You can tell a lot by the eyes of those you love. There are so many moments that I recall with great vividness. The first time my grandson waved and yelled “I love you more” just melted my heart. My granddaughter thrilled me when she said “Gigi, I want to learn to sew.” There are so many others that I could write for days.
One moment in my life stands out vividly and it was one of those “defining moments.” My son Eric was engaged to Katie and it is the groom’s family’s privilege to host the rehearsal dinner. I saw this as my time to shine! Oh my goodness, I was so excited. We made our plans down to the last detail.
A friend of mine does the most beautiful invitations made of silk. You open them like a French door, the printed card is placed inside, and they are mailed in a silk box. To make it even better, she said we could sew a monogram on the silk before she assembled them.
When Katie and Eric were home, I unveiled the prototype and we were all excited. Did I mention the silk matched the bridesmaid’s dress? Really, how marvelous was this? So creative. My friend had “outdid herself,” as we say in the South.
A little time passed and Eric came into the den after everyone had gone to bed but me. He looked me in the eyes and said, “Mom, Katie doesn’t want the monograms on the invitation.”
I stared at him in total disbelief. What? How could this be? When I looked into his eyes, I realized that my reaction was going to set the tone for the rest of my life with Katie. He was in the awkward place of trying to please two women in his life: mom and future wife. As I looked into his beautiful blue eyes I said, “No monogram!”
He hugged me and said “Thanks Mom!” He knew at the moment that while my creative soul would have marveled at the monogram (as I would monogram everything if I could), it was more important that Katie know she is the woman in his life and that she has my unwavering love. He didn’t want to hurt my feelings because he knew how much I loved monograms and I knew that.
That’s how it is sometimes, isn’t it? We all really would like to have our own way regardless. But sometimes the price is too high. Decisions that we make and reactions to situations can and will determine the future of relationships. The mother and daughter-in-law relationship has always been the brunt of jokes and maybe its justified. A preacher summed it up beautifully when he was preaching on this very subject: “You have a situation where two women are in love with the same man.”
I kept asking Eric if he loved Katie more than me. He would roll his eyes and shake his head. “I love you in a different way Mom, you know….” I kept asking him this questions everyday right up to the wedding day. I asked him the same question the morning of his wedding and he responded “Yes, Mom, I do.” I looked at him in his eyes and said “you are ready to get married!”
Are you open to compromise?