We have been celebrating Conor’s birthday over the last few weeks and in two days he will turn 12. It sounds so young but to me, it feels as if he is turning 21 this week (versus 12). I have already experienced moments of anxiety and panic thinking about the day when I have to “share” my boys with the other women in their lives. As I write this, I recognize how weird that sounds but having grown up with 2 brothers and now being a mother to 2 sons, I am have no idea what it is like to have “other women” in the family. So, here it goes…
To My Future Daughters-In-Law:
First, let me start by apologizing. I am sorry it took me a while to accept you and love you; longer than you probably would have liked. And, you are right. I am having a tough time letting go of my boys and learning how to evolve our relationship. So, thank you for your patience and for continuing to love my boys despite their mother.
Next, I will apologize for all the things that they do and don’t do that drive you crazy because it is most likely my fault. But I want you to know that I stopped beating myself up for all the mistakes I’ve made because I did the best that I could with the resources and tools I had available at the time. My goal was to do just a little better than my mother did for me. And your goal, as the future mother of my grandchildren, is to do just a little better than I did.
While there are plenty of things I could have done better, I also want you to know that there was a short list of things that I made a conscious effort to instill in my boys, with the goal of ensuring that they would not require “training” when they got into a relationship with a woman:
- Trash and women do not mix: I will only take the trash to the edge of the kitchen because if I were to take it into the garage, the next thing you know I would be wheeling it out to the curb, and I’ve got to draw my line somewhere! Anything that has to do with trash is their job.
- Always thank the cook and host/hostess: the only way I felt confident that my boys would say “thank you” for meals at someone else’s home was if they did the same in our home. So they have been in the habit of saying “thank you” for every meal at home.
- Presents must be wrapped: not only do my boys understand that presents need to be wrapped, they’ve learned how to wrap presents with no edges showing and with straight corners.
- A picture is worth a thousand words: my boys have finally learned that complaining about taking pictures only delays the inevitable. They have finally succumbed to the fact that the sooner I get a good picture, the easier it is for everyone!
- Shoes are a girl’s best friend: my boys know how much I love shoes and that the best rule of thumb is to not ask any questions 🙂
- Pedicures are a priority: who needs girls when you have boys who love getting pedicures and massages! My boys understand the importance of these simple pleasures and making time for them!
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: moisturize your face, moisturize your body, and moisturize your hair, period!
- Good things come in small, blue packages: the tooth fairy brought money in a small Tiffany pouch at our house. I’m hopeful the subliminal messages have been permanently etched into their brains.
Finally, I hope you understand that my boys will always be #1 to me and I will always be their #1 supporter and fan. No matter what the situation or circumstance, I will always see the pure, innocent, and loving 12 year-old boy that melts my heart every time I see his smile.