Saturday, October 30, 2010

On Parents

When I was in middle school, it was super-cool to call your friends' mothers "mom."  I did this with a few of my closest friends, but it never really caught on for me. Momma was mom to me, and calling another woman that didn't sit well.

And then I got married.  Momma instantly welcomed Taylor to the family with a warm hug and a big kiss and said to him: "And my name is? *pause* Mom," answering her own question. She wanted to be a mother to him in all the wonderful ways a mother-in-law can.  He was truly a son to her. In a different way, of course, than my brother was her son (he was always just "Son"), but not in a lesser way.  Not at all.

I didn't ask my parents-in-law what they wanted to be called after Taylor and I got married.  Most people I knew called their in-laws by their first name, but I felt compelled to call Taylor's parents mom and dad.  I don't know why.

T and I were visiting his folks' house soon after we were married and his dad asked me a question. I said, "Sure, Dad."  Since  I hadn't asked them if it was ok to call them mom and dad, I wasn't sure how he'd respond.  But he looked at me, tilting his head a little to the side, the way he always does when he pauses to consider something, and smiled at me and said, "I guess I am Dad to you now, huh?"  Soon after, I asked Mum if she minded at all that I called them mom and dad and she told me: "Oh not at all! I'm glad you feel close enough to us that you feel comfortable calling us that."  Me, too, Mum :)

And now, four years later, it's even better. They are Mum and Dad, through and through. They have been so good to me--I truly feel like their daughter and it is simply the natural thing to call them by who they are to me.

And Mum especially.  Mothers and daughters have a special relationship, and I am thankful for the blessing of my mother-in-law.  Since I first came into the family, she has offered her love and support, but especially so after Momma died.  In her own quiet, gentle way, she was there for me in so many ways.  She didn't try to step up to replace my mother at all, but she filled her roll as husband's-mother as perfectly as any woman could.  In all the little things she does for me--birthday and anniversary presents, calling me to catch up (y'know, because husbands get distracted and don't always share everything), emails, inviting me to take walks with her, cooking with me, sharing so many stories of motherhood and wifedom, even flying in with six kids to attend Momma's funeral--she has been a constant help and companion.

I love you, Mum :)

1 comment:

  1. very sweet Annie, I think we've all been blessed with in-laws that become as much of our family as our natural family ... it's funny that people call your "natural family" your "God-given family" because it's so clear that your in-laws are God-given too :)