Monday, November 29, 2004

Grateful, part 1

I keep meaning to write something about Thanksgiving, but what I’m really thinking about is marriage again. We spent the holiday in Sacramento, with Brett’s father, sister, and brother-in-law. I kept thinking, while we’re there, how odd it is to suddenly have new family members. Not new friends, but new family. This is a new experience. Last time I got introduced to new family members I was about one second old and was really a little too out of it to realize what was going on. By the time I gained real awareness and memory, somewhere around age three or four, I was pretty used to them. The novelty had worn off. This time, I get to watch the process from the beginning.

I couldn’t be happier with my in-law situation – everybody’s wonderful and has welcomed me into the family with open arms. But it’s somewhat startling to realize you’re going to see a relationship unfolding with these folks for the rest of your life. It gives you an odd sense of patience. I really love getting to know my new sister-in-law, Marilyn, for example, and always wish I could talk with her more than I usually get to at a gathering, but I also have a sense that there’s plenty of time to get to know her better. Years and years, most likely. No need to rush.

It’s different feeling from new friendships, in that sense, and it’s just another example of the unexpected pleasures marriage adds to your life. I certainly feel blessed and thankful this year for the new and growing relationships I have with Brett’s family, for the fact that we all genuinely like each other, and for the fact that we’re spared the clich├ęd in-law-vs-new-wife sitcom scenarios.

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