Friday, November 21, 2008

Letter to my son's girlfriend's parents

Dear Chad and Jody,
It was so good to meet you both last night.

But I feel I must apologize.

We find we are just so happy to have Josiah's girlfriend, Ashley moving in with our daughter Amy. She has become a part of all our lives in a short time and so we find ourselves overcompensating for our weaknesses and shortcomings.

Last night's dinner was supposed to be at our house, but our kitchen cupboards are still laying all around the house contributing to the general feeling of disarray. (And no, Caroline, duct tape WILL NOT hold them on for any length of time and that IS NOT a design statement I want to make.)

So we invited you to Plan B: a noisy, smoky Mexican restaurant where the waiters kept plunking beaded, glittery sombreros on customers' heads and bursting into a maniacal version of a Spanish Happy Birthday song. We were scared, too.

Seriously. How many times did they sing that song last night? How many people actually celebrated their birthday at LaCarretta in Gresham last night? A dozen? Two?

I'm sorry that you had to fear for your life when the waiters came swinging through with their sizzling platters of Fajitas. No stray ember or flaming bits of pork singed your hair, Jody. I checked.

I'm sorry for allowing Chantry and Renick, (Josiah's young cousins) to welcome Ashley to Oregon with their litany of Blond jokes. Did you notice that they are always the "brown-head's" of the jokes and seem to come out in a much better light than the blonds?Yes we, did too.

I am so sorry if Amy offended Ashley by "staking a claim" on Aunt Brenda with her hugs and PDA's when they came by the table. She was just making sure that there will be no rift in their relationship when another sweet, blond shorty spends time in the 'hood.

I apologize that for the look of shock and dismay on my face when Ashley mentioned my "Steve Madden" shoes that I wore to a wedding last summer. Excuse me, but those are exquisite Ann Taylor shoes, Ashley.

I think I recovered quite nicely though. You can still borrow them. See, I can forgive almost anything.

I so apologize for offending you when, after seeing Ashley's new closet at Amy's house, Rod told everyone at the table that it looked like Ashley worked at a clothing store AND THEN ROBBED THEM. I'm sorry we laughed so hard about it.
We know she didn't steal anything. Really. She just likes loves lives for clothing. We get that.

I apologize for trying to make a good first impression. And by that, I mean a false impression. Deceitful, even.
You know that little welcome bag of Oregon treats and tidbits I put together for Ash to make her feel wanted, welcome and less homesick? Well, I completely stole that idea from a friend/family member. (thanks, Rainy)
Wow. Didn't know how great it would feel to be looked upon as thoughtful and creative for the first time in my life.
So nice. Wrong, but nice.

If I wasn't trying to make a positive first impression AND make Ashley feel welcomed, I never would have attempted the cute Oregon welcome bag, with the Douglas Fir bough complete with pine cones AND the printed legend of the fox and the mouse. (honestly, wasn't it adorable?)

No, I would have brought you all home, rummaged through the door less cupboards for some grub, parked myself on the most comfortable spot on the sofa and stared silently just hoping one of you knew how to make coffee and would offer me some because my head still hurt.
That is how I really roll.
When I am not attempting to be someone else and make a good first impression.
So I apologize.

Mostly, we apologize for "stealing" your daughter away to another state like this, especially with Thanksgiving next week.

Chad, I'm sorry that Ashley introduced you to us as her "Dad." This was obviously as huge mistake and should never be repeated in our presence. You are and always will be, her Daddy.
We won't let her forget again.

I'm sorry I showed so much excitement that she had arrived, when I know you must have been having a tough time of it.

But here is the deal that makes it all worth it to me.
The look on my son's face. I don't see that look too often.
Here he is on Christmas morning when he was four or five. Granted, he was opening clothes, and he doesn't like or appreciate clothes like Ashley does. :-)

I'm not gonna try to describe what his face looked like when he opened his first Nintendo console when he was nine or so. I'll just say this is the closest it has come:

You guys raised a great daughter and we are blessed to have her here amongst our family. We'll take good care of her.
Diane and Rod

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