Wednesday, February 2, 2011

An Ode to my Sister-in-law

 I wrote this 2 years ago and nothing has changed. My sister-in-law, Merrill, pulls my ass out of the fire on a weekly basis and is my best friend.
Happy Birthday Auntie M.

Ok so this was supposed to go out for Auntie M's birthday but what can I say, I am slacker. I also didn't want to just bust out something half-assed.

I met Merrill for the first time briefly at her house in Fremont when Erik and I were on the way to a party in S.F. Auntie M and her husband Uncle Chrissy were very nice and Kaitlyn was about 2 years old and Haley was about 7 months old, so cute.

The first time I really hung out with her was at her in-law's ranch in Sunol. Very intimidating to go to a weekend camping trip where the only person you know is your boyfriend. And there were a lot of people there for this Memorial Day Weekend. And these were my kind of people. Beer, food, more beer, more food, some music, some dancing, guns, dogs and more beer and more food. I had just come off a graveyard shift with no sleep but I quickly pulled it together and had a great Friday night. The next morning Merrill asked me to put sunscreen on baby Haley. I felt honored that she would trust me and I remember holding Haley on my lap and as I went to rub sunscreen on her ears she leaned towards my fingers and closed her eyes. So cute. I got to know Merrill better that weekend and really liked her.

As me and Erik's relationship progressed I realized how close Erik is to his sister and how lucky I am that she is likable. I worked Christmas day at the psych hospital and Erik went home to do Hannukah/Xmas with his family. When he got back I went to visit him and Erik escorted me into his living room and pointed to one corner; that pile is the gifts I got from my family and that pile is the gifts you got from my family. My pile was way bigger. Yay, they liked me!!

One day Erik told me that Merrill told him, "If you ever break up with Charlotte I will fucking kill you. ". I asked, "You were talking about breaking up with me?!". "No!", he said.

In a conversation with Merrill somehow we were talking about Erik's exes and Merrill said she liked me, "......because you are so normal.". Damn who was he dating before?

Erik and I moved to San Ramon and he was working with his father. On a day that Erik was supposed to be home early, he was not around so I called his cell phone. "What are you doing?", I asked, "Nothing.". My husband does not know how to lie which is a great thing to have in a husband. "If you are doing nothing then why can I hear Merrill's voice in the background?". Duh. He hung up and Merrill called me back and asked what kind of engagement ring I was looking for. I told her and she got me exactly what I wanted, with Erik's money.

Merrill planned my bachelorette party, it was so awesome that I can't put anything about it in this blog.

Merrill planned my bridal shower, and it was girly and beautiful, and all my family and friends felt welcomed. Merrill did a ton of other stuff for my wedding as well as having her girls as my flower girls. She also spent the night with me in my hotel room the night before my wedding and knew that was the one morning that it would be safe to wake me up and jump on my bed. She jumped all around me and said, "You're getting married today, you're getting married today.".

On my wedding day she kept me safe from all drama.

She was the first one to know I was pregnant. I wanted to tell my husband first but when I called Merrill to ask why when the wind blew a mile away my boobs hurt, she accurately guessed I was pregnant.

Merrill was in the room when Mike was born. I was at first opposed to having so many people in the delivery room but after Mike was born I realized that Erik and my Dad were window dressing. Merrill, my step-mom Cherie and my MIL Jan were my pit crew. I needed them. Jan is good for cheerfulness and food and hugs and kisses. Cherie is the type of person that when you lean forward in bed she fluffs your pillows, she also takes over the care and feeding of my father who is very emotional in situations like this. And Merrill knows how to communicate with me as a peer. She tells me what I am feeling is normal or not normal, she steers me in the right direction, I even let her grab my nipple and shove it in Mike's mouth for his first feeding. By the time I got around to having Jake, Merrill was back in school finishing her degree. Jake's birth coincided with finals and Merrill told me she might not make his birth. I of course understood but on the inside I was panicky. Jake was a good boy and made sure she was in the room when his daddy delivered him.

And speaking of back to school. Merrill finished her degree with 2 kids in elementary school and took care of my family while I was on partial bed rest!! I will never stop being impressed by that. And I feel like I never truly told her to her face how grateful I was, I was sooo preoccupied with my uterus.

She also got honors. And when I took my monkeys to her graduation she snatched Jake and showed him off to all of her friends.

And now Auntie M has moved to San Ramon! And I love it because she picks up Mike and takes him places. And they come over here and party . And just last weekend I went and got the damn stomach flu. It was bad and Erik decided I needed to go to the E.R. for some I.V. fluids. I called Merrill that morning and not only did we wake them up but her girls were at their grandmother's! So she was kid-free and sleeping in and I woke them up and asked them to come watch my kids so Erik could take me to the E.R. When I got home my youngest was napping and Merrill had cleaned my house.

I did not grow up with sisters, I have 2 younger brothers, 5 step-brothers and 3 step-sisters. My step-sisters are sweet but we did not grow up together. Now at the ripe old age of 38 I get to have a sister. In fact Merrill is wearing my cute, new jacket out tonight and I recently borrowed a dress of her's to wear to Erik's 20th high school reunion. Unfortunately we don't wear the same shoe size. But damn just think if we did.................this would be the perfect relationship.