H followed me upstairs when I arrived home from work tonight. He said little as I stripped off my work clothes and reached for something more comfortable among the meticulously stacked clothes in my closet. Wait. Did I say stacked? Did I say meticulous?
"Um," I said.
"Yep," he said, opening his side of the closet to compare the tidy rows of clothes. "She did. And she even folded my dirty clothes."
My mother-in-law, left to her own devices for a few hours today, took the opportunity to clean, reorganize and rearrange whatever wasn't bolted down in our townhouse. This sweet woman — who upon entering our home showered me with hugs and kisses and called me her daughter and gestured with enthusiasm so we could communicate despite our language barrier — she is totally OCD. And I love it.
This is the first time we've met, and H and I were married 14 years ago this June. Tickets to Morocco are not cheap, and the timing was always wrong. When we had the money we didn't have the time. When we had the time we didn't have the money. Life. Sigh.
So 14 years later, she's here, folding my yoga pants and realigning my pantry items to make more space. She's here, doting on her granddaughter and telling me I'm tired and should go to bed and tsking at us for washing the dishes because she wants to do that.
I love it. I have forgotten what it's like to have a benevolent mother figure around, someone who willingly does the little things for you without thought. I have become that mother figure to Alexa, obviously, but since my mom's death I have been without one of my own.
And even if I'm not exactly thrilled about the new location of the candlesticks ... well, so what. They can stay put for now. Ignoring our differences in housekeeping and home decor is a small price to pay for some motherly love.