Sunday, July 20, 2014

No Nonsense Chayaisms from the 80s...A love letter—from one woman to another

Dear daughter-in-law,
Welcome to the fold. All this time I had to shoulder the responsibility of looking after my son. I’m glad you have come to take over.For years now he had turned to me at every step. As a child, he brought all his 'battle’ wounds from the playground, to me to dress. More than the medicine, he regarded my con­cern, my kiss, as the healing touch.

He ran to me when his pride was hurt or his desires spurned. I had to console him and also convince him that life is not smooth sailing all along — that one has to take the rough with the smooth. Mind you, all this without letting him feel that I’m no friend of his.

He would be up to all kinds of tricks — get­ting into trouble with his teachers, our neigh­bours, his father. I had to shield him without letting him get away with it. It required all my tact and diplomacy to bring him to the right path. His studies, his extracurricular activities, his social outings—what a job it was to get him to view each in its proper perspective.

Feeding was a challenge to my culi­nary prowess. When he was a child, I had to marshal all my imagination to cook up tales to divert his mind, I had to become mama bear, jack in the beanstalk, the wolf, Snow White... As he grew up, I .had to cook a variety of de­licacies to cope with his appetite.When he fell sick, I sat by his beside and prayed... every sneeze, every sniff of his would make me anxious. Many sleepless nights I soothed his fevered brow and whispered en­dearment as he clutched my fingers.

Yes... it has been both agony and ecstasy. I have found fulfillment in seeing him grow… from child to boy to man. Now I’m tired. I want to sit back and pray, to thank God for his many mercies. But my son still needs a woman, some­one who can give him unsullied love; someone whom he can turn to for comfort and solace; someone whom he can trust; someone who will egg him on to achieve the best in life. I’m glad he has found that someone in you.

I know you will take care of your husband the way he will take care of you. I have traversed the ‘miles’ I had to and kept ‘my promises’. Now it’s your turn. You will have my blessings all the time and my counsel when you went.

If my son has a tendency to talk highly of me or often refer to my cooking, don’t feel threatened or offended. You can’t expect a man to shake off the shackles of a relationship which was bound with an umbilical cord. Don’t call him ‘mama’s boy in disdain, if he wants to consult me at any time. The love he has for you is unshakable. The love he has for me is so too. One has nothing to do with the other. Keep it that way.

You and I have one thing in common-our love for him. Like all the rivers that flow into the ocean let us pool our love and pour it into the one we both love!!  

With good wishes

Your mother-in-law