Friday, June 03, 2005

since we're talking about babies...

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law came to visit us this week (the hubs' sister), and last night we went out for dinner in Boston's North End. Before I go on, if you are ever in Boston, you have got to head to the North End and then to Mike's Pastry on Hanover Street. I know lots of people say other bakeries are better, but the chocolate dipped, chocolate chip stuffed canollis make me want to cry, they are so delicious.

Anyway, we are at dinner and my sister-in-law (hereafter, SIL) turns to her hubs and very seriously says "there's no easy way to talk about this". My stomach turned a little while they looked at each other and I started to speed review what it could be. Maybe she hates us, or she's pregnant, or they need money, or I have no idea. So her hubs, my brother-in-law (hereafter, BIL) says, "you know that we have a will, but we haven't changed it from when Ellie (their second child) was born. Right now SIL's parents are the guardians, but the sad truth is that they are getting older. And... well... we were wondering if you two would be their guardians if anything ever happened to us". And then SIL interrupted and launched into lots of excuses for us and told us that we didn't have to, but they wanted us to, but they understood if we didn't, and they knew it wasn't a good time, and etc.

I was stunned. Grateful. Honored. But stunned.

I also wanted to laugh at all of her excuses and her saying that she knew it wasn't a good time for us, because really, the concept of your SIL and BIL dying is never a good time. In fact, it would be one of the saddest, scariest, most painful things I could ever imagine. But that does not mean that I wouldn't drop everything and anything to love my niece and nephew with every ounce of my being. I would change my life completely to do what was best for them. I would love them as much as I will hopefully love my own children, without a doubt.

My hubs tried to convey that to them, and then we agreed to change the subject quickly before she and I started crying.

We moved on from the conversation and made fun of friends and the waitress and complained about our minor problems without discussing it again. Right now, though, I feel at a loss. I am not sure what you do with information like that? Do you say something again? Do you send a card?

I pray with every shred of my being that something like that never ever comes about. At the same time, though, I feel as if we should acknowledge the conversation again. It is the most precious gift of trust and love on their part. One of the hardest decisions they will ever have to make.

I guess I come back to the fact that the hubs and I are so blessed and so loved. I should just add it to the many wonderful things in my life.

But if anyone has etiquette suggestions out there, pass them on.


another lisa said...

I had the same thing happen with me recently with some friends (who I haven't known that long!!) It's a good idea to talk some more about it - because you need to know stuff about what their wishes are (ie. what type of schools they'd put their kids in, religion, etc) ... plus you need to talk about their will - who is the executor - cause they would be in charge of any money for the kids care... and how it would work - (ie. some people leave life insurance in trust for the kids but that the guardians have access to)...

Phantom Scribbler said...

Wandered over from Angry Pregnant Lawyer... nice to meet another Boston blogger (tipping virtual hat).

Three different family members have asked us to be the guardians for their kids. Three. With two kids each. God forbid there should be a flu epidemic or something -- it would be like the Brady Bunch around here...