I promise not to be Marie Barone *

My son is getting married in October. I’ve waited a long time for this. Happy, I am. The girl,…er… woman, he’s marrying is really good for him. They’ve been together since he was 18. He’s 26 now. When I found out he actually decided marriage was for him and dangled the slightest possibility that I would get another grandchild again (far off in the distant future somewhere just at the edge of this galaxy) I was ecstatic. But, the best part of this whole adventure is that I’ve had 8 years to get to know his fiance as a person.

Truly, I think she’s kind of heroic. She is atypical a person can be from a generation faced with really bad choices. Moreover, she has met most of the challenges well. No drugs, no crime, little to no conformity. She’s kind, often quiet, composed, loyal, beautiful and spiritual. While she doesn’t get my son to church; she was raised in it and has very strong foundations.¬† Because of the struggles I had as a young mother I really didn’t have the luxury of time to consider and reflect if any of the bad decisions I made would hurt him. Now, I know there were many times he could’ve strayed into a lifestyle of destructive tendencies because I screwed up. While imperfect, he didn’t. And, some of the credit goes to this girl he’s going to marry. Personally, I also think he was smart enough to see what wrong roads I took and went running into the opposite direction, but that’s another story.

I’m writing this so I can tell her how I see her. I am writing this to say how good I think it is that she came into my son’s and my life. I don’t want her to ever see me as the stereotypical mother-in-law from hell. We’ve had our small differences yet I’ve witnessed nothing that would convince me that she is not a really good woman.

I had two mother-in-laws. One was very sweet and nice to me and the other was Marie Barone *¬†personified. If ever I knew of one thing I never wanted to be… it was Marie. So, to my future daughter-in-law; Congratulations. I welcome you into my family. I am in your corner, and I am so glad it is you who is marrying my son. I promise to not be Marie Barone. And, if I ever lean in that direction please remind me of this.

* Everybody Loves Raymond –CBS sitcom