasons.
So many things have happened in the few months we’ve lived here. I can think clearly for the first time in 2 years and concentrate on the tasks I’d like to accomplish. I can chase my boys around without the panic of utilities being shut off. I can be an encouraging wife.
I can focus.
Funny though, the most important and most surprising thing that’s happened is that I’ve gotten to know my husband’s parents as people.
As Irish immigrants they not only have accents and don’t communicate like I do……… they use different words to express themselves. Words I’ve misunderstood all these years. Cliche’s fly around the house as part of normal conversation because that’s how they talk. Talk I mistook for being insincere and flippant.
I get it now. I understand them and I’ve come to love them. Something I never would have imagined possible.
Seeing them everyday and being submerged in their culture has taught me that they are such funny, wonderful people with huge hearts for their grandchildren. I have learned to speak their language………. .And hopefully, they’ve learned to understand mine.
I’ve known them for 26 years and we’ve just now finally gotten to know each other.
In light of our misfortune, I feel so profoundly blessed.
What a wonderful gift. This is what I now believe to be the real purpose of our cohabitation…………and it’s frickin comedy around here…………so stay tuned.