I have known my mother-in-law since I was eighteen-years old.
Now, as a wise woman with over half a century behind me, I can reflect back on our relationship and see things with the clarity and compassion of 20/20 hindsight.
Yeah, right. I haven’t seen anything 20/20 in decades.
We’ve had our ups and downs, like any two imperfect people in a close relationship, a relationship that never would have existed but for a man in our lives we both love, David.
My mother-in-law on her wedding day
It’s not that we don’t love each other – we do.
But the chances of us ever meeting, much less becoming close, without me falling for her son, would have been somewhere in the neighborhood of me winning the Powerball and the presidency at the same time. Geography alone would have seen to that.
Even with David as our bond, there have been times when we’ve had to put in some real effort to keep our differences from clashing.
With her first grandchild, The Piglet
Sometimes we were successful, sometimes not so much.
When we were younger — and it’s strange to think I’m older than she was when we met — we were both in uncharted waters.
I was her first daughter-in-law, the mother of her first grandchild, and a freestylin’ California Valley Girl.
My mother-in-law is traditional, Midwestern, and is still active with her college sorority and the Junior League.
We couldn’t be more different.
I know I’ve been far from perfect, have made mistakes as a daughter-in-law, and at times expected more from her than I should have, but… there is one thing I know I’ve done right.
I always like to find interesting arrangements to
switch things up!
Every year on my husband’s birthday I send my mother-in-law flowers.
It has always been important to me to let her know how much I appreciate the gift she has given me by spawning David. (Not that she would ever use a word like spawning.)
I never want her to forget I am grateful for that impact she made in my life.
Last week, right before David’s birthday, I attended AARP’s Life@50+ and learned about all of the great discounts available to those of us of a certain age.
The carnation dog was a big hit!
I was thrilled to find out that one of their well-vetted partners is 1-800-Flowers, the company I always order my mother-in-law’s flowers through because of their fanciful selection.
So take my sage advice and go be uber-appreciative to your mother-in-law and buy her some flowers – she deserves it for the gift she gave you – and she’ll love you all the more for it.
No one has to know how much you saved.
Then again, telling her about the great deals available through AARP might just earn you even more brownie points.
(By the way… the rainbow flowers at the top of this post are the ones I chose for my m-i-l last Sunday – aren’t they groovy? She loved them!)
Thanks to AARP Membership Advantages for providing our trip to AARP’s Life@50+ where I learned about the discount for my mother-in-law’s flowers! As always, all opinions are our own.
YOUR TURN: I’ve told you my big secret for m-i-l happiness, please share YOURS!