On Kimchi Mamas, MN challenged bloggers to a contest about a Korean parent moment. She said in-law stories could count. It started me thinking of many random memories. Not so much a story as a series of impressions.
-Before I'd ever met them, Mom K invited me to Thanksgiving with the family, then freaked out and took back the invite. She had the courage to talk to me on the phone and explain that she just wasn't ready yet.
-When I did finally meet them, I practiced saying 'on-yang-ha-se-yo' under my breath over and over. When I got to the door of the hotel, I bowed and said the Korean hello while she reached up to hug me and say 'Hello' in English.
-The first time they came to visit our home after we'd married, I was a nervous wreck. I spent days cleaning our shack of a house. Jrex kept repeating it didn't matter, stop cleaning. She walked in and said, "Wow! It's so clean." Later in the visit she confided to me, "I know I can trust you with my son. You're so good with the house." The irony was, I was too intimidated to do any cooking while they visited. On the drive home, apparently my FIL said, "We go to our daughter's house, her husband cooks. We go to our son, he cooks. Am I supposed to start cooking?"
-After 8 years of marriage, I called Mom K while I was waiting to meet a friend. We chatted, she asked how Jrex was doing, I was giving her a bunch of prayer requests. After a while she said, "You are so good. You are like that woman in the Bible, in Proverbs." That woman is lauded for an entire chapter about getting up early and going to bed late, taking care of her family, making her husband proud, being of high worth. I almost fell over when she told me that.
-A year ago, Mom K was visiting and dropped another bomb. As we sat chatting on the couch, she nodded and said, "I think I like you more than my own daughter." I was horrified. In my mind, I thought, 'please don't tell me you told her that!'; she continued, "The other day, I told YJ that. She laughed and said she was glad we got along so well."
It was a long, hard road, but we've definitely reached a place of mutual respect and love.