“Guess who I’m sitting here with…” When I call my mom or my mother-in-law on any given day, I’m no longer surprised to find them together, sharing a glass of wine like old friends.
I could count the number of women in my life I’ve considered mother figures, but I’d end up hurting feelings by leaving too many out. On the other hand, there are just a few who have shown me the compassion and guidance that epitomize motherly love. My mother-in-law tops this short list.
When I married my husband in 2016, I’d considered his mother my mentor and friend for nearly a decade already. I’d gone to work for her part-time at her specialty boutique the summer after graduating high school, and over time, we were closer to business partners and certainly tight-knit buds.
Somewhere along the way of navigating work and school and my twenties, I realized my mother does indeed know everything—or at least knows best—like she’s claimed since my childhood. She became my closest friend, my most trusted confidant, and I saw in her all the characteristics I associate with strong, admirable women: a graceful blend of humble and self-assured, empathetic and open-minded, yet unafraid to take a stand in the face of opposition.
In addition to all of that, she’s the life of the party. Just like my mother-in-law. They are an unstoppable duo with contagious smiles and huge hearts. They are spectacular hostesses, wonderful listeners, and two of my biggest fans. It’s still hard for me to fathom that in tying the knot with love of my life, I also brought together my two most irreplaceable friends.
The only surprise left in finding them in one another’s company now is how the sound of their happy, intermingling voices makes my heart flutter with pure gratefulness. I celebrate that blessing every day.