Remember the movie with Jennifer Lopez, Jane Fonda, and Michael Vartan? If not, go here read the summary and come back. It’s about a girl who is engaged and her future mother-in-law is a jealous, conniving, crazy woman who doesn’t want her baby boy to marry this chick.
I started thinking about it because I feel like I hear, what I will call, “mother-in-law horror stories.” I feel like girls are always making comments about how terrible their MIL is - how much she spoils her baby boy, how she give unsolicited advice, and how much drama the MIL brings.
It’s sad really. I feel like a MIL could become your best friend and closest ally if you let them (key word is could).
Now, want to know the dirt on my MIL?
Well, I have been married to her oldest, most loved, baby boy for over 4 years now and I can say without any hesitation that I consider her one of my best friends. She isn’t your average mom, that’s for sure, but she has become a very important part of my life.
Notice I said become. My MIL and I don’t always see eye-to-eye and it hasn’t always been rainbows and butterflies. Just ask my main-squeeze.
From the start the MIL and I got along just fine. I mean, I got married at 18 so it would be difficult to say we were friends because let’s face it – I was still a kid.
When the main-squeeze went to Parris Island for boot camp in 2007, I didn’t get to talk to him (except through letters) for 3 months. For a 17 year-old girl it was pure torture. Plus it was the last summer before my senior year so I was mad at him. Anyway, once the main-squeeze was able to make a phone call he called him mom first. Ugh. He “claims” he couldn’t remember my phone number… mhmm… sure. ;) At his graduation the following week, his mom and I literally raced to get the first hug (I’d like to add, I was closer to him but she sprinted like a gazelle being chased by a cheetah). She got the first hug. Ugh. But I got the second and since we weren’t married, I guess I’ll forgive them ;)
When we got engaged that same year, I didn’t tell my family because I was afraid too, but his family knew. His mom supported us. I mean let’s be real, she could have totally been talking smack behind our backs and whatnot, but to our faces she put on a strong face and supported us.
When Vincent was in his accident, I called her first. The minute I said her name, it was like she knew something bad had happened. I told her to stay in SC until I knew for sure what was going on but three days later when they transferred him to the trauma center, I told her to do what she needed to do. Thankfully, that was drive up. She stayed with him the first night at the new hospital so I could sleep and I am forever grateful. We managed to make the most out of the situation – enjoyed the hospitals amazing sweet-tea, hit up Kohl’s since she didn’t pack any socks or shirts, and ate normal food.
Anyway, I’m done with the stories. Here is an open letter to my MIL:
Where, oh where, to begin? It was this time 7 years ago that I met you. The band kids were having a sleep over at y’alls house and I stopped by to say hello. I remember thinking how cool you seemed and how youthful. I would never have guessed that that night would be the start for a beautiful, crazy relationship.
I know our relationship has been anything short of easy but I could not ask for a better MIL. I thank God for putting you into my life as a mother and friend.
You’re opinionated, passionate, and committed. You are kind, funny, and smart. You can cook cube steak like a 5-star chef and your enchiladas are to die for. You are a great listener and you are great to vent with/to. You are beautiful. Stunning. Captivating. You are an inspiration, shoulder to cry on, and great source of unabashed support. You buy my dogs Christmas presents and our gifts are pretty rad too. You are uber competitive. You make me angry and you call me out on my crap. You are strong, independent, and patient. You raised an amazing son (did I mention sexy ;) who is determined to not let a life changing injury slow him down. You raised a daughter who is funny and youthful – not to mention gave birth to the cutest curly headed boy. You have a smile that can light up a room and you know how to install blinds. You are moving in with us when we have kids (ok… well maybe not but a girl can dream). You challenge me and you respect other’s opinions even if you don’t agree. You are adventurous but down-to-earth. You share in joy and in pain. And sometimes I like you more than the main-squeeze! ;)
Thank you for being a friend and for telling me when I am in the wrong. Thank you for being there for myself and for the main-squeeze. Thank you for calling just to chat. Thank you for not treating me like an idiot when I don’t understand something. Thank you for allowing me to love your son. Thank you for loving me.
Seven years ago, you came into my life and have changed it for the better (cue song from Wicked). Through all the good times and bad times, I could not have asked for a better MIL.
I love you so very much.