John and I both hit the mother-in-law jackpot, so we’d have to change the lyrics to this old song from the first album I ever owned. (Yes, it’s Herman’s Hermits. I was 9 – I’m not ashamed.) We both agree ours rank more like “the best person I know, mother-in-law, mother-in-law.”

“She wor-ur-uries me so, mother-in-law, M-I-L” would have to be “she lo-ov-oves me so, M-I-L, M-I-L ….”

So I was especially pleased to get to spend the afternoon alone with my 91-year-old (as of Sunday) M-I-L today at her new home in Yakima. She recently made the move from her long-time home in the orchards of Naches to assisted living in town, something that could have been terribly traumatic but to which she’s adjusting rather well, over all.

She has good days and bad. Today was an excellent day.

Kitty and Norm woke this morning to a phone call that daughter-in-law Nicole (Kitty’s also a great M-I-L) was in labor – still no baby at 6 p.m., but she’s getting there – so my main purpose for this trip to the great Northwest kicked in a bit sooner than we expected.

Kitty and Norm hit the road for the Tri-Cities area and I’m holding down the fort, taking care of kitties and buddy-dog Milo, looking in on John’s tiny mother and being here in case she needs something. It’s an easy and pleasant job.

Doris and I talked about all kinds of things and I showed her pictures of Jude, Annabelle and Sylvia on my iPhone. She’s having a good day and was spot on most of the time. The afternoon felt like a gift to me.

The baby boomer shuffle kicks in for anyone lucky enough to have elderly parents and new babies popping out all over. Yes, it keeps you hopping, but some parents die young and some of us don’t get grandchildren, so consider yourselves lucky if it happens.

Our elderly loved ones get more childlike and need our help. That’s just how it goes. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for boomers with teenagers at home and elderly parents who need assistance. That would be crazy-making. Taking care of folks in their declining years can be hard as hell and less than pleasant more often than not. That’s also how it goes for many of us.

But today was a delight. As I was leaving and said “I’ll see  you tomorrow,” Doris reminded me not to come in the afternoon because she wouldn’t be there – some of her high school friends are picking her up for a birthday lunch.

A lovely plan for a lovely lady. Let’s hope it’s another good day.

My little mother-in-law, Doris, was a bit apprehensive the day she moved into her new digs (which is when this photo was taken), but now she thinks they’re pretty swell. Her baby boy, John, and beautiful daughter, Kitty, are happy she’s safe and well looked after.

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