I am often blown away by the beauty that romantic people see in the world and their inner eyes for capturing the emotions of love and remembrance. I am trying to see the world a bit more like that this summer.
I like to glimpse a little bit through their eyes what they see, and I’m glad for the vision they share. Reading Gilead by Marilyn Robinson I felt summer breezes, hot days in Kansas, the heaviness and delight of shared communion, and the depth of love for one’s children. I find myself reading letters by another bloggers – sweet epistles to not-yet-physically-conceived children. I see what other mothers write and create for their already existing children – clothes with bows (or bow ties), and elaborate picture albums and monthly letters. (These sorts of things are my guilty pleasure, I admit it.)
As beautiful as those things are, and of course, I could go on with many many examples from literature and the interwebs, I don’t see the world like that most days, and I have a hard time quelling laughter at the idea that anyone but the writer of such novellas could care quite so much – those letters are for you, dear bloggers, you know that – right? Surely you know from the grown up men in your own life, that your sons will consider such letters a footnote in their world? (At best.) If we women are lucky, our own sons won’t dismiss us as overly nostalgic and hopelessly weak.
I am not the only somewhat cynical one to think this, I’m sure.
The cheeky snarky part of me realizes it is far better to write an open letter to my future daughter-in-law – should I be so fortunate – and if people even get married in thirty years. Because who knows at what age that may happen.
Furthermore, I have been thinking that my daughter-in-law is likely to care more about what I say, and how I act, and what I might think than my son will, when that time comes too. And certainly more about all these baby pictures.
Of course, I plan now (oh do I plan) heaps and heaps for what I might teach my son – values like honesty, kindness, and simplicity. Lessons like how to do laundry, sweep floors, and cook vegetables. All that planning and action will lead up to the point though, where he can operate in a world without me.
But oh, unknown daughter-in-law, I have got you already, and got you forever! I’m going to lose my son to you, but you will get me in return. You’ll be feeling the impact of all these lessons forever (long after the son has internalized them) and you’ll be the one asking “Is this an okay outfit to meet your parents in” to my charming and suave young offspring.
You’ll be hearing me say “Well, that’s not the way I would have done it” and dissecting that for days on end. I hope that we can teach each other different methods for cooking and cleaning and researching and working and worshipping and have the grace to disagree amicably.
Daughter-in-law – we are going to have a good time together. Forever.