Artist, Art Therapy, Psychotherapy and Belief Statement

I believe all people have the need and ability to create. Using various art and therapy methods I provide a safe and empathetic environment, to encourage life-enhancing expression that brings wholeness, physically, emotionally and spiritually to people's life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's in the name "in-laws"?

What an odd title for a quilting page. Hmm. and Hmm again.

By marriage I have received a set of parents. This is not new, this has been happening for over 22 years. About twice a year, my in-laws come to visit our household in Toronto, which is a mere 1 1/2 hours from their residence in Niagara on the Lake. But really, it is a token distance that keeps us at a decent space from one another. Not that I don't like my in-laws, but rather, I need my own space. I am from a totally different style of living. After all, I did marry my opposite.
For instance, while I value a clean house, I don't rate it as next to godliness. For me there is a lot more to living than making sure I need to be able to eat off my own floor. If the kitchen gets wiped down once a day, I'm happy. If there is food on the table at 5pm, or 6 or 7 or 8 - well, I am happy. If my laundry gets done once per week - or once every two weeks- I am happy. If my fridge gets cleaned out twice a year (when she comes to visit) - I am happy. You get my drift.
Today, my in-laws will be coming for their bi-annual visit. I always need to remind myself that it is only temporary. Hold your tongue. Smile and be appreciative. And this brings me to the phrase "in-laws". What has that got to do with marriage? Couldn't a better term have been created to explain this relationship? For me it is too close to "law" as in police, or... law abiding citizen. As in my in-laws are coming to check up on me again. The law is coming. Okay, so my emotions are taking over and making extreme connections to these familial relations, who really are not the law, but just feel like it to me. How insecure!!!

So what would a better description of the relationship be? We can really break it down and start with: parents by marriage, parents of my husband, parents to my husband, people who see me as a surrogate daughter, people who want to parent me along with their son, people who don't know how to let their son grow up!! okay that's hitting way too close to home. Did I say that?   Do I want to call them Mom and Dad? I know that is how they see themselves to me, and truthfully, they have been parents to me, as well as my own parents. Really, I am an adult like them, who have had significant life events that have shaped my personality and wisdom. It is time that I share with them the strength of my character, and request verbally and non verbally their respect. It is time to grow up.

And how will I maintain this composure? Why Zentangle or quilt - of course. After all, that is living!


  1. I just returned from a visit to the in-laws in Kansas.... not so much parenting, but I totally get your drift. In my case, it's the muck-colored glasses that everyone wears! No one sees anything rosy about anything... I made several tiles, plus I became an expert at drawing "monsters to order" for the 2 grand nieces. I'll be sending calming vibes your way...

  2. Oh my, this post hit so close to home it's funny! my in-laws are wonderful, but my husband is the 'baby' of the family which comes with a whole other set of headaches. They really are great people, but sometimes the urge to parent me is too strong for them to resist, which really gets my goat.

    Good luck. Zentangle, Zentangle, Zentangle!!


    Laura from the Skatch!
    <3 CZT#3