Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Cool Girls

WARNING:  If you hate sappy posts, avoid this one.  Because it's just dripping with emotion, and love, and probably some rainbows and unicorns.  But it just might make you a little bit happy, too.

I had such a nice afternoon surprise today (as opposed to an afternoon delight... never mind...) that I wanted to share a little of it with you.  I don't know how many of you out there are mothers in law.  To some people it's right up there with the evil stepmother, and with two boys, its something I've always been a little insecure about.  I mean, I know these lovely girls have their mothers, and I can't take the place of their mothers, for heaven's sake.  But I want to be liked.  Even loved, maybe.  And I've been blessed with the most awesome of daughters in law.  They are so awesome I secretly look at them like they really are my daughters.  So I have one completely wonderful daughter, and two other wonderful daughters - that's my viewpoint.  But sometimes I worry that it may not be their viewpoint.

One of them, Ashley, lives close - for now.  She and Scott will be moving to Austin, Texas later this summer.  *quivering lip*  We won't talk about that right now.

We meet up for lunch or dinner or a movie or something fun a couple of times a month.  It's a highlight when we get together.  She is smart and funny and pretty.  And very, very kind.  I absolutely adore her, and I know she likes doing things with me.  It's been great having her live so close.  She is my wardrobe/accessory/sunglasses stylist, and it's been so fun to have a daughter close by to do girly things with.

Ronna lives just outside of Denver.  She is a busy mom with three young children, and a husband who owns his own business.  That translates to he is very busy with work.

Whenever I go to Denver to visit, I have the most wonderful time with Ronna.  We've had so many good talks, we've related to each other's weaknesses, and I've learned a very useful thing or two about bravery and rising above from Ronna.  But for some reason, when I've not seen her in awhile, it's been very easy for me to convince myself that it would be a nuisance for me to call very often on the phone.  So I haven't.  Period.  I've usually waited for them to call me.  On my post yesterday, I made it a goal to call her today and catch up.  February brought both her birthday and Rex's, and I'd hardly even talked to them.   My own neuroses were causing me to miss out on a lot, I'd decided.  So while I was working today, I put it on my list to give her a call when I got to a stopping point.  That's when the good thing happened.  SHE called ME.  We had our usual good conversation.  And then...THEN - she told me how much she loved my son.  How he had become the man of her dreams, and that he was living up to her every expectation.  How happy he made her, and how loved she felt in return.  It was the conversation every mother hopes to have.  It may not sound like much to read it, but if you've been a mother who's raised a son, you will completely understand the joy - and relief - her simple declaration of love for my son created in me.  She made my heart indescribably happy with every word.

And then it got even better.  She said how some of her friends would talk about how bad their mother in laws were.  She said she always told them that she had the best mother in law in the world.  I think it was about then that I started crying.  From happiness, from relief, from all kinds of emotions that I keep all bottled up.  But mostly from happiness and pure love.  I confessed to her how weird I get about calling her - that I am always worried that I'm annoying her.  And that sweet girl said that I should always call whenever I feel like it (don't worry - I will keep it in check), and the only reason she wouldn't be able to talk is if she was feeding the baby or changing a diaper.  I'm going to take what she said to heart, and make a regular habit of calling, say, every Sunday night.  We talked a bit longer, and before she hung up, she told me she loved me.  It sounds so simple, reading the account of what took place.  I don't know how to convey the change that took place in my heart, because it's irrational that I would have needed to hear her say those words so much in the first place.  But I did.  Oh yes, I did.  I am nothing if not a big ball of crazy, and after our conversation, I felt just a little bit of sanity and calm tiptoe in and make themselves at home.

Lexi will turn six next month.  I would love to go there for her birthday.  Or maybe for Matthew's fourth birthday in June.  Or when Skylee turns one in September.  Watching flight prices starts tonight.  All of that angst may sound silly to some of you, but we've had some crazy dynamics going on at times in our family.  It hasn't all been roses, and I'm not a bold soul.  If there's a hint of conflict, you can usually find me hiding from it somewhere.  I'm getting better though.  Tougher. Braver.  Yes, both Ronna and my daughter Katie are brave, and I've learned so much about standing tall from them.  And now that Ashley has joined our little band, I can see so much fortitude in her as well.  These girls - and I - are all very different from each other in personality, viewpoint, and attitudes, and where we are in our lives.  But when we're together, I feel like we're all united.  We're FAMILY.  I'm a lucky girl.  A lucky mother.  I'm continually being taught such great things by each of these girls, and I'm honored to be associated with them.

So a visit to Denver needs to be next to see these three precious ones.

Well, actually, the whole family:

It wouldn't be a complete trip without my time with Ronna, and at least a little time spent with my busy son Rex.

And I'm thinking a visit to Austin will need to come at some point.  And then Mia has been calling me to ask when I'm coming to Massachusetts.  So as soon as the snow is gone there, I will need to be planning a visit to these two young ladies:

I mean, Mia has already offered her bed to me, saying she will sleep on the floor.  I can't turn down an offer like that, can I?  And if I'm very lucky, I'll be able to fit in a little girl time with my Katie.

Precious time spent with my girl.  Funny how I grew up with all brothers.  Boys everywhere.  And now I'm lucky enough to be attached to three smart, funny, courageous, capable, completely cool girls AND their completely cool daughters.  Oh - and an amazing little almost-four year old boy.

I hit the jackpot.


  1. We can ALL benefit from a little dose of sappy/happy now and then. :)

    Glad you can enjoy them. Great pictures, they sound like wonderful people each and every one.

  2. Gosh, got a big lump in my throat! I loved this post! I will be entering the world of the mother in law in a little less than a year as my oldest daughter just got engaged, and I've already started going through those things in my mind. I know you are blessed with those girls in your life, but I'll bet they are saying they are the ones blessed with you in their lives.

  3. Karen, what's not to love about you? I'm so glad you got to hear those words directly from your beautiful daughter in law. That is incredibly touching and beautiful.

  4. Oh my, I read a sweet email from my daughter and then I clicked over here. Way to make me cry at 6am.

    You have a beautiful family!

  5. I'm so happy for you Karen. I feel the same way about my son/daughter in law and am so grateful they like me too. At least they say they do. We will both have kids in Austin. I really love it, great place to visit, even though its far away from Arizona and California.

  6. I can so relate. I have been lucky in my daughter and son in law. They seem to do a little more than tolerate me.


    PS. So happy that you've had the opportunity to know how your DILs feel about you!

  7. Yes, Karen, you are very lucky. My son's first wife didn't work out very well but last July he married a wonderful woman. Our whole family love her and she fits in with all of us so well. The best thing, she really likes me too!!!

  8. It sounds like your whole family is lucky...lucky to have you and visa versa...your DILs are all beautiful and so are those Grandkiddos..WOW! I have 4 boys...no girls..and I've been lucky to have 2 of the DILs be really good to me. I have one I want to trade in..but that's another story! Love this post!

  9. Such a sweet, beautiful post. Those Mother/Daughter relationships are the best! Glad you have wonderful ladies in your life.


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