Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Letter to Her

I’ve never understood the honor of cutting umbilical cords, its quite gross if you think about it.  But nevertheless, Jon had the “honor” of cutting the umbilical cords of all our babies.  Except one.  As soon as we found out that our second was a boy, I knew I wanted to be the one to cut the cord.  It was a symbolic gesture for me, a way of reminding myself that when the time comes that since I’ve cut the umbilical cord once, I can do it again.

I pray for each my children’s future spouses.  From the moment we found out we were expecting, I started praying for the person who would share their life.  And as we added daughter after daughter, I started praying most fervently for Hudson’s future wife.  She will have to be a brave woman, that is for sure.  Loving a man with three sisters is most surely going be a challenge and I already feel sorry for the women that will be put through the wringer.  But the one that survives, she will be brave.  I’m sure of it.

When I found out Hudson was on his way, I started a list of promises to myself, to Hudson, and to his future wife.  Promises that will be difficult for me to consistently keep, but I wanted a starting point to be the best mother-in-law possible.  So without further ado…

Dear Future Daughter-in-Law,

I imagine that someday I’ll print out this letter and wrap it with the rest of your bridal shower gifts.  I hope you take this with the loving intention that its meant.  I realize that I won’t always be able to keep these promises, but this is a sampling of my intentions as we move into this next phase of our relationship.  We are welcoming you with open arms, because we know how much our son loves you and if Hudson has chosen you, then you are the answer to our prayers.

  • I promise… that I will love you for you.  Not for the person that I think you should be, not with any expectations or preconceived ideas.  I will love YOU, as you are right now and for the person you’ll become.
     
  • I promise… that I will never stop by unannounced or without calling ahead.  I know that your home is your space, and I would never want to intrude on that without being invited or giving you a heads-up. 

  • I promise… that I will not hound you, nag you, or otherwise annoy you with questions about grandbabies.  This is your life with Hudson and it may not look anything like mine.  If you ever hear me begin to ask the question, shoot me a look.  Hopefully I’ll remember this letter.
     
  • I promise… to love you as my own.  I’m sure sisters-in-law can be daunting and a challenge (I can only imagine what three of them will be like), but know that I consider you ours too.  Which brings me to…
     
  • I promise… not to try to take the place of your mother.  I would never, ever want to get between a mother and her daughter, but know that should you ever need me for a shoulder or a listening ear, I am here and willing to be that for you.

  • I promise… that should the need arise, I will always come to you with misunderstandings or hurt feelings.  And always with love and grace.  I am a big believer in going to the source of the problem, and I want you to know that any issues that may arise will be kept between the two of us.

  • I promise… that I will always support your marriage to Hudson.  Its inevitable that problems arise in marriage, and should Hudson ever come to us for advice or support, we will always turn him back to you and his marriage vows. 

  • I promise… that I will never offer unsolicited advice.  Ever.  Life is about making mistakes and choices and figuring out what works best for you, your marriage, and your family.  And unless asked, I promise to keep opinions and advice to myself.

  • I promise… to love, encourage, and support you as a woman, a daughter, a wife, and maybe someday, a mother.  However that looks, I want you to know that I have your back!

I don’t want to be the other woman in Hudson’s life.  I want you to have the sole role of being the one and only woman in his life; I hope to play a supporting role.  And I hope that you feel loved and supported in the years to come.

I once heard that its not enough to make a list of things you won’t do, but substitute do’s for the don’ts.  This is a work in progress, but I feel it’s a great start.  I know that to be a good mother-in-law someday, I’m going to have to be intentional with these relationships.  I intend to do just that.

A Letter to Her

While I know that someday I’ll be replaced by another woman in Hudson’s life, I am currently loving my cuddly, tender, and sensitive little man.  I love being his first crush, his first love, his whole world, and the recipient of the picked dandelions.  I’m going to soak it all in while I can and relish every moment.

2 comments:

Meghan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meghan said...

My stepmom always jokes that when it's time for my brother to start dating that the girls he brings home will have to pass the sister test from me and my sister before she even has a chance with my parents.

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