Dear Ann Landers, I just read the letter from "Nearly Smothered in the U.S.A.," who complained that her in-laws visit every two months, call twice a week, constantly mail cards and gifts, and take up precious "family time." I have a very similar situation, but I feel quite differently about it.
Although my husband's parents live more than 1,000 miles away, they consider the family a priority and sacrifice their weekends and hard-earned money to visit us every six weeks. My mother-in-law went back to work part time to finance these trips. We phone each other every two days because our 3-year-old daughter and younger son have developed such a close relationship with their grandparents that they insist on hearing their voices often. My in-laws also mail cards and gifts frequently, and our children love to receive them.
The whole family looks forward to the grandparents' visits because our children get undivided, one-on-one, loving attention from them, and my husband and I are free to spend some much-needed time alone or with our friends.
It's too bad "Smothered" is so ungrateful for her in-laws' attention. Her attitude is selfish, and she is denying her children a wonderful relationship with their grandparents. -- Loved and Fortunate in Dallas
Dear Dallas, Your response was a case study in what good family relationships are all about. You are doing a splendid job, and I congratulate you.