On the ferry to Galiano Island
On the ferry to Galiano Island Alexis, Lele, Me, CJ


C.C. calls me this as we drive back from the coast.

Mother-in-law. That’s who you are now, he says as we follow the ribbon of highway leading us back towards home on the other side of the Rockies.

We have just spent two weeks away. Wedding prep. Alexis and Jame’s wedding and then a week of relaxation at Tofino with Beaumont, The Wave Hound.

I hadn’t thought about the fact I’d  be carrying a new label after the wedding.

I roll the word around on my tongue. Savour it. Taste it. It has the heady essence of a piece of St. Agur sliding across my tongue. Sharp. Tangy. Deliciously smooth. Earthy.  I like it. I like how it feels. How it sounds. How it rolls around in my mind stretching who I know myself to be to include a new way of being.

Rainbow in the evening; JOY is in the air!
Rainbow in the evening; JOY is in the air!

I have a son-in-law, or as I like to think of him, ‘son-in-love’.

He is the husband to my daughter. The man to whom,  at the edge of a cliff over-looking the ocean beyond and under a blue sky through which an eagle soared lazily in the late afternoon sun, she pledged unwavering love forever more.

I have a married daughter.

It is a new place; this mother of a married daughter. A new way of seeing my daughter and her world. And me.

I remember when she was growing up, how she loved to play ‘bride’ and organize make-believe weddings, and re-enactments of The Titanic. She created fabulous outfits, had favourite parts to play and favourite roles for those around her to fulfill.

There was never a role called ‘mother-in-law.’

I’ve had no practice and am surprised at how this role requires a mental shift, a lengthening out of my vision to include a larger perspective. It speaks to deepening of family. Of roots. Of possibilities and connections. Of sharing Christmases and special occasions. A deepening of love.

I have thought about what it means to know my daughter is married. To know she has someone to whom she will turn first and always. It has felt good to know she would have him by her side. Steadfast and true. He is kind. Generous. Quirkily funny and very very smart.

I like who he is but I hadn’t thought about what it means to be his mother-in-law. To have him as my ‘son-in-love’.

Somehow, I had thought nothing would change. That life would continue just as it was without any adjustments.

And it does. And it doesn’t. It is all as it is and as it is is wonderful and different and yet beautifully the same.

My eldest daughter got married on September 10th.

It was beautiful.



She left nothing to chance. Thought of every little detail and was prepared for every eventuality. And in all her preparations, she managed to leave room for the whimsical, the mystical, the magic.

It was divine.  A day of love flowing freely on warm ocean breezes. Of family and friends laughing in the sunlight and dancing under the stars. It was a perfect beginning to their life lived as husband and wife.

(As I did not have my camera/iphone with me on the ‘big day’, these photos are all from friends — thank you CJ and Tamz and everyone else who shared them on FB. And if you’re ever looking for a magical island wedding resort – Bodega Ridge is stunning. The staff are incredible, the location amazing and the facilities and food divine)

12 thoughts on “Mother-in-law”

  1. When we step onto the stage, at each stage of life, as rank untrained amateurs – rookies to the core; how we do in our new roles is both singular and personal AND a group thing. Remember that first day they walked to school on their own, took the car on their own … etc. Well, you’ve just ‘let go’ a little bit more … you get to still see, but from a step removed. Don’t worry, you’ll survive being at-arm’s-length and things will return to a ‘new normal’ until the next stage.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations and enjoy your new status and new son. I have 2 married sons– it’s been challenging mostly because they’ve become very religious so there have been some compromises along the way… but then there are the grand kids and that’s a different (wonderful) story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear M-I-L and sister dear, it truly was the most organized, beautiful, magnificent day. To have been a part of their wedding as an Auntie truly warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes. All of the guests, most of whom I had never met, were warm and inviting and honestly A & J have the most loyal, generous and delightful friends. They are surrounded by Love. You will be the best MIL ever. I have been one for 25 years and must say that it is a very good feeling. Much Love Little Sis, Jackie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tim doesn’t think of my mum as his mother in-law she is just mum to him and my dad is just dad he has always said that my parents have treated him better then his own parents and he is closer to them then he was/is to his parents, I think of Michael as my son in-law but he isn’t since Kathy and him are not married but they are in a serious long term relationship

    Liked by 1 person

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