by Chrysa Smith

Before I am accused of being a horrible daughter-in-law, let me say this: it’s not my sign! I swear!

I was on vacation when I walked into a lovely home furnishings store. Among the elegant beds and armoires were some very funny signs—this one, among them. It struck me not only because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good mother-in-law joke? But also because my friends and I—all mothers of boys—talk about our sons and what type of future bride they might select. Will she be kind? Loving? Pretty? Will she be a slob, a witch, a b…..h? But most importantly, will we get along and will I ever see my son again?

I’m not fond of corny cliches, but there is some validity to this one: ‘A son is a son until he gets a wife; a daughter’s a daughter all of her life.’ Of course, there are daughters who rarely commune with their mothers; sons who are quite connected. Great mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships; bad son and father-in-law relations. You see it all. And the one thing we all agree on is this: For the sake of our sons; the sake of our families, both current and future, whoever she is, however she is, suck it up. Whether we like it or not, we will lose our boys to women—women we likely know little of—but the fact is that she, not us, will be making his favorite meal and washing his clothes (hurray!)

A friend of my husband has an only son (another misunderstood stereotype). He married a girl that his parents adore. So they not only get along, the entire extended family gets together on holidays so it makes it easy on the kids and grandkids—no competition for who goes where when. Who gets the meal, who gets the leftovers. Who comes for dinner; who gets dessert. I’m praying for that one. I doubt I’ll get it. I mean, what are the odds?

I hope to have some years to work on the art of being gracious, loving and kind to all human beings—even a daughter-in-law who doesn’t cook, decorate or treat my son the way I believe she should. Now, off to do some yoga. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in……..