Striking Gold

Jun 28, 2012

In Girl Scouts we used to sing:”Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” (Yes, I was a Girl Scout. I fondly remember my “Flying Up” ceremony in which we went from Brownies to Scouts. We performed a play: I was cast in the role of a lake, lying on the stage wrapped in aluminum foil. To call it a nonspeaking part is being generous.) I’ve been humming this ditty to myself lately because, in middle age (early old age) I have new relationships in my life–in-laws. True, I was a daughter-in-law for many years, until we lost my husband’s parents. And I am still a sister-in -law. But now, with my younger son’s marriage, I have become that much-maligned creature, a mother-in-law. My daughter-in-law’s parents are my mishbocher. (Is there an English equivalent for that?) And my older son is in a relationship with a woman to whom I am a pseudo-mother-in-law (and I’m a pseudo-grandma to her daughter. The pseudo doesn’t prevent me from being ga-ga).  I have watched my friends negotiate this territory, but, until I was there, I never really thought about how exciting, if occasionally difficult, it is to have new members in one’s family. What a gift it is at this stage of life.  When I consider the people I am now lucky enough to call family, I realize it’s a gift worth its weight in gold.