(*FWB in this case does not mean "Friend With Benefits" -- I'm a happily married woman [...the vast majority of the time. Who was quoted as saying that they would never consider divorce in a million years? Murder, maybe, but never divorce...] -- [and don't judge me...I'm married to a guy who is fond of repeating a quote from the (ever-insightful? ever-quotable?) Desi Arnaz...something along the lines of "It's not easy being married to you, but it sure is a lot of fun"]** anyway, in this case, FWB stands for "Family Without Baggage", which is what I got for Christmas this year.)
My mom is getting married to her boyfriend, Jack, in October 2009. My father died in 1998 after they had been married for 33 years. She and Jack have known each other through tennis (it's like a cult) in Virginia Beach for years. He and my mom are a big hit at all of our parties and have even begun scoring invites to our friends' parties, for which they gladly make trips up here.
During our trip to Va. Beach this Christmas, we got to meet most of Jack's kids and extended family. One of his sons (and his girlfriend) and his daughter (and her husband) came to my mom's house for dinner. Jack's daughter has two kids...one 14 and one 2 1/2 (can you imagine?). The 2 1/2 year old and Avery were best friends almost instantly. And his kids? Totally fun. They are outgoing and have great stories and are so easy to be around.
We also were invited to a holiday party at Jack's sister's house the next night. I have never felt so welcome anywhere in my life. Everyone hugged me when we met and all of the adults had included Avery in the gift-giving (they all buy small things for the kids every Christmas). Also, there were about five other kids there (Avery's new cousins) that Avery played with all night. Since we are not (geographically or otherwise) close to our extended families, this was quite a gift. To say I was touched would be an understatement.
I hope you all also got something unexpected and wonderful this holiday season.
**I just realized that this whole paragraph makes it sound like Canetto and I just stand around quoting to each other all the time. We don't, but that may be my New Year's resolution.