The children are gallivanting the countryside and I am back to my old routines.
While going about my work, I couldn’t help but go back in time and imagine how my own mother-in-law would have done under the circumstances, that is, apart from the many reasons she would bring up as to why the children (the son and his wife) should not be going away on a holiday on their own.
Yes, most Indian mothers of her generation thought their sons were old enough to be married and father children, but not to lead a life of their own choice. If horror stories of what happened to couples who went away on a holiday on their own did not work, it would be time for the waterworks to start. That definitely worked like a charm on most sons, especially with ‘I suffered so much to bring you up and give you all that I have!’ and similar lines thrown in for good.
Hmm…. I wonder how many women from my generation have witnessed this or a somewhat similar drama unfold in front of their own eyes? Does it still happen to the present generation? Things have changed a lot in India, I know, but perhaps not enough to say with certainty that we have put all of the ‘wanting-to-own-the-son-for-eternity’ behind us. Especially so when I see youngsters lamenting over the self-same issues that we ourselves faced.
Just today morning I heard a woman say that a man can have any number of wives he likes, but a mother he only has ONE. Pretty strong stuff, eh? Apparently her son wasn’t talking to her ever since they had a tiff over the bequeathing of all she had to his daughter. He wanted that to happen right away, and she wanted him to wait for her end to come around. One year into the non-speaking relationship with him, her proffering of olive branches aka tries of connecting through phone calls were being met with staunch silence on his part. It’s really sad.
Her words were expressed with such feeling that the listeners nodded gravely in agreement. Meanwhile I kept my counsel refusing to be drawn in. Of course a man cannot have as many wives as he wants like she said, not legally anyway, I wanted to say. But I knew instinctively that this was no moment for jokes.
Of course, I knew she was just trying to impress the uniqueness of a mother’s position in a child’s life. Strike that, she actually meant IN A SON’S LIFE. Who is concerned enough about their relationship to girl children to say something like this?! Try imagining it: ‘A woman can have many men but only one mother.’ Doesn’t look like the kind of thing any mother would say, right?.
Anyway, that brings me to why I refuse to be convinced of a mother’s uniqueness in a son’s life. It is exactly this inflated sense of self-importance fanned into a roaring flame by books, movies and society that makes a mother so possessive of her son, and extremely jealous of the woman who enters his life. Let go, I say, and watch the happiness bloom, yours, his and hers.
I hope your son and his girlfriend will have a glorious time away and that you will have time to spend with them on their return.
They are going to be back in two days. 🙂
My mother has a rather different story to tell. She became her mother-in-law’s “daughter” while she was nowhere close to even being her own mother’s “daughter-in-law” 😀
And she now makes sure to do everything to get the Best Mom-in-law Award from her daughter-in-law (to an extend where I sometimes complain that in trying to be so, she need not try and become my mother-in-law 😀 😀 😀
And you should totally team up with her and pull your son’s leg till he proclaims something to the effect of “Daughter-in-laws you can have many, but me for a son, you’ll only have one” 😛
Best Mom-in-law award! Lovely to hear that. Hopefully to you too 😉 😅
Bovine Ordure said:
Oh, please don’t get me started on this. I REFUSE to subscribe to the melodramatic drivel of motherhood holiness. We have kids because (a) we want to or (b) the contraception didn’t work. We do stuff for them because (a) we want to or (b) we have to because we are worried what other people would think of us if we didnt. The children didn’t ask to be born, for heaven’s sakes.
Thankfully I haven’t had too much of that experience personally (other than the occasional “it’s the child’s duty to take care of the parents”, which makes me want to pop a vein, whether targetted at me or aimed to defend me. So yeah, I am with you.
Thank you for your comment. I agree with you 💯!
Ken Powell said:
Wise words. I wish OUR son would be MORE independent but alas, he seems to like his parent’s company way too much. But then, my wife isn’t complaining…
Haha! So cute. 😄
Wise words, Shail. We do not own our children and above all we want them to be happy. It’s best to encourage them to have fun. We want our kids to enjoy our company not visit just because it’s a duty.