This week I celebrate the start of a new project that I have been thinking about for several years. I hope you will read on and join the Naomi and Ruth Project and help to make it a success.
The age old story of older women being crones and treating younger women horribly, or even trying to delete them permanently, such as the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty, is very ingrained in our culture. This story has morphed into the mean mother-in-law who hates her daughter-in-law for stealing away her young, handsome son.
I really haven’t found this to be true. My personal experience and the experiences of my friends has led me to be perplexed as to why this false myth is so easily accepted. And as a woman it causes me to be angered that such an image goes unchallenged.
So, if you feel the same way about this myth as I do, and would like to try to change this degrading image of women to a positive truth about your relationship with your mother-in-law or your relationship with your daughter-in-law, I invite you to write a letter to either one of them telling that dear woman why your cherish her presence in your life.
If you Email the letter to me, I will publish it as part of the Naomi and Ruth Project. My Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hopefully being flooded with stories.
I will start the project off with a letter to my dear daughter-in-law, Hillary.
When I gave David your telephone number without ever having met you, I didn’t think about the future. I just wanted him to meet a nice, smart gal and from your Dad’s description you fit the bill. Little did I know what happy forces I was unleashing into the universe that day.
Now that you have a son of your own, you have experienced love at first sight. You are starting to realize the very special bond between a Mom and her son. No one, not even your husband, is ever going to look at you with such complete adoration. Sons think we hung the moon and the stars in the heavens just for them. And wait until Lucas gets older and his friends start hanging around. They will awkwardly flirt with you and you will laugh and feel so young. It is very difficult to be a good mother and let that relationship transform. It is so very difficult to say to yourself another woman is now responsible for handing the moon and the stars. Although, truth to be told, there are moments when David is being difficult, I say to myself, “Well, thank you Lord, he isn’t my problem any more.”
David and I were so very close when he was growing up. His intellect is so razor sharp that we could debate and talk about everything under the sun. He confided his hopes, ambitions and misgivings. No wonder when he left for college, I went to bed a cried.
I wanted so much for David but most of all I wanted him to be happy. I am so grateful for that phone call. David has a woman for this part of his life that loves him with the same intensity that I do. You have brought to David and opened in our family a new vein rich in love. Watching you recently with Lucas and David, Dom and I agreed that it gives us peace knowing what an incomparable mother and wife will be taking care of our “boys” when we pass.
I have been so grateful that you have become my friend and confidant. I so hoped in my heart when you and David were married that we would one day become friends, that is why I told you to call me Bernadette and not the mandatory Mom. I wanted you to see me for the person I am and not David’s Mom.
We started out a little wary of each other. But we took the time to take the measure of each other’s character and saw a person we wanted to love. Then after my beautiful grandson was born, we were united in love for this new citizen of the planet. Thank you for so lovingly let me participate in Lucas’ life. You have given me the opportunity to fall in love at first sight again.
Recently you told me that you loved me and that you thought we made a good team. You will never know how overwhelmingly happy that made me feel. I am so grateful to have you in my life as my much loved friend and cherished family member.