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Mothers-in-Law

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I love Marie Barone in the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.

Sure she’s a bit meddlesome.

Admittedly she’s even a tad overbearing.

Maybe she’s even off-putting to some.

But her motivation is pure.

She’s committed to her family. She really never puts herself first—even if we are led to believe that she does. If we are really paying attention, her scheming is done to ensure that her family is safe and sound and well-fed.

No matter what, it is always important that they eat. As a mother of three sons, I get how my own feeling of peace is tied to the care and feeding of my boys—and so I instinctively understand why Marie is forever handing food to whomever walks through the door. “Are you hungry, dear?” she asks while handing over a plate—without any regard to the answer.

Now, as my own sons grow older and the prospects of one day becoming a mother-in-law myself become a real possibility, I take note of mothers-in-law in a new way. And Marie Barone is at the top of my list.

I’ve got to admit, I…

In Praise of My Husband, Father and Coach

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My husband has been coaching our sons in  basketball  for more than a decade. This afternoon, he coached as a father for the last time.

During more than 20 years of knowing my husband, I have rarely seen him cry, even in private moments. Today he nearly shed tears as he spoke with his eighth grade recreation department team after their final game. He has been filled with sadness the past few days with the sense of loss over this part of his life.

How blessed I am to have this man in my life and as the father to our two teenaged sons. 


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Bi-Location and Other Necessary Motherhood Skills

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I glanced at the clock when I heard my husband say to my oldest son, “Call me when you get home.”
“Where is he?” I asked.
When my husband replied, “He’s on his way home from work,” my stomach began churning. Not the hunger-type churn but the worried-mother-type churn. Our son had purchased a home just months before and was still getting a handle on things but between work and other demands, it wasn’t easy. My husband and I—and his brothers—had all helped out with painting, cutting the lawn, some electrical and lighting things and so on.
It took all our willpower (my husband’s and mine) not to completely take over, but to just be available to help if and as needed. We wanted to take care of our son, get him set up in his new house. Mostly, I wanted—needed, really—to know that he was “okay” and that he wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the demands of new home ownership.
The point of the call was to set up a date and a time that my husband would be able to come and help with another task. To hear …