Monday, November 28, 2011
To My **gulp** Daughter In Law.
I get it now.
My nephew has paved the way for how I will feel raising a son. He's practically my "other" child. He tears at my heart and just the sight of him- just the sound of his name- can literally make my heart warm instantly. I am totally smitten with admiration for his giant, chocolate eyes, his luscious bottom lip that I kiss every time I hold him, and his signature mean face. He's my buddy. And right now, his mom, his Gia, his Grammy, his Bug (me)... well, we're the ladies in his life. But one day, his hand won't quite fit inside mine anymore. He won't light up at the sound of my voice, nor will he give me those tiny snuggles when he's sleepy. He won't crawl at lightning speed into my arms when he wants to be held. In fact, he won't want me to hold him at all.
He'll find another girl whose heart she'll give to him. And he will take it and cherish it all his life.
The even BIGGER problem here is that if I can't imagine sharing Legend with another woman (I hate sharing him with his grandmas, I admit it...), how in the WORLD will I give my SON to a woman to take care of?
Right now, as I write this, Walker is wadded up in a ball above my bellybutton, making me feel a little less than comfy at the moment. Earlier, he was doing the moonwalk. Before that, the Ally McBeal baby dance. He's a joyful little man.
And right now, I am completely, totally, and literally his world.
I can hold him all to myself, not yet having to share him with his grabbing Aunt Lori, his smoochy Gia, or his smothering big sister Abi. He's all mine. His daddy provided his blood, and I supply everything else. His food, his shelter, his warmth, his comfort. But the day is soon (not soon enough) approaching that I will usher his body into the world that's a little colder than my womb, and I will share him with loved ones, friends, and a world that is waiting for his arrival.
But that's not the big deal.
One day, I will have to share him with HER.
More than likely, somewhere on this planet, there's a mom who is carrying her. Or maybe she just gave birth to her. Maybe their family is close by... perhaps I pass them in Target. Or maybe they are overseas somewhere, speaking a foreign language. Regardless, she exists, or soon will exist, and the Maker Himself has arranged for my son's path to cross with hers. He has planted the seed in Walker's heart even now, that her beauty will catch his eye, her laugh his ear. And though I know how the story ends, and I know my son will be happy all his days as a result of this arrangement by Majesty...
I don't like her right now.
I want this young lady to know exactly what this mama thinks about her. So here it is.
Dear Young Woman Who Has Stolen My Son's Heart,
I know you. Well, let me rephrase that. I know OF you. I'm a girl too... a little worn around the edges, more so than you are. Probably older than your own mom. Probably a little more outspoken. And definitely more aware of the gift I'm giving you than you are at this point.
See, I know the cost of his life. I waited to see his heartbeat on the screen for seven years. Seven. Long. Years. I dreamed of him a million times, in black and white at first... then sepia tones... and then in vivid technicolor. I know what it's like to pine for him before he was even formed. I loved him passionately first. And I will love him until my heart beats for its final time.
I am carrying him in my womb right now, but that doesn't matter. In my mind's eye, he is strong, stinky, and slightly obnoxious, the way every man is. He comes from a long line of men. Not boys. Not pushovers. Men. Manly, strong, wise, and gentle men. So though he's the length of a zucchini and the weight of a pack of hamburger meat, he's my big, strong, strapping boy.
By the time you read this, his dad and I will have nursed him through infancy, first steps, skinned knees from bicycle accidents, banged up lips from playing ball, and sat through 25,321 hours of sports events. We will have made him chaperone for his older sister's social shenanigans, set up countless tents in our living room, and asked him endless times if he is wearing deodorant. No telling how many gallons of milk we've purchased, how many large pizzas have been delivered, and how many dozens of cookies I've had waiting on him when he got home from school.
We loved him first. I KNEW him first.
I know exactly how many freckles are on his face. I know every birthmark. I know the story behind every scar that he wears like badges. I remember every Christmas gift, every birthday party, and every time he slept somewhere besides under my roof. He needed ME when his heart was broken the first time. He needed ME when his laundry was piled up in his closet floor. He needed ME when he had a fever and hurt all over.
But it's come to my attention, now he needs YOU. Ugh.
I also know that I have prayed for you since his gender was revealed. That you would be a woman of virtue and integrity. That you would know the incredible worth that was placed on your life by Holiness before your conception. That you would dress so to catch my son's heart first, and THEN his eye. That you would be being trained to raise your children to know God, simply by watching your life. That you would be a living, breathing example of femininity and grace. That you would be able to manage your household with skill. That you would know when to put your foot down to my hardheaded son, and know when to submit to his leadership.
But mostly, I've prayed you will love Jesus Christ. And that from that love, you could love my boy with your mind, body, and soul.
My boy has been given the best example he could ever have on this side of eternity to pattern his life by. His father is a daddy. He has loved me so well for many years and guided me through many gray times. He is tough, he is strong, he is handsome, and he is rugged. But he is tender, he is gentle, he is meek, and he is loving. Perfect? No. But close enough for my heart. My boy has seen his parents work it out and work it through. He has seen dedication and the sacredness of a marriage covenant. If nothing else was given to him, I promise you he knows how to be committed to you for all his life.
If you're the one, we're going to be in each other's lives for the rest of mine. I don't know your own family situation. I pray you're intimately close to your mom. But if not, I look forward to having the opportunity of being a mom to you over time. Here's what I can promise you.
I will not be perfect.
I will tick you off sometimes.
I will not intrude into your personal lives, though I will mumble to myself when you're not listening.
However, if you give me a platform into your life- if I earn that from you- I will do my best to guide you and educate you like a mom-in-law should.
I will defend you, trying my best not to believe my boy first. I'm aware there's two sides to every story.
I will be the best grandma that's ever lived.
If he ever loses his mind and puts his hands on you in anger, I will break his bones into a million pieces, no hesitation.
I will pray for you every single day of my life.
If you need me, I will be wherever you are in the length of time it takes my plane to get there.
What I expect from you. It's alot simpler, your part.
Love my boy. The best you can. Nothing more, nothing less is needed.
So, there you go, love. At this point, I still don't like you very much.
But my heart already loves you.