As a society we tend to focus on the negative things. We complain about everything from work to politics. We criticize athletes and coaches instead of celebrate their success. We stand outside in -30 weather making a bad decision and gripe about our employer not “hooking us up”. We drive 10-15 mph over the speed limit and we complain about our local law enforcement literally protecting us. Bellyaching has become a norm in our society. Someone does something good and we are immediately drawn back to what they’ve done wrong. This is not going to be one of those times. No disrespect to you or yours but my father in law is better than yours.
My father in law is the exact opposite of me. This man can fix anything with anything. Literally I’ve seen him build a functioning vehicle with nothing but duct tape and gum. (I may embellish but you get the point) Where as I have to have friends, family, and my bride fix things for me. The tools in my house are as follows : A small hammer with butterflies wrapped around the handle. You can take the claw off and inside the handle are screwdriver tips for the interchangeable screwdriver at the bottom. My idea of fixing something is calling someone to do it for me. My father in law is usually that someone.
On a Sunday afternoon in the fall and winter you can catch me in one spot and one spot only, my couch. Anyone that knows me knows that football is a big part of my life. My father in law would rather watch a race as opposed to the game. Here is another example of how we are opposite. He loves racing. It’s a big part of his life. He often talks about spending time with his wife and father at the track. From Daytona to the local speedway, the man loves it. To each their own. Personally, I don’t understand it. I’ve tried and just can’t get it. I digress though. The point is that we have opposites.
Even with the opposites and the complete different skill sets, we get along like lifelong friends. He is more of a friend or brother to me than a father in law. Neither one of us drink alcohol. So when we go “have 1” it’s to DQ for a blizzard. I know his favorite and vice versa. This time is just us hanging out. No kids, no wives, just me and my favorite father in law hanging out.
Truth be told, I generally don’t like hanging out with him. I leave with sore cheeks, a gut ache, and more often than not, a headache. From those symptoms you’d think he beats me. He does not. Those “pains” are from laughing. So while you may loathe going to your in laws, I look forward to seeing mine. He’s uncommonly supportive. He attends all my kids events. He goes to a few of my softball games. Every once in a while, he will just swing by and hand me a blizzard. We often head to Target Field with my boys, and our wives. It’s our summer tradition.
These are just small examples of how supportive he is. To give you a better idea is he time he made my family look fast. How does one make someone look fast? Excellent question. My bride, my boys and I participated in a 5k on Thanksgiving morning. Both my father in law and mother in law drove to check points in the run. They were there with video cameras and words of encouragement. He would later edit his footage and drop some Rocky music behind it. He made my 30 minute 5k look like a 5 minute masterpiece. Making something that bad, look that good is not easy work. Again, he goes the extra mile.
Eventually my kids will get married. At some point I will be a father in-law as well. I only hope I’m smart enough to follow the blue print he has given me. Not everyone can be a good father in law. I like to think I will be. I like to think he’s made a big enough impression on me that I will be. I only hope that my future son/daughter in laws like ice cream as much as we do.