Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

It is Mother's day today so it seems like the thing to do would be to write about my mother.

I do have a wonderful mother who I recently spent a great deal of time with in Florida and on the road.  Our relationship has been complicated over the years.  Sometimes good, sometimes bad.  But age, wisdom and maturity, along with a stubborn tenacity to make it work has brought us to a place where we have become comfortable friends.  She still drives me crazy sometimes and I am sure she would say the same of me but overall we enjoy each others company.  She was a wonderful mother growing up and has given me many gifts which I use in my own parenting.

But I am going to write about my mother-in-law today.  Because, I have a son and he has a girlfriend and over the last several months I have come to appreciate how hard it is going to be to be a mother-in-law.

A mother-in-law puts all her love and passion into raising a son, getting to know who he is, nurturing his strengths and helping him strengthen his weakness, guiding him through life, building his faith, being his counselor.  He gives his trust and desires her approval.  She loves him and desires to see him be loved by a woman who will continue the work she has begun.  A woman who will see her son for who he is not who she wants him to be and will strengthen him not tear him down.  Someone who will continue to help him become the man God intended. 

I have come to realize how hard it is going to be to trust that any woman will ever fill my shoes.  Which I suppose is why sometimes a mother-in-law can get a little crazy. At least this mom feels a little crazy as she watches her son date.

Yet while there have been a few minor irritations over the years, as in any family relationship, my mother-in-law has overall been wonderfully supportive of our relationship, of me stepping in and taking over her role in her son's life. I am realizing as I watch my son grow how hard it must have been to give her precious and vulnerable son to a young 19 year old girl and trust that she would give to him as much love, nurture and support as she knew he would give to her.  And I am appreciating the gift my mother-in-law has given to me in a wonderful loving husband and in being a second mother who extended her love to me and was an example and a counselor to me. I was still growing up when she welcomed me into the family.

So today I am thankful for both my mother and my mother-in-law who have loved me and nurtured me and made me into the woman I am today.

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