This post kind of came out of nowhere for me. I was sitting on the floor surrounded by Punky’s toys, and thought about the future while tidying up. This is everything I’d love to say to my future daughter in law… and wished my own mother in law would have said to me.
I hope that Punky finds someone who is as sweet as he is. Someone who will support him with his goals, no matter what they are. I hope Punky finds a person who understands his quirks, and loves him for who he is. That’s all a mother can hope for, right?
I know it’s a long way off because my sweet boy just turned 8, but here’s my open letter to my future daughter in law.
Dear Future Daughter in Law,
As I sit here with a pile of toys surrounding me begging to be tidied away, I thought about the future and everything that means. Before we pop the champagne to celebrate your union with my son, there are a few things I’d like you to know.
Before you chose each other to be lifelong partners, he was mine. The first time his tiny little fist grasped my finger and he looked up at me with those gorgeous brown eyes, he stole my heart.
As he grew up, he believed in fairies, loved to make wishes on puffy dandelions, he was loud, and messy, and wonderful. He loved to paint on blank canvases at the dining room table, and play with Lego from the moment he woke up until the sun went down. Punky loved writing little letters to me telling me how much he loved me. He was extremely creative – always making up adventures for him and his imaginary friends, growing flowers in his own little pot garden, and more… I hope he still does those things.
Handing over the care-taking duty of my sweet boy is one of the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do. It’s not because I don’t like you, it’s because as his mother I’m used to being the main woman in his life. While I am happy to see he is growing, changing, and is completely in love with you, it breaks my heart to think that he doesn’t really need me much anymore. Letting go isn’t my strong suit, but believe me when I say, I’m trying. Please take this to heart when you think I’m being overbearing.
I have tried my best to raise a decent human being. I’ve tried to instil in him kindness, empathy, and the ability to take care of himself. I have done my best to make sure that he is respectful, honest, and loving. I’ve tried to make sure he values family, and to value you as a grown, independent woman.
He does not yet possess the capability to make sure there are no spills on the carpet, or to actually see the messes he makes, but I know he tries. I’m hoping that as he grows he’ll start appreciating a clean home (and actually pick up after himself too!). If you get fed up with his slobby ways, just call me and I’ll go all mom-hulk on him.
You may argue and fight. The two of you may have days where you’d rather kill each other instead of kiss goodnight, and that’s ok. He may break your heart, and you may break his. Sometimes that’s unavoidable. All I can ask is that you don’t give up on him easily. Please talk about your problems and feelings instead of burying them and building resentment. Marriage is hard; there will be challenges that pop up for you, but if you put in the work and talk through your issues it can be the most wonderful thing in the world.
I do hope we have a good relationship. If not, can we work on it? I promise not to be the nagging mother in law that makes you rage when my number shows up on the caller ID. I also promise to try to reign in my unsolicited advice. You may not appreciate my sarcasm and strange sense of humour, and I get that. My personality is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you have a problem with me, please be honest and tell me. We’ll talk through it like two grown adults instead of being vague and catty. I’ll try to see your side and change my ways. I can’t promise that’ll happen, but I’ll try.
But, I can assure you that if you ever need anything, I’m here for you. I’ll hug you when you have a bad day, or send you flowers just because. I promise spoil you on birthdays and holidays, but please make sure you give me a list of what you want and need. I’ll make you a pot of chicken noodle soup when you’re not feeling well. I want you to be comfortable in my home and in our family. I want you to be able to come to me whenever you need someone to talk to. Yes, even if it’s to vent about my son’s behaviour.
Welcome to the family, future daughter in law. We’re messy, sometimes obnoxious, but we accept you with open arms. Warts and all. If you have actual warts though, you may want to get that checked by a doctor.