Tuesday, July 21, 2009


This morning, I awoke to news that a friend of mine lost her mother-in-law hours prior to a 5 year battle with ovarian cancer. My friend posted this on her Facebook account. In her post, she said all good things about her mother-in-law. About what a great woman she was. Quoting, "A better woman there will not be." This touched me so deeply. And got me thinking.

My life has not had many good examples of mother-in-law/daughter-in-law cohesiveness. My mother didn't feel comfortable with any of her mother-in-laws. She, herself, struggles in her role as mother-in-law to my brother's wife. And, my mother-in-law keeps me on my toes and my defensive. Not a happy mix. The problem I see in all of these disfigured relationships is a feeling of competition. But why? Why do mother-in-laws feel they need to compete with their sons' wives? Why as women can't we be strong in the relationship we've established with our sons over the years and just be happy for him and the love of his life? I strive to show such strength with my two sons.

Now, I know it may be hard. That, when that time comes, I may question the decision he makes and wonder what he sees in her. But, certainly, I can trust the man he becomes and let him make his decisions and be happy for him. Part of my job as a mom, I believe, is letting go and allowing my children to take what I've taught them and apply it to their lives, learning along the way. If I've done my job, I've been slowly letting go all along and by the time of a wedding, my relationship will have changed with my kids. From one of parent, finger-wagger, disciplinarian to parent, friend, sharer of life experiences. One who looks for reasons to celebrate rather than teach. I hope that when my days are no longer, I will have a daughter-in-law (hopefully two) who says such touching things about me as my friend said about her's. That I can be proud of teaching my daughter-in-law how to be a mother-in-law. And if she'd put it on her Facebook account, well...that would be icing on the cake!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Out of My Comfort Zone

Today I did something that years ago, I could have never imagined myself doing. I went Paddleboarding. Two years ago, I watched from the shore in Hawaii as guys stood on these really large surfboards and paddled their way through the ocean. It looked like tons of fun...not to mention quite a workout. Today I found out it is indeed both. But, I must confess, I've never done water sports before. I don't even really swim in the ocean, but rather wade in the surf.

So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and joined two friends on Sullivan's Island this morning. I worked myself silly battling the tide and the wind but it sure was fun. The biggest thrill of all was realizing I was actually capable of getting from my knees to a standing position without falling. In fact, I never even got wet. The breeze kept me cool and the water only carrassed my feet. The sun shone upon me as if saying, "Enjoy the beauty of this day and the land where you live." I did and I cannot wait to do it again. I'd really like to get my boys out there. For us to become a family that truly enjoys everything the Lowcountry has to offer is a dream of mine. This is only one step but a step in the right direction.

Stepping out of our comfort zones is both important and meaningful. Important to keep us growing. Meaningful because, when we realize we did grow or simply accomplish something, there is no better feeling. Except the feeling of the sun and surf calling me back...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Life Without A Camera

Life has taken many turns these past months. Joe has recovered entirely from his heart surgery. Thank God! All three children were promoted to their next grade. Summer got underway...and HOT! We've taken a few trips to the mountain cabin and completed a lot of work there. We had our dog, Berkley, put down. Porter had an accident on July 4 that landed him in the ER with Joe and myself from 10:30 pm until 6 am on July 5. We went home quite sleepy, he with 22 stitched over his eye. Millie has two loose teeth and one permanent one on the way in. Jonathan has added to his guitar collection and gotten quite good at playing. Swim team season has come and almost gone. Jonathan competes in the City Meet next week. Somewhere along the way though, we lost our camera. Joe keeps saying it will turn up. I keep thinking of all the pictures we're missing. All of the memories we're not freezing. The frames that will go empty.

So life without a camera means many more posts to this blog. If I cannot capture the memories with pictures, I must rely on words. Eloquent and illustrious accounts of life are to come...