I’m doing my best.
I’m trying to teach him to put down the toilet seat, and learn how to do the dishes. I’m trying to teach him to shower regularly and give good back massages.
Wait. I should back up.
I have watched you grow up. Or, at least I might be watching you grow up. I see little girls in little pigtails skipping along the sidewalk, and I think…it could be you. Maybe you will be the little girl that would grow up to steal my boy’s heart. I pray for you. I already love you, even before he does. I hope you call me “Mom,” unless of course, that makes you feel uncomfortable. That’s ok too.
You likely won’t do everything the way that I do them. I do a lot of wacky things like home birthing and home schooling. I’ll be fine if you do it differently. I mean, I’m opinionated, but I’m really practicing shutting my mouth and saying something encouraging. Your future father-in-law is more outspoken than me. I have no issues elbowing him when he says too much. More than anything, I believe in freedom, and I don’t want you bound by the way that I have done things.
I’m going to try hard to give you space without making you feel like I don’t care, and spend time with you guys without being overbearing. I honestly don’t know if I’ll know how to do that. I’m more insecure than you realize, and I’ll read into everything I’ll be doing, and everything you’ll be doing. I hope we communicate well. If not, I hope you’re patient enough with me to work on it together.
But here’s the thing. My little boy is a little crazy right now. He’s not very…let’s call it civilized.
He interrupts me when I’m talking, and I can tell him to pick his clothes off the floor, but the thought doesn’t seem to enter his brain on its own yet. I’m trying to think of what makes a great man, and point him in that direction. I want to set the bar high. I keep pointing him to Jesus, and teaching him to live in grace, but man alive, can he learn how to hold his temper too?
I fear that you will live with any mistakes that I will make. You’ve heard the phrase “His mother must have never taught him…” or “Didn’t your mama ever teach you to…”
Let me assure you: Yes. Yes she has. She’s taught him a thousand times.
I haven’t been able to teach him to remember everything yet. I haven’t been able to get through to him on some issues. Seeing my own little girls grow up, and struggle with the things that I have always struggled with, I am starting to catch on that sin isn’t a problem of “Didn’t your mama teach you?”
It has nothing to do with that mama. Mama can’t fix sin.
I’m teaching him not to hit. I’m teaching him to deal with people with kindness. I’m teaching him to use his strength to protect. I’m teaching him to make his bed. I make him pick up his underwear. I’m teaching him to use his words to build others up.
That doesn’t mean it’s sticking. I mean, I hope it does. But based on what I’m seeing all the time, I’m not so sure.
He’s got a great role model in his daddy. You should be thankful for that. He has a good man to look towards. But even if he turns out as great as his daddy, he’s still going to fall short of all I dream for him. He will still not be able to read your mind. He may struggle to provide for you. He will struggle to be kind. He will make wrong choices sometimes. He might fall into depression from time to time. Man, I’m doing my best to keep pornography out of his hands, but girl, it’s everywhere. I’m fighting the fight. I’m fighting the fight not just thinking of his heart, but of yours. I’m fighting for your marriage before you even know him.
He’s not as tough as he appears. Trust me. That boy is all mush in the inside. Be gentle with him too. He’s harder on himself than you’ll ever be, so tread lightly.
I’m not going to be able to check all the things off the training list. There’s some things that I’ll miss, I already know.
One thing that I hope will be as embedded in him is the generosity of forgiveness. I pray he will be a man who forgives. I pray you will be a women who forgives. I pray that you will both experience unconditional love in your marriage. Because when all is said and done, he won’t be ready. You won’t be ready. You’ll just have to grow into a forgiveness-based marriage together.
Your future Mother-in-Law