“Oh, Mama, don’t cry. You’ll make me cry.”
I waited and prayed for this day, but now I don’t know if I’m ready for my little girl to grow up and get married. Just look at the groom up there, looking so sharp in his tuxedo. He’s so handsome. It’s no wonder Linda fell in love with him. (gasp) She’s beautiful! When did she grow up into such a beautiful woman? It seems like yesterday she was jumping rope and playing with dolls. (sniff) Oh, I can’t cry…
“Do you, Donald, take Linda to be your wedded wife?”
Wedded wife?... Is my baby girl ready to be a wedded wife? (sniff) Have I her taught her enough? Can she cook more than scrambled eggs or microwave popcorn? How can she keep a clean house when I had to beg her to clean her room? Will she trust her husband like she did her father? Does she know … I’m sure she’ll learn, just as I did.
“Do you promise to love her for better and for worse, in sickness and in health…”
This handsome young man who stares at her with a twinkle in his eye, what do we really know about him? He seems to be steady and responsible and a hard worker, but does he know what to do if Linda gets in one of her grumpy moods? Does he know that chocolate and a shopping trip will cheer her up? Will he be firm in his convictions? Will he lead his family in the ways of the Lord?
“You may kiss the bride.”
Ahhh… yes, they are so happy together. (sniff) They’ll be good parents. I can just imagine their children with blond hair and blue eyes. Children? Do they know how hard it is to raise kids? Will they teach them to obey and to be kind and to enjoy life? Does Donald like camping or playing ball? Will Linda bake cookies with them and read to them every night? Grandchildren? Oh, I can’t wait for grandchildren!
“It was a beautiful wedding. You haven’t lost a daughter, you’ve gained another son.”
Another son? Yes, I suppose he’s another son, but I didn’t know him when he was little tyke. I didn’t teach him to tie his shoes or ride a bike. I didn’t pull his wiggly tooth or put a bandaid on his skinned knee. I didn’t punish him when he told a lie or teased his sister. I didn’t take him to Sunday school or hear him pray. He doesn’t feel like a son…not yet anyway.
“Hi, Mom. May I call you that? Thanks for everything. It’s been great.”
Mom? I want to be a good mother-in-law…not one of those dreaded bossy women, insisting on being a part of every decision, inspecting the refrigerator, criticizing their clothes, giving advice on everything whether it’s wanted or not. I don’t want him to run away when I come to visit or make jokes about me behind my back. I don’t want to be a mother-in-law like that.
“You’re quiet tonight, Dear. I’m glad God brought Donald into Linda’s life, aren’t you?”
Lord, I’ve never been a mother-in-law before. I don’t know how to do this. You will have to show me how. Keep me quiet when I feel like speaking my mind. Give me the right words to say when they ask for advice. Don’t let my daughter have to choose between obeying me and the husband that you gave her. Let me learn to trust him to be a good husband and father. Thank you for the years I had with my little girl. (sniff) Bless them as they start their new life together. In Your Name, Amen.
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