Mother of the Bride Spot

Random thoughts on being a Mother of the Bride...although since we are now past The Wedding, perhaps this would be better titled Random Thoughts On Life In General...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

On the Subject of Sons-in-Law

Not much is said in my books about the soon to be son-in-law. Yes, I realize they are books about being the M.O.BRIDE -- and are focusing on preparing for the wedding (today's offering: "Velcro your traveling organizer to your body, or have it surgically attached"), not on the MOB's relationship to the future SIL, but still....

I do think something needs to be written -- said -- advised -- about how to have a good relationship with this new man that is coming into your life. After all, he is going to whisk your beloved daughter off to begin a new family so that you, by default, suddenly become her EXTENDED family!! Ouch. I don't want to be extended. I want to be immediate. And it isn't as though I want them to live WITH me. Not at all. Next door would be just fine.

There has to be a reason why the Mother-In-Law has become one of North America's worst jokes. I already mentioned "Monster-in-Law" starring Jane Fonda, and while I think in that case, she's the mother of the groom, it is generally the groom rolling his eyes and referring to the mother of his darling bride. That would be me.


I HAVE a son-in-law, Derrick. Husband of First Daughter, Jill; Father of First Grandbaby, Deven. Derrick has been part of our family for over 7 years, and while I have a slight bone to pick with him now (he's taking my daughter and my grandbaby to live in Naples, for pity's sake!! I AM grateful it is only Naples FL, and not Naples Italy...), for the most part, I think our relationship has been very good -- especially considering I had no clue about what I was supposed to do with him when I got him!! We thoroughly enjoy getting together -- not nearly often enough, despite them living in the city. That's what you get for a nurse marrying another nurse. Nutso hours. But there are always hugs and kisses hello and goodbye -- and "I love you" on both parts. And he's an amazing husband and father. And I know that he would drop anything and everything to help care for us if we needed it. And they are thinking about building us our own little home on their property in Naples so we have some place to stay when we come and visit. We aren't going to move there....

And now we have started all over again. We've not known Chris all that long. He and Torrey actually started dating only 51/2 months ago -- have been engaged for just about 3 1/2. Yes, I know it's fast -- but so were Bob and I...6 weeks from first date to engagement; another 6 months to the wedding....but hey, it's lasted 35 years!! Anyway, while we don't see Chris as often as we did Derrick -- Jill was living at home when they were dating and engaged -- our times together are more focused and intense since it is either them coming home for a weekend, or us going to stay in Indy with Torrey. Bob has had more one-on-one time with him as they have gone golfing a couple of times when Torrey and I have gone shopping....DSW, here we come! But Chris and I e-mail/IM pretty frequently. Sometimes wedding stuff, sometimes fun stuff (like why I'm calling him The Beamer and who was responsible for the cookienapping), sometimes serious stuff. When we are together we have wonderful conversations. I love sitting and talking to him -- especially out at the bistro table in the back yard over a cup of French Press coffee. (OK, so we've only had a chance to do that once. But it was great). Having conversation -- but isn't that what social workers do best? We share websites and books -- especially those having to do with emergent/postmodern theology/churches and books by Brian McLaren. I know Chris will be a wonderful husband for my precious Second Daughter and eventually an terrific father when the time is right. And I know that he too would drop everything and anything and come if we needed him.

As a MIL, MOB, and soon to be MILx2, I am truly blessed. I thank God frequently for giving Derrick and Chris to us as family members. I love them, and know they love me. Yesterday Chris IM'd just to remind me that he loves me. How amazing is that?

And you know what? We all ARE immediate family -- not extended.

Hugs to both my SONS.


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