My mother-in-law.

Sue worked as a researcher for Time Magazine for forty years and continues to write freelance for a few publications. She is a highly educated, well-read, extremely engaged, passionately interested woman. And frankly she can be a little intimidating. I remember quipping to my mother about what Sue must have thought when her son brought home a tattooed divorced Jew and her (active, undisciplined, loud) five year old. But if she was judging me she never let on. And when we announced our engagement she warmly welcomed me to the family and has never showed anything but respect for- and interest in my choices.

Sue raised three children in New York City while she worked and ran a household. She is at once very traditional in her beliefs and modern in her thinking. Although she is from a generation that didn't always value such things for women, she has never stopped learning and expanding her intellectual horizons. She has a deep interest in the historical origins of just about everything—but especially family history. She holds her religion tightly but never preaches (not to me anyway). In fact, she has spent much time over the last five years learning about the traditions of my family's religion. Sue makes me feel like she values my life choices even though they are so different from the ones she made while raising her children, and she has never made me feel anything but approved of. Her famous attention to detail stops at the door to her home and she is delightfully self-deprecating about it—a quality this daughter-in-law appreciates greatly.

I always feel welcome with Sue and I continue to learn from her every time we visit. Especially in light of stereotypical mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships, I got very lucky here.