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Let me tell you about MIL

Debbie DeCarlo, aka MIL, and Jonah meeting for the first time.

MIL = Mother-in-law.

A few summers ago I was at the Jersey shore playing dominoes with my husband and his family when at some point during the game, for whatever reason, we realized that every combination of in-law creates a name.

Mother-in-law? MIL!
Father-in-law? FIL!
Daughter-in-law? DIL!

Maybe it was the wine, but I swear that we acted like we were the first ones to ever realize this. I remember a lot of laughter following, "It's your turn DIL." "You're going DOWN MIL!" "Pour me some wine, FIL!"

Over 7 years into my marriage, I am still so grateful for my in-laws. I met my husband in Peace Corps Mongolia. He was fresh out of college. I was fresh from five years in corporate America. Yes, I am the older woman. Call me Mrs. Robinson, I dare you.

I was so nervous for them to know about me, much less meet me. Would they think I was a cradle robber? Even worse. Desperate? They were as accepting, generous, kind and supportive then as they are today. If they think Shawn and I make silly, stupid mistakes, they never utter a word. They seem to want what is best for us, as defined by us.

But this is a mother's day tribute, so I want to talk about me and MIL. She has been surrounded by boys for the last 32 years. I have been surrounded by girls for the last 38. I am the woman married to her first born. I am a LEO and the youngest of 3 girls. Kind of seems like a recipe for disaster, neh?

But we get along really well. And I won't speak for MIL, but I love our relationship. I know it isn't always easy. I also know that we both work at it. We are a lot alike and a lot not. In the end, though, I feel like we are more friends than MIL and DIL.

MIL is funny. She is also confident and opinionated. At the same time she tries to understand all sides of a situation. I see a lot of MIL in my husband.

I have often thanked MIL and FIL for giving birth to my husband. I am sincere in that. The first time I saw him I thought, "This is the most interesting man I will ever meet." I still feel the same way.

Tomorrow is my first mother's day. When I went to the mailbox yesterday, I received my first Mother's Day Card. From MIL.

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