Before I had kids I used to think about what a great mother-in-law I’d be – laid back, never clingy, good listener, fun. But then I had a son, and as he’s growing up I‘ve finally come to realize that I will be the world’s worst mother-in-law ever.
The older he gets and the taller and brainier and more interesting, the more I have to hug him over and over and kiss his dirty blond hair. I stare at him while he’s sleeping like that creepy mom from I’ll Love You Forever.
“I’ll love you forever
I’ll like you for always
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.”
Yeah, that mom used to freak the heck out of me, sneaking across town and climbing into her son’s window to hold his grown-up self. A world of ew. But my son is growing up and I think that chick knows what’s what. Yes. I will definitely try to hold him in my lap after high school graduation. His neck always smells like buttered toast and his blue eyes sparkle when they look at me.
I want those eyes all for myself, and pity the girl who tries to love him better than me. I thought I’d be cool, but I am a crazed jealous psycho. He’s mine all mine. I raised him to be this adorable and I will shove him in a little box in my closet and let him out for school if I have to.
I pray for his future wife, that she’ll be worthy of my sweet ball of Minecraft-loving awesomeness, but I think I need to start praying not only for her worthiness, but for her stamina, with me as a mother-in-law. I am going to be this girl’s worst nightmare…maybe just in my head, but it might leak out. I might be horrible.
I used to think I’d take her out for pedicures and bonding time, but now I know that I’ll lure her away from him, wait till she’s knee-deep in soapy warm water, then strand her at the salon with cucumbers on her eyes while I head back to my sweet, sweet man-boy. I am Gollum, and he is my precioussss.
I will definitely channel Meryl Streep as the witch in Into the Woods and am already practicing my rendition of “Last Midnight” for the rehearsal dinner before the wedding. I will be the scariest person she’s ever met, and when she lies down next to him at night, she’ll see my grinning face burned into the backs of her eyelids.
Thankfully I have a few years to get my crap together. Every morning as I comb his hair and it feathers out across his forehead, I stare in wonder at his little face. I am the only woman he ever needs. Fiancee comes a-knockin’? I will Gandalf her ass back from whence she came. “None shall pass.” None shall fricking pass, my dear.
When I find him up at midnight, hands on face, Harry Potter glasses smooshed against the bridge of his nose, reading a book and saying “One more chapter, Mommy,” I know without a shadow of a doubt that no other person on this planet could possibly love him more, so really, why risk it?
I will be the worst mother-in-law. I will be a caricature of the evil mother-in-law archetype, like Jane Fonda and Seymour-without-the-boobs smooshed into one wicked reality.
He will hate me for it, but he’ll learn to love me once I win him over with lemonade Capri Suns and cheese crackers. We’ll be like Norman Bates and his dear ol’ mama at the Bates Motel, and he can hide me in his basement till I’m a skeleton --- a happy, doting skeleton.
Future women of the world, you’ve been warned.
(This is hyperbole. Mostly.)
Written by Melanie Dale. You think this is scary? Check out her new book, WOMEN ARE SCARY: THE TOTALLY AWKWARD ADVENTURE OF FINDING MOM FRIENDS, releasing next month!