My mother is amazing. Let me just say that off the bat. I talk about her super powers here and here.
But today, I want to talk about my mother-in-law, Jennifer.
When people find out who my mother-in-law is they say things like, “Oh how lucky!” Or “She’s such a bright light!” Always.
Isn’t that wonderful!? Who of us can say that that is the universal response when someone hears our name? I’m not even sure she knows that is what people say about her—but they do. Every time.
My absolutely favorite thing about her is that she raised two wonderful sons. Of course I have a favorite! But the other one is also extremely loveable. (I still watch the video that I took of my brother-in-law when I want to smile HUGE!) She (and her husband/their dad!) raised these beings. They created the kind of individuals who look compassionately on the world, are comfortable in their own skin, and to the joy of everyone around them—naturally follow their own fun meter— even when they are the only ones dancing at the pole.
A close second thing that I love about her which comes in handy for me right now is that she remembers how hard it is to raise two small children close in age. I’m not sure why, but many mothers seemed to have blocked this out. Not my mother-in-law. When I’m having a hard day or something crazy is happening in the non-stop demands that you face with two tiny beings under foot, I’m telling you, my mother-in-law’s compassionate eyes go a long way toward healing my angst. Even the simple words of, “I know it’s so hard,” are a fragrant soothing balm for the trampled mom.
She also tells me stories about her own mishaps when her boys were little. She acknowledges such truths as—’even the simplest things are really no longer easy when your kids are this age’. Forget about trying to do something nice for yourself. She still “fondly” remembers when she got the good idea of having a fun day of shopping and going out to lunch with her two toddlers. You can guess how fun it was since she still carries the faint scar.
She gives sound motherhood advice. One of my favorites: “Sometimes it helps to just go outside and scream.” That’s quality advice people. If you can’t recognize it then you’re not in the category of needing it. If you are—you know that it’s golden.
But honestly, she’s also a young child expert. She has loads and loads of techniques in her pocket about dealing with kiddo behaviors. She’s been doing it most of her adult life as a pre-school teacher. Not to mention a whole swimming pool’s worth of fun songs that she pulls out effortlessly when one of my kids is on her lap.
She’s generous and easy-going and has more compassion for others than anyone I’ve ever known. She feels the plight of others, but more than that she cares about them. Whether you are raising her grandchildren or a person on the street going through a hard time—she extends love and compassion your way and a genuine interest in your improving your well-being.
I know, she sounds like a saint.
But honestly, sometimes both my husband and I think she is.
Either way, I’m so honored to have you in my inner circle, Jennifer! And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that has been and all that will be.
Happy Mother’s Day!