Grandmother Rocks!

The relationship between a woman and her mother-in-law can be a weird one, can’t it? Right from the start, there’s some sort of alpha female thing going on.  In one corner, the woman who’s been in a guy’s life the longest, and in the other, the one who plans to be Numero Uno even longer, and many times when the two women get together, it’s like oil and water.  A cousin of Andy’s knew she was in for trouble when her mother-in-law stood up at her wedding reception and gave a toast, looking at her and saying something like, “You may be married to him, but don’t ever forget he’s MY son, and every weekend he’s going to be at MY house, mowing MY lawn.”  Even though my husband set the record straight by giving a toast at our wedding rehearsal dinner proclaiming he loved me more than anyone else in the whole world, I still thought I was in for trouble.  My mother-in-law, Martha, is a “bold Southern gal”, as I like to think, not afraid to wearing bold, bright clothes and not averse to speaking her mind, which could sometimes rub a new bride wrong.  I remember when she visited our first home for the first time, she remarked that an Elvis clock didn’t belong in the living room and that we had too many things magneted to our refrigerator. (I think I almost bit through my tongue that night, trying to hold back!)  And I remember she wasn’t too excited about the practice of breastfeeding.  (“My kids didn’t do it and they turned out fine!” she’d say.) But with age comes experience– I’ve mellowed, she’s mellowed, but most importantly, I’ve learned to embrace and even celebrate her boldness. She wouldn’t be Martha without it.  And everyone likes her– my hairdresser likes her, parents of our kids’ friends like her…well, you will, too.  Check out this photograph taken last month.  Cousin Ted turned 11 in August, and got an electric guitar for his birthday.  Emmie took her acoustic guitar to his house and stayed all night. Here’s what happened when Grandmother Martha visited them — look how well she color coordinates with Ted’s Fender Stratocaster! (Les Paul, the inventor of the electric guitar, had to have been smiling somewhere.  He died on that very day.)

Not bad for a woman in her 80’s, huh?

5 thoughts on “Grandmother Rocks!”

  1. Adorable! What a great scrapbook pic/memory that will be! Yes, despite their quirks, mother-in-laws that are fun grandparents can be such a blessing to our children. (I didn’t grow up w/ grandparents near; 2 of them died too young.)

  2. I loved your mother in law instantly. Don and I were visiting with her at your wedding reception. She talked about the day Andy was born. We were ready for a sappy story. Instead she said something like: “I looked down at him and thought, that is the ugliest baby I have ever seen”. Too too funny.

  3. You are so great with words, Patricia! Yes, Mother in Laws are a rare breed! I have had two. First one in NJ I didn’t really care for. Love my British ex-Mother-in-law. She takes up for me, to this day, and still makes my ex-husband mad! Ha! I met Martha at your home for Allison’s party. she is a riot! My 90 yr. old grandmother was with me & thought Martha was funny too. I hope I am that lively in my 80’s!

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