My Younger Brother and his Wife

Okay, okay.

Technically, Clinton isn't my brother. He's Bill's. But I married into that family, and I married into it good! Besides, the "in law" thing just makes it sound like it doesn't really count - that you have to invite the 'in laws' to family functions and parties to be PC, when really, you don't like 'em much.

And I love Clinton. And Brian. I want them at all my parties.

Have I mentioned that I don't have any brothers of my own? I mean to say, I didn't grow up with brothers. And I always felt like I'd be good at having a brother. You know - making him his favorite cookies after the big game. Playing video games with him into the night. Borrowing his t-shirts until he finally had to rat me out to Mom.

Perhaps this is why I am so obsessed with watching Wyatt do all his little boy things. It's completely new to me. And perhaps this is why I am so thrilled with all of my brothers: Bill's brother Brian, who with all his heart wants to be a good provider for his family. Clinton, who is full of facts and trivia about video games, the people who make them, and the systems they run on; and who makes us all laugh (that poptart is crazy dead!). Jeff - who married my older sister, and is warm steel. Kind and tough. Steve - who married my younger sister and who never has a mean thing to say of anyone and is excellent at taking a tease. And soon my youngest sister will marry Cleve - who is always so willing to jump up and help me and looks for ways he can.

I've watched all my brothers play with Wyatt in their own way; each endearing himself to me irrevocably. Brian has a thing for avionics, and works on helicopters for Boeing. When Wyatt was just learning to walk, Brian would sit him in a sturdy plastic bin and zoom him around the room in his own private airplane. Clinton calls him "Dude" and pulls faces that makes Wyatt laugh for hours. Jeff is a cop, and bought Wyatt a cop car for his birthday that lights up, plays it's siren, and receives radio orders from HQ. Some day, Wyatt wants to take a ride in Jeff's police car. The Christmas one month after Wyatt was born, I got a picture of Steve sleeping on my mom's couch, Wyatt sleeping on his chest. A tender moment I won't forget: my brother protectively holding my son. And Cleve will hunker down on the floor right next to Wyatt and play cars with him for hours. Wyatt loves it when Megan and Cleve come to babysit.

But I don't get to see Brian and Clinton very often. There are a pesky two states between us. So when Clinton called to let us know they would be coming for a visit, the days passed in slow anticipation. They were coming to meet Daphne - but I knew it meant one big three-day party for me!

This is Clinton:

This is his better half:

I love this picture of her.

We hadn't seen them since our trek out to Washington for their wedding. It was really fun for me to soak in their dynamic. They were complete equals, yet each needed the other to take care of them. It was so right.

On Friday, the girls (me, Lizzie, and Elisabeth) abandoned the boys to boring old homework and ran errands together. Oh, how I loved that. We even met up with Jamie and Ali for lunch. Just me and all my sisters! - except Megan, who was sorely missed. Stupid teacher-observing.

Bill and Lizzie and I decided that we'd better show Clinton and Elisabeth a good time so they'd want to move to Utah (okay, maybe that was only my ploy) - so we took them to Rodizio Grill.

One hot Brazilian dish after another. Know what I mean?

After dinner, we all went and saw this:


I highly recommend that you get to the nearest independent film theater and give this one a go. 

All weekend we ate, we talked, we played games. Elisabeth even made the scones for Ari's shower before they had to catch their plane on Saturday!
Here's the thing. For some reason, I was dreading the making of the scones. Perhaps because the recipe is so finicky. Perhaps because my kitchen was already in chaos from all the china dishes and etc. set out in preparation for the shower. In any case,  I was having a difficult time wrapping my mind around making those scones. 

Elisabeth found the recipe in my binder and without even being asked, made them for me. She made herself at home in my kitchen, finding bowl and butter on her own, and made those scones like she was born for it. Just whipped them up like it was nothing - including the step that says, "with your fingers, press the cold butter into the flower and mix until it resembles pea-sized lumps." Finicky, I tell you. And if you get the texture wrong, the scones turn out terribly

Elisabeth's scones were lovely. Everyone had seconds. I had thirds.

And while Elisabeth was saving the day with her scones, Clinton was holding my daughter - keeping her happy and napping.

Oh, how I love him. And how I love her. With a kinship I feel strongly, surpassing any old "in law" termanology. 

I mean, they all played Boggle with me! Greater love hath no brother/sister/sister/husband. 5 rounds. I tell you!

I was loath to see them go. Their visit far too short for my liking.

But then - a few days later - another surprise. A call from my other brother, Brian. He would be coming for a visit!

Clinton center, and to his right and left - Bill and Brian

And so, once again, I find myself with days passing in slow anticipation. What will it be? Rodizio again? Perhaps the magical properties of Cafe Rio? It doesn't matter! We'll all have a ball! Me, Bill, and our siblings!

Especially if there's Boggle.


Project Update: The 'reveal' was pushed back, again. I promise I'm not trying to be coy. I will most likely have something to share tomorrow.


Nae said...

I agree. "In-law" sounds so sterile. For the first time in my life I have big sisters and brothers now! And I love them. They're totally mine and I claim them 100%.

Diana Larson said...

Elisabeth is a master baker! We baked Christmas cookies (me, Lizzie and Elisabeth) and I can relate to the way that Elisabeth has around the kitchen. She really gets it (I don't particularly)!

It is fun seeing the McCrery family grow in all shapes and sizes, big and little. We love you all, in-laws, outlaws and just plain family.