They are lovelyto look at, Wendy with her camera-ready smile, so easy to capture in photographs, and Jeri with a face that makes me want to take out a canvas, brushes and paint. Standing next to me, sizes six in five-inch heels, they seem tall as trees. Obviously, they don’t have my genes. I’m talking about my “girls,” my daughters-in-law.
August 22, 2004
Daughters! At last. For a mother of grown sons to have daughters-in-law is a revelation, a “rebirth” of sorts and a blessing, indeed.
Don’t get me wrong: as the mother of sons, I loved all ages and stages of my boys. I loved my boisterous household, those Tonka-truck magic years, the transformation from little boys to deep voices, the antics and quirks of “my guys” and their friends, their male appetites and goofy humor, their sports and the clutter of their gear, their dog always on the run, (darn how I loved that dog) and their man-boy messiness in keeping our home in perpetual commotion.
Matt and Andrew
As a mother of sons, I love them with a protective ferocity only a mother can muster, but with full heart I can say now, my sons are no longer “mine,” but theirs... talking about my girls.
(Okay, I admit I’m shamelessly gushing. Both daughters-in-law are capable women, each on a professional track, and past their 20‘s. But with all due respect to Wendy's and Jeri's parents, who may beg to differ on my perspective, by marriage, they are my girls, too. )
Now here’s where life comes ‘round, full circle. To have girls in the family is so... so energizing, so liberating, so chummy. I realize I have to stay within my bounds. (I'm not their mother, after all.) But imagine my enchantment, now that I have girls in the family: girls who text me, girls who send email with xoxo’s, girls who chat about weddings and babies and birthday cakes! Wives who care for my sons and cherish them as I do.
Planting Morning Glories, Brighton Road
Bridal Shower, April
I make no distinction between my sons and new daughters. (Well, at least I try.) From two sons to two couples, and I love them all now, unconditionally as my own.
Wendy and Matt
Andrew and Jeri
Okay, Still gaga with the novelty. The mother of sons, I’m new at this, this new relationship with “my girls.” I’m still under their spell. Infatuated. I know that our relationships will inevitably grow; they will deepen, mellow and change with time. Invariably, to each her own, Wendy and Jeri will follow their own paths through marriage and motherhood, and make their own magic, myths and memories, the stuff of which we all dream and grow.
Wendy and Mason, 1 week old
But now in that first blush, celebrating with new bride and new mom? What they heck? I’m still enthralled by it all, and I’m on tap, all theirs. I shop now with new eyes, imaging how something will look on them or work in their kitchen. I look at my household, so well stocked and established after 37 years of marriage and think -- what things I no longer need, and what they might use. I travel with a new impulse to bring home something, chosen especially for them. I linger at the windows of those frou-frou little baby boutiques with new interest and vulnerability, awwww, how cute! I take photos, bake cookies and blog with a new incentive and an urgency to share and connect, to document and preserve. Day by day, the time passes so slowly.... but the years fly by in a blink.
Quick. Capture the moments. Remember them. These are our gifts.
Six weeks ago we celebrated the birth of our first grandchild. Hard to believe our “first-born,” our son, Matt is now a new dad. And this week? We celebrate a wedding: our younger son Andrew and Jeri are getting married, expanding our family in the most wonderful way. “Are you happy, do you “like your daughters-in-law?” people ask the craziest questions sometimes. Like them? Why of course, I love them, like my own.
Pinch me. I’m not dreaming, it’s true, some people do get all the luck.