15 May 2019, by Flora Isabelle
I’ve always been close to the mother-in-law… the kind of closeness that would often leave people in disbelief. “You mean you go on weekend shopping trips… just the two of you?” Why, yes!
I’m not gonna lie and say that everything is a bed of roses. After all, we lived together for a good number of years under one roof and that will inevitably lead to differences, but somehow we’ve always managed to work around them.
The biggest differences probably came about when Nate was born and we had opposing views as to how we should care for him. I was set in certain ways that the Internet had taught me (about self-soothing, schedules and the likes) and she sometimes gave me the “when I was raising my kids” talk which, well, annoyed me (especially when coupled with the post-natal blues)… Looking back, I really pity the husband. He was caught between us most of the time and, you know what, he often took my side and tried his best to explain to his Mum to try and understand things from my point of view instead.
Today when I was at the mall with the husband and bubs, I watched happily from the side as they raced each other to the car park. But bubs missed a step, fell and, amidst tears, instinctively looked for me to kiss his boo-boos. It made me realise that as much as his father is his favourite playmate, I’m still his ultimate source of comfort.
I’m the one he looks for when thunders roar and wake him up in the middle of the night.
I’m the one he looks forward to see picking him up from school every day.
I’m the one who cooks his dinner just the way he likes it, with just the right number of tomato slices in his sandwich.
I’m the one he chooses to read his favourite books with.
And I’m the one he wants to kiss good-night.
For now, that is.
One day, he will meet The One and it will be her that he turns to in the middle of the night when thunders roll.
She will be the one he wants to see after a long day at work.
He will probably like her cooking over mine and, well, no prizes for guessing who he will be kissing good-night.
He will probably encounter a crossroad or two in life and both she and I will give different viewpoints… and he will choose hers over mine.
They will make plans to see the world together, and she’ll probably be the one who buys my Mother’s Day presents.
I wish I can be magnanimous and say that it is ok, and that I am more than happy that my boy has found the love of his life but truth is, for the crazy, possessive mother that I am now, it is not ok.
But I know that I have to and will let go.
The same way my mother-in-law did when her son married me.
And for that, I thank her.
For raising him to be the person that he has become.
For welcoming me into the household and her life with open arms.
For always trying to offer help without overstepping boundaries.
For understanding when he chooses me over her.
And for loving me like a mother will.