Mother-in-law: love her or hate her?
Mothers are honored and revered on a hallowed day this month. Mothers-in-law are tossed into the celebrations, too, along with grandmothers, step-mothers, god-mothers, aunts, sisters, and other meaningful female elders.
But leave mothers-in-law unto themselves, and the sentiments would more likely be found in the Rodney Dangerfield section of the Hallmark store. Witness these jokes and their intended butts:
I saw six men kicking and punching the mother-in-law. My neighbour said ‘Are you going to help?’ I said ‘No, six should be enough.’ — Les Dawson
Just got back from a pleasure trip: I took my mother-in-law to the airport. — Henny Youngman
My mother-in-law had a pain beneath her left breast. Turned out to be a trick knee. — Phyllis Diller
They say the definition of ambivalence is watching your mother-in-law drive over a cliff in your new Cadillac. — David Mamet
Just like all mothers are not angelic, not all mothers-in-law are demonic. There’s an entire Facebook page devoted to I Love My Mother-in-Law. Some people create video tributes to their mothers-in-law. There are avatars and t-shirts to proclaim one’s love for one’s mother-in-law.
Or take my mother in law, for instance:
- Lisa always sends me a Mother’s Day card, acknowledgement for my contribution to her son and her grandchildren, as well as her love for me.
- When she visits, Lisa turns our house into a self-cleaning home. Voila — messes disappear while I’m bathing a child or weeding a garden.
- Lisa delights in her grandchildren and gives her son and me Date Nights whenever she visits us or we visit her.
- Lisa raised her son to be curious, hard-working, witty, compassionate and gentlemanly. She taught my husband good manners and thusly he remembers to put the toilet seat down. Most of the time.
- Lisa adores her son and I do, too. We share that special bond.
But wait. I’ve been using the wrong verb tense.
Three weeks ago after a year-long battle, lung cancer took my mother-in-law’s life. For the first time since my marriage, I am mother-in-law-less. And this is my first Mother’s Day where I am not looking for a card to send to Lisa.
On this day devoted to mothers, I hope Lisa somehow knows how much she blessed my life.
How have you celebrated Mother’s Day, mother-in-law-wise?