This morning I woke up to the cry of my little boy, picked him up, kissed him and within seconds he was soothed, happy and full of smiles telling me about his dream. Yesterday he fell and scraped his finger, I was superwoman and made it better with a single kiss. Last week I sat with him, held his knees and cheered as he pooped in the potty, then wiped his bottom. Three years ago I spent every single day tracking his growth in my belly, investing every bit of my life into the idea of having a son. Two years ago, every single emotion flew threw me when he was born. Nobody questioned where his crying 7 pound eleven ounce body was to be laid in order to comfort the cries of a newborn, I was his mom, he goes to me. The closest, most comforting person he had in his life, and 20 plus years from that moment (years being his soother, guider, teacher, superwoman, protector) I’m supposed to “happily” take the back seat. To my future daughter in law, give me grace.
I have prayed and prayed for you, but nothing seems more terrifying than the moment I’ll realize he’s met you. His dad and I will spend every day teaching him the importance of you, his future wife. Praying for you at night, teaching him that he must put you before us all, and treat you with respect, kindness, and most importantly unconditional love. Give me grace when you come around and all I want to do is hug my son a little tighter, keep the little boy I’ve spent my life loving, my little boy a little longer.
Give me grace if I overstep my boundaries. I’ve dug through his backpack for years by this point, been a part of every basketball team, the main contact for every single thing he’s taken part in, and known his life down to the details. I’m supposed to, that’s what I’ve been taught a good mom does. His happiness is mine, his pain I’ve felt, and his frustrations I’ve done all I can to understand. If I overstep, please give me grace because turning off these emotions and hiding them to let you take them over is new to me. I’ll get the hang of it I promise, but it won’t be easy.
Give me Grace when I get emotional at your proposal, bridal shower, wedding. I would like to say all these tears are happy but they won’t be. I think a part of me will cry a tear or two of sadness that my little boy is no longer all mine but my wish is that they will be overcome by happy tears that you are here. What a bittersweet feeling the idea of all this is. I’m sure you’ll catch my eye, chop it up to the fact I’m his emotional mom, and then all I ask is… please give me grace.
Give me grace when your child is being born and I want to be there. The mother in law always gets jipped, I know. But when you are quietly talking to your husband about how you don’t want me there, give me grace. I love my son, I love you and I understand you don’t want me seeing your hoohaw but I do know the feeling of love you’re about to experience. I hope that the love you’re going to have when they lay that baby on your chest gives you an understanding that is the same kind of love I’ve experienced too. Except that tiny baby is now a big hairy grown adult man about to have a baby of his own. Give me Grace, because that love you’re about to experience doesn’t fade, it grows. I feel the same way I did all those years ago as I do today, if not more yet I have to channel all those emotions differently, so give me grace.
There are books and podcasts, magazines and movies about being a mother, but so little talks about how after 20ish years of doing all that we have to change it all. Mothering is easy, to most like myself its the most natural feeling I’ve ever experienced. However, the letting go.. not so much. So all I ask is that you give me grace, I know ill make mistakes, overstep, and bother you that’s what mother in-laws do. I’m well aware that mother in laws are the easiest ones to take frustration out on, I’ve heard endless stories. Please know that I’m doing all I can to grow through this, to understand my new role and be amazing at it. Because you deserve it, and so does my son.
You see, I’m one of the lucky ones. In fact, I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing this if my relationship with my own mother in law wasn’t as great as it is. She is respectful, loving and finds comfort knowing that we both love Gavin but in different capacities. There is no need to compete for a spot in his heart because there is room for both of us. Give me grace as I navigate through it all and follow the example she has taught me.
This very awkward balance will be difficult to master but give me grace as I figure it out. It’s all out of love, and I pray you will see it. I can’t wait to meet you someday, but for now ill hold on tight to what’s all mine, my son.
Your Future Mother in Law