I recently entered a blogging contest with Real Simple Magazine. The topic was 300 words or less on an unexpected friendship. I didn’t win. I didn’t even make it to the finals. But, that’s ok. I’m kind of proud of myself for just taking the chance and entering. And, even though I didn’t win the contest, I’m still glad I wrote this piece…
An Unexpected Friendship
At first our relationship was touch and go. Here I was – a young bride, barely twenty-three, capturing the heart and time of her son. There she was – a mother twice over realizing she was no longer the woman in her son’s life. And, there he was – beginning a life long adventure with the girl of his dreams while reminding his mother she’d always be the woman in his heart. There we were – the three of us looking for balance and acceptance between what used to be and what was beginning.
Tumultuous might best describe those first few years together as we all struggled to change and grow into a family. But, as one grandchild arrived and then another (and finally another!) we began to realize that our relationship and understanding was beginning to bridge with the next generation. Suddenly helping with a fussy baby or bringing by a meal was no longer a sign of her disapproval, but rather a sign that she sympathized with all that I was trying to undertake with three young babies. Our ways were certainly different, but our goal of a loving, trusting family was the same.
As time passed and my babies shared in the joy of family, my relationship with her grew even more. The laughter, the shopping, the evenings on the phone, the help when my husband traveled and I returned to school all fed into a friendship I never expected. And the strength of that friendship was solidified in mutual love and respect for family. Perhaps I should be surprised by a friendship with my mother-in-law and, once upon a time, maybe I was. Not any more. Now I’m just grateful that after nine years of marriage she is just as much my mom as she is my husband’s.