Dear (Future) Son-In-Law:
I am saying this now for a few reasons: (1) both our lives are about to get quite hectic with wedding plans, (2) Lord knows the mess I will be on your wedding day… tears of joy may render me (almost) speechless and perhaps the most important of them all, (3) tomorrow, never mind next year, is not promised to any of us and I would hate for this to be left unsaid by me and unheard by you. So Kevin… let’s address this.
I remember when Neesie first told me about you; I remember her excitement at the thought of you and later, I remember her wonder at falling in love with you (even as she tried to deny it… even to herself). I remember all the emotions expressed and those left unsaid, because of fear and uncertainty. I remember also holding my breath for the same reasons. Because Kevin, you probably will only understand when you become a father to my grandchildren, what a parent carries around in their soul, not just their heart, for their child. You will fully understand then how every single one of their dreams, hopes, aspirations, plans, wishes, thoughts and schemes creep into you and become one of yours. So, when I recognized my child was in love with you, you became extremely important to me.
I admit that at first that importance was mainly out of hope that her heart would not be adversely compromised, heaven forbid broken. So, I stood guard. I checked in often and took the ‘temperature’ of things from her responses. I made sure my visas were always active in the event, well… I held my breath and prayed. And waited. “For what?” You may ask. Well, honestly, for anything. For everything. I charted the course I would take to get to you if you ever did hurt my baby!
You didn’t. At every juncture when it mattered most, you showed up. You soothed her fears and taught her how to dream. Then, you made her believe in them. I have given Neesie the experiences of getting on a plane. You are teaching her how to fly…
And now? Well now Kevin, we plan a wedding. I say, “we” because I want you to know… well, I want everyone to know that not only do you have her heart, but you have mine as well. You see… this parenting thing again. When I gave birth to Aneesa Adele Hinds some odd years ago, with every breath she takes, the blood pumps with my heart. I no longer own it. She does. God in His brilliance made it so that children can move through the journey of their lives with their parents’ hearts, even as the parents continue on. So you see Kevin, she loves you with both her own and mine.
Take care of her. Please. I trust you will. But I am formally asking, “Take care of her please.” She is tough in all the ways that would protect you, your children and the life you have created, with every breath of her. But, please also understand her heart is totally vulnerable… to you. So please, take care of it. I know because of the man you are you will continue to lead your family and that Neesie will learn and flourish because of it. I trust that. As a mother, as a woman I promise to do any part that becomes necessary in guiding her, woman to woman. Wow… the tears.
Before I wrap up here, please let me say, “Thank You!” again for including me in the asking; my soul responded by healing in those other places that had once hurt. Thank you. Kevin, our family is in no way perfect; but I pledge we will all do our best to be the perfect match for yours. I am thrilled to be gaining all you bring to the table with your family and look forward to all the joint celebrations to come! Thank you.
Welcome to our family, Kev.
Your (Future) Mother-In-Law.