Posts Tagged ‘daughter-in-law’

Dear Future Family Member,

You don’t know me yet, or maybe you do, but we’ll meet in a different context in the next decade or two. I’ve been praying for you for a while now. You see, I have three sons and chances are pretty good that at least one of them will get married at some point. I look forward to that day when you will be a part of our family. I don’t have any daughters and it will be nice to have another woman (or two, or three) around. After living with four males over the years, the excess of testosterone wears on me once in a while. Of course, you may be the kind of woman who enjoys burp jokes and who doesn’t mind dirty socks and underwear on the floor, but a mother-in-law can dream, right?

There are some things that I can tell you about your future husband. He will know how to wash dishes, load and empty a dishwasher, sort his laundry, dust, vacuum, sweep and mop floors, perform all personal hygiene daily, and know to treat you with the highest respect. I cannot guarantee that he will do all of these things all the time, except the respect thing, but the knowledge is there. He will be able to cook at least basic things, although Youngest Child shows the greatest interest in learning more in the kitchen. I haven’t always been the greatest teacher there. I don’t have a lot of patience in the kitchen because I hate extra cleanup, especially in the kitchen, I hate cleaning in general and want it done it done my way, but I’m trying to be more tolerant, especially since I know they’ll be leaving me soon. Middle Child shows the greatest willingness to help with cleaning. You may be more willing to let him make a mess. He would enjoy that.

They were raised in church and taught that faith isn’t about visiting the building once a week, but living it by not being ashamed of God, believing that He is there, and doing things that Jesus commanded us to do: Love one another, no matter what their lifestyle, respect all colors, races, colors, sexual orientations, and help others who are less fortunate than you. Oldest Child, in particular, has a passion for social justice and giving back to the community. While I hope that you share those feelings of faith, in whatever form they take, or that you are open to it, I won’t hound you about it; your faith is personal and none of my business.

I know that you may be anxious about how we will accept you, I was anxious when I met my future in-laws, but don’t worry. We know that if one of our sons brings you home to meet us, he loves you and that says a lot. I don’t care what race you are, what color you are, what you’ve done in your past, or who your parents are. I don’t care if you have children already, if you went to college or not, or how many times you changed your mind about what you wanted to be. None of these things make any sort of difference to me at all.

What I do care about are things that matter in life: Do you love my son? Do you treat him well? Also very important is how my son treats you. We raised him to treat everyone with respect and dignity, especially his life partner.

Will you be a loving mother to any children that the two of you may have? You may choose not to have children and that’s okay, too. It’s your life and I won’t bug you about it, even though I adore babies. (I have a reputation as a baby-stealer, just ask my family.) If you already have children, they will become a part of our family, too. That’s how it works.

I hope that family is a priority for you. I’m not the kind of mother who is going to expect her children to always stay close by when they’re grown, nor do I expect to see them every day or two, but my door is always open to you and to my sons and I hope that we see each other often. I won’t fuss about seeing you right on a holiday or demand that you choose between our family and yours. Holidays are stressful enough, especially if you do have kids. That’s not fair to you or my son. We’ll work it out, don’t worry, and it will be relaxed. I will respect your boundaries and not just “pop over” uninvited, walk into your home without knocking, or expect you to drop everything for me. I’m a pretty independent person and I don’t expect to be catered to. I want us to have a good relationship, to be a family.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything, and that’s okay, too. Different perspectives are good and keeping an open mind is even better. We can always agree to disagree on things. I just ask that you respect my decisions as I will yours. I won’t be that stereotypical, horrible, mother-in-law to you.

With all that being said, I’m very excited, and a little nervous, about the occasion when we’ll meet someday. I wonder about you and what you will be like. Will we be instant friends? Will it take a little work? Will you just tolerate me and want me to stay far away, or will you want a mother figure? The possibilities are all there and only time will tell. In the meantime, I’ll keep raising these boys to be the best human beings that they can be and hope for the best.

A presto.


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