...I got my mother-in-law.
For those of you that are cringing, stop. My mother-in-law is actually one of the coolest people I know, and I respect and admire her so much. She's funny, witty, smart, very well put together, classy, down to earth, real, and all with a great sense of style. And she and I have always had a great relationship. We get each other. Same sarcastic sense of humor. Similar tastes. And like her, I am very practical.
Anyway, yesterday afternoon, I received a birthday card from her, and after reading the front cover, I put it down and immediately called her up laughing hysterically.
"My son is very lucky to have you as his wife..."
Now I wasn't laughing because I disagree with this sentiment. Quite the contrary. I think Doug and I are both lucky. After a rocky start to our marriage, we have both grown together in a most unexpected and complimentary way. And I know that we are both lucky to have the other in our lives. But when your mother-in-law sends you a card that says so....well, that's not only atypical, unexpected and phone call-worthy, but blog-worthy.
Anyway, I called her up to thank her for the card and let her know what a kick I'd gotten out of it before I'd even opened it. As per usual, we chatted for about 20 or 30 minutes updating one another on the goings-on of our lives, had a few good laughs, and bid farewell until next time.
And then, this morning, in the midst of making fruit salad for preschool, constructing teacher presents, dressing two children, dressing myself, and going shopping all before 9am, I stopped to read the inside.
I wasn't prepared. At all.
The card reads,
"My son is very lucky to have you for his wife....
....and I am just as fortunate to have you in my life."
Yup. I started crying here. You see, my mother-in-law and I share one very important quality in common. We both HATE those sappy, overly emotional, sing-songy cards, yet we're both inclined to send the sentimental variety. Problem is, it's hard to find one that sounds sincere without also sounding trite and schmaltzy. So, I know that, like myself, she took great care in picking out a card that said just what she wanted to say and really meant it.
And as far as I'm concerned, she hit the nail on the head. This was one of those, "You had me at hello," Jerry McGuire moments.
The card went on to say, (and yes, it went on....as if that first part wasn't enough)
"You're more to me than a daughter-in-law,
you've also been a friend,
and I hope this year will bring you love
and happiness without end."
And with that, I was reduced to a blubbering mess. Emma asked me, "Mommy, why are you so sad."
To which I responded, "I'm not crying because I'm sad baby, I'm crying because Nanny sent me a beautiful card and it made me happy."
And after listening to so many of my friends regale me with stories about what a pain in the ass their mothers-in-law are, and how they are often riddled with self-doubt and brought to tears by these seemingly tyrannical women, I thought, "how lucky am I."
I too have cried over my mother-in-law. But the only tears she brings to my eyes are tears of joy, and disappointment that she's so far away.
I miss you Nan. I miss our weekly visits and chats over coffee. Thanks for the beautiful card. It was perfect.