Monday, June 18, 2012

an open letter to my mother-in-law

Dear Gayle,

As we approached Father's Day and I thought about Joel and what kind of dad he is, I've felt an overwhelming urge to write you a thank-you note. Is it a little self-serving that I want to credit a mother with raising her son? Perhaps. Maybe I'm hoping that someday, a few decades from now, a woman will write to me, thanking me for raising my son in a manner that makes him the best dad she can imagine. No, not maybe - I'm definitely hoping for that.

I hope I raise Donovan with that same confidence and determination. I am grateful every single day that Joel has the work ethic he does. He pushes himself harder than anyone I know. He has made a wonderful and comfortable life for us, and I feel fortunate to know he will always take care of us.

I hope I raise Donovan to love his future wife in a way that makes her forget her insecurities. I hope she feels lucky to be married to him every day, with the way he treats her.

I hope I raise Donovan to love and respect me in the same way Joel loves and respects you. I hope that if I ever have hard times, Donovan will rally around me and love me that same way.

I hope I raise Donovan to be a fully-engaged father, who loves spending time with his kids and lets them know it.

I hope I raise Donovan to have faith, patience, and a heart willing to serve.

I hope I raise Donovan to have an appreciation for art, other cultures, and a wide variety of food.

I know you're not the only person who can take credit for who Joel is today, but speaking as one mother to another, I have a pretty good sense that mothers play a huge role in the parents their children turn into. You are a quiet, loving, peaceful, wonderful, strong woman who has raised some pretty phenomenal kids. And for that, on this Father's Day, I celebrate you for helping shape Joel into the man, husband and father he is.

Thank you.



Katherine said...

beautiful. happy father's day. happy belated mother's day, as well!

The Johnson Family of Colorado said...

I love that you did this. This means everything to a mom-in-law. Austin's wife sent me a little note too, but nothing like this. Speaking for Mother's-in Law....It is good to hear that we have done something that "stuck' :)