My Dear Daughters,
Recently my friends discussed how we all knew we were done having children. That conversation got me thinking, and I had to admit that while I would LOVE to have more children – many more, if given the choice – we are probably done with just our two boys.
The medical bills are killing us, the stress is almost overwhelming, and frankly, Darrel and I aren’t getting any younger. If we’re going to have more children, we need to do it now…but with Zac being completely dependent on my breast milk I can’t risk that vital food source being taken away by pregnancy hormone changes.
So, while I already know that I will regret not having more children in about thirty years, I also am trying to make my peace with the fact that my two sons are the only blessings I will probably have in my motherhood journey.
Except for one thing: one day, anywhere from 15-25 years from now, my sweet little boys will meet YOU.
You, who will make their hearts go pitter-patter. You, who will smile at one of my sons and make his brain short-circuit. You, who will become a part of the Summers Family.
You, who will become my Daughter.
I want you to know right now that I already cherish you.
Right now, you’re probably a baby or toddler – or maybe not even born yet! But one day you will win the heart and soul of one of my boys and he will want to be with you forever.
From that moment on, dear girl, whether you like it or not, you’re getting a second Mama.
I will never replace your own special, dearly loved Mom, I know. That’s not the goal or the point. But just as a mother has room in her heart to love many children equally and fully, I hope you will find room in your heart to include me as a Mother figure to you, in addition to the one that birthed and raised you.
From my end, I promise to respect you. I will honor the ways you decide to run your household and raise your family. I will offer guidance gently and cautiously, of course, because we can all learn from our elders, but I will try my best to avoid making you feel as though I’m imposing my will on your life.
I promise to love you. As with any family dynamic, I may not always like you (nor you, me) but I will always love the woman my son thought precious enough to marry. I will consider your likes and dislikes, your interests and the things that irritate you when I suggest activities to do together – and when I buy you gifts, as well.
I promise to welcome you into our family with open arms. I will introduce you to your new family with pleasure and pride, and share family folklore in abundance until you can eventually tell the stories as well as we can. One day, your children will ask, and you’ll be able to tell them about both sides of their family with ease.
I promise that I will not lay a guilt-trip on you about every holiday event that comes up. Ideally, we’ll work out a way that your parents and Darrel and I can see you and our son at every major holiday, but I promise that if that isn’t possible, I will work with you to find a schedule that works for all of us – no pressure!
I promise that I will be there as much as you’ll allow.
I will be there when you’re planning the wedding, to lend support and celebrate the excitement of throwing such a lovely party.
I will be there when you’re setting up your house, to help schlep boxes and paint walls.
I will be there when you’re at a loss as to how to convince my son to pick up his laundry off the floor or mow the lawn (or whatever task he’s gotten lazy at that drives you up a wall) to tell you – I tried, really, I did! – and help kick him in the butt to help you out some more.
I will be there when you’re pregnant and nervous, and I’ll even make “craving” runs for you if you need me to.
I’ll be there in the delivery room, if that’s okay with you, to hold your hand, advocate for you (I’m really good at that by now), and be a calm in the storm for you to lock on to if you need.
I’ll be there in those scary first weeks as a new Mama, after everyone has left and you’re suddenly tasked with getting to know this new little life that you’re supposed to take care of.
I’ll be there to do a load of laundry, clean up your kitchen, sweep your floors, and cook a meal or two…just to keep things afloat while you get your “Mama Legs” underneath you. I would love some Grandbaby cuddle time, of course, but I promise to be there for YOU, then; to help you rest and spend time with your new baby without being stressed about keeping up the other parts of your life.
I’ll be there for you in every way I possibly can, dear girl, with warmth and welcome, because my dearest wish is for you to be as happy to be a part of my family as I am that you have become a part of our family.
I know that you love my son, and I want to tell you all about what he was like as a baby and a child. I want you to know the sheer enthusiasm with which Jed greets everything in life! I want you to know the quiet determination Zac exhibits as a 1 year old!
I want you to know that the love I feel for my sons is broad and unending…and that if you’ll let me, that love will include you, too.
How could I not love you, after all? If my son loves you, and you make him happy and love him back, well, really – is there anything else I could ever want for them? You’re perfect and precious, and I want you to know that I can’t wait to meet you and give you a gigantic hug.
I hope you’ll let me become a part of your life. I’m already so grateful that you’re going to be a part of mine.
So don’t listen to those horror stories about Mothers-in-law, dear girl. I promise I’m not like that, nor will I ever be like that to you or my sons.
As a side note, Darrel is in on this, too. He wanted a daughter so he could have a “Daddy’s Girl”, so I know without a shadow of a doubt that he will love you just as much as I will. I hope you’ll love and admire your Father-in-law, too.
All My Love,
Your Future Mother-in-Law