My mother-in-law lives a state away and has been staying at our house since last Friday. She will leave this Friday. When I tell people this, I usually get a look of horror, then the, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" head tilt, and then a statement that usually goes something like, "NO. WAY. How are you going to survive?"
Save your pity for someone else, people.
I love my MIL. It's shocking, I know. Would it be more believable if we had the stereotypically contentious relationship? Should she nag me? Should I should hate her? Should we play passive-aggressive mind games, followed by a mental tug-of-war for my husband's attention?
My MIL has many endearing qualities. She is a wonderful grandmother who adores our children, and she is a good friend. She also has a bawdy, hilarious sense of humor, and would give Betty White a run for her money.
Because let's face it. I like my senior citizens sassy.
The two of us had a good laugh this afternoon when I mentioned that more than a few people felt sorry for me for having to spend the week living with my mother-in-law. Clearly, they haven't met her, because if they had, then they would know that this is not an inconvenience.
This woman is a hoot.
It's actually quite apropos that I'm living with my MIL this week leading up to Mother's Day.
Because Mother's Day turns me into a big sentimental sap, y'all.
If you are a regular reader, then you might remember my Mother's Day entry from last year, when I spoke of some of the fantastic examples of motherhood that I have the privilege of knowing. This year, however, a different kind of mother comes to mind.
She is one of the most unselfish examples of motherhood you can find. She is the woman who started off this journey not wanting to be a mother at all, yet for some reason unknown to her, motherhood chose her. She is perhaps alone, and most of all, scared. She is faced with a difficult decision, and she chooses to give her baby a chance at a better life that she, herself, knows that she cannot provide. She endures 9 months of pregnancy and all that accompanies it. The back pain. The nausea. The weight gain. The swollen ankles. The questions from strangers that ask, "When are you due?" and "What will you name it?"
All this for a reward that she will never claim.
All this for a tiny little person that carries her DNA, and has her nose. Or her eyes. Or her ears.
All this for a baby that she will hand over to a total stranger or two to raise.
There is someone in my life that is very dear to me. Without this person, I know I would be different. Life would be different. It would be emptier somehow.
But thankfully, it is not, because of one unselfish birth mother, many years ago, who decided adoption was the option.
And I thank her with every ounce of gratitude in my heart.
Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who give birth, but will never hold their babies, or see them grow. Yet they provide another mother, one who may not be able to have her own biological child, with the privilege, honor, and gift of motherhood.
And Happy Mother's Day to all of you. So many of you inspire me every day.