My in-laws came to visit my wife and I for the first time since we got married. Although I had no idea what to expect, we had great conversations and did fun activities to make all of us feel more at home in each other’s company.
#1 Have no expectations.
If you expect your in-laws to be nice, you may be disappointed by the little hurts that are normal in any family dynamic. If you expect them to be mean or demanding, you might miss out on the funny or sweet moments that explain who your spouse grew up to be. That’s why I recommend just keeping your eyes open to the good things about them, and not expecting anything at all.
#2 Make a plan and ask for their input.
A plan may sound a lot like having expectations, but it isn’t. Having a plan allows you to have some structure, if needed. Check out local tourist spots etc etc By knowing this information beforehand, you can make suggestions if it seems the day is starting to drag.
In preparation for my in-law’s recent visit, my wife and I made suggestions of ideas for activities. And what did they enjoy the most? Breakfast on Table Mountain, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, Open top tour bus and shopping the world in Canal Walk! (Girls will always be girls)
#3 Don’t completely abandon your normal routine.
Just because you are hosting your spouse’s parents doesn’t mean you suddenly have more patience and good cheer than usual. In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite. The more time you spend catering to their preferences, the more energy you expend by making things different from your customary methods.
My in-laws were great about understanding this. After a long day at work, I sorely missed the time I ordinarily get to spend with my wife and daughter sharing the days ups and down. SO I called my wife a-lot during the day to catch up with her, and then as much as I could I would join her in the kitchen to cook and clean- then we could talk ‘privately’ and gossip about our parents 🙂 Other times … actually most times we all helped around the house cooking and cleaning and feeding/entertaining the baby etc
Introduce your close friends
I have learnt that it is important for your parents know and meet your friends. This helps get rid of fears that most parents have about their children being lonely and in want of friends and family when they live far away from home. We are blessed to have many such friends who hosted our parents for dinners and lunches!
Your in-laws are coming to visit because family is important to them. Now, you are a part of their family. Offer them ideas on what you can do together, and listen attentively to their preferences while still asserting your own. These simple steps will help you to relax and enjoy the people who made your beloved spouse who he or she is today. Overall we had an awesome time together. We were blessed to have them over and I pray that we shall be blessed by many more such visits. Like they said to us … most people dont get to live with their parents for a month at a time after they leave home. SO this was a rare blessing to us!
So folks … dont you be scared of the In-Laws … or else pray that you get great in-laws like I did!!
Sometimes I like to forget what is going on around me … like the Elections in Kenya. I like to remind me how beautiful Cape Town is and hope that one day maybe Mombasa will be like this … maybe … just maybe.
Cape Town City Centre
Taken from the 3 Towers up in Gardens
Today my wife and I turn 7 months as parents. And for the first time in my life I really do care about the outcome of the Kenya General Election. I was in Kenya during the 2007/08 post election violence and would not like to see what happened then repeated. Being in the diaspora, obviously I have no vote but I care about the Kenya I will one day be bring my children to. Whoever wins, I hope they will deliver on their pre-election promises… whatever they are. They are always good anyway.
Meanwhile, Ciiru is 7 months today- how fast time flies … it was 6 months just the other day! And look what she can do … She Turns towards sounds and voices, imitates sounds, rolls in both directions, reaches for objects and mouths them and sits without support!Am afraid soon she will crawling … then all hell will break loose 🙂
She is also getting cheeky and enjoys playing ‘picaboo'(A game for a small child in which one covers one’s face, then revealing it and saying Boo! or Peekaboo!) … my diction grows everyday … what did we used to call it anyway?!. She now understands that when you are out of sight you don”t cease to exist … and so when she cant see you she starts looking for you in anticipation.
Ciiru is also reaching for things with a sweeping motion and is Imitating speech sounds (babbles) and is Banging objects together. One author had the guts to suggest home implements are very useful at this stage … pots and pans and all such utensils. Our home is slowly turning into a bedlam of noise …
In the last 7 months I have seen my wife transform literally right before my eyes. I wish I could do a time lapse … I have seen her move from girlfriend to wife to mum with such grace that I say “thank you God” at every thought of her. Ciiru is lucky to have such a mum and am blessed to have her for a wife!
So here’s to the coolest wife … and I can speak for Ciiru … “here’s to the coolest mum!!”
Sometimes I forget how beautiful Cape Town is… from almost anywhere and anyhow you look at it. However if I could change just one thing … just one, I would desaturate the minds of most Capetonians. I would grayscale their vision and add a multiply blend to it to just make the contrast stronger. Then there would not be white, black or colored. We would all just be people … fat, thin, tall, short etc … but just people. No one would call anyone ‘coconut’, brown on the outside and white on the inside … or ‘banana types’ … colored outside and white on the inside … we would leave fruit names to gadgets like ‘apple’ and ‘blackberry’ etc …. hmmmmm!
Do you know that unpleasant feeling in which a person feels a strong sense of emptiness and solitude? The emptiness when you walk home and everything is where you left it (nothing has moved!!) and the dishes are still pilled up on the sink and TV still on the Blitz channel that you were watching last night? Then you hustle for a quick fix meal (Rice and beans+Avocado) and then you quickly eat and black out catching up on the latest in sport and looking for another lonely sole online (Skype/gtalk/yahoo messenger)?
It’s a long, road When you face the world alone No one reaches out a hand For you to hold … Then a (s)hero comes along … And your whole world changes …
And you no longer go to a house, but to a home … and there is someone to listen to your dreams and fears and share theirs … and loving hands when you are beat …
Some one to love … someone to touch … someone to know …. oh someone to know (remember that song?)
My most brilliant achievement in this life was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me!
And now I know why a man who is eating or lying with his wife or preparing to go to sleep in humility, thankfulness and temperance, is, by Christian standards, in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride … alone!
When I met this little gal I thought she was adorable. She sang songs and told endless stories that I didn’t understand but they were stories anyway. She had a million and 1 questions one of them being how many teeth I got. She then counted hers and proceeded to announce proudly, “I got 6 … and thats alot!”
Then she asked me to take pictures of her … and she posed (director in the making)
Then I thought about her future. What is it going to be like? Will she be someones go-to gal. You know the kind that has a positive attitude and sense of humor that we all wish we had a little more of — and doesn’t take anything too seriously. Will she be the kind you go to when you need belly-aching laughter and don’t feel like hashing out your emotions?
Will she be The Responsible One: The friend who is always the voice of reason-put-together and logical. Will she be kind of like the good angel on your shoulder, who says, “That’s not very practical.” Will she be the kind that you call when you need to make the bigger decisions in life-relationships, jobs and the things that really matter?
I pray that above all she will be a God-fearing woman full of joy and happiness surrounded by people who will always make her feel special and tell her that she is pretty. May the favour of God abide with her always!
IN the pictures: Rebbeca and her friend sister Jemimah!
A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks them for their orders. The man says, “A hamburger, fries and a coke,” and turns to the ostrich, “What’s yours?” “I’ll have the same,” says the ostrich. A short time later the waitress returns with the order. “That will be R9.40 please.” The man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.
The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, “A hamburger, fries and a coke.” The ostrich says, “I’ll have the same.” Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change. This becomes routine until the two enter again. “The usual asks the waitress?” “No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato and a salad,” says the man. “Same,” says the ostrich. Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, “That will be R32.62.” Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.
The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer. Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?” “Well,” says the man, “several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.” “That’s brilliant!” says the waitress. “Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you’ll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!” “That’s right…Whether it’s a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there,” says the man.
The waitress asks, “What’s with the ostrich?” The man sighs, pauses and answers, “My second wish was for a tall chick with a big ass and long legs who agrees with everything I say..”
Last Sabbath my family and I spent the afternoon at the world famous Kirstenbosch gardens in Cape Town. At the gardens there is this nice architectural piece that is playing host to an exhibition dubbed ‘untamed’ … a collaborative project exploring the lost balance between humankind and nature. You can find out more here if you are interested
If you are married or have a galfriend that takes you shopping you probably can do shopfront design for a living 🙂 I have come to terms with what am told is an old concept known as “Retail therapy”- shopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer’s mood or disposition (at the husbands expense). Often seen in people during periods of depression or transition, it is normally a short-lived habit. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as “comfort buys” …
Driving on Belmont Road, Rondebosch I saw this church that was built in 1953 … yet still as strong and imposing as ever …
This poem is found on the Rondebosch United church homepage;
Those parts of us which seem out of character.
Let us be boldly and gladly out of character.
Let us be creatures of paradox and variety:
creatures of contrast;
of light and shade:
creatures of faith.
God be our constant.
Let us step out of character into the unknown,
to struggle and love and do what we will.