My daughters-in-law are all very different from one another, but they’ve turned out to be good wives to my sons, who are also very different from one another.
My oldest son and my only college graduate is married to a practical woman. They arranged their lives together in perfect order—first education, then the big wedding, the house was purchased and then—only then did they have their first baby. By that time, my son was only a few months shy of the age of a first-time grandfather that we met in the waiting room as we waited for our oldest grandchild, first of their two wonderful boys, to be born.
My youngest son, who was never interested in making money as a teen, is still less interested in money than in personal projects. His wife is also an artistic type who excels at her hobbies and even sells her wonderful sewing crafts as fast as she can make them. Those two didn’t wait around to marry. They were planning the wedding before I realized my son had a girlfriend. I was fortunate that she already had another daughter before she came to us because that little girl is a remarkable young person who is a big help to everyone. After a while, the two had another little girl together, a delightful, beautiful child who looks like her mother and her big sister.
My other daughter-in-law, wife of my middle son, is new to our family. After failed marriages, she and my son got together and married within a few months. They promptly had a new baby to augment the two youngsters apiece they already had. The speed at which those two dove into marriage after previous problems in the area amazed me and worried me, but she’s terrific.
I also have a “bonus” daughter-in-law. My middle child’s former wife remains very dear to me.
I am so fortunate to have all these young women in my life for one particular reason—they are all very good mothers—which is where their maternal similarity ends. Their mothering styles are completely and totally different.
One raises the children with a lot of attention to education and good behavior. One gives the children a variety of experiences. One is raising extremely independent children by virtue of giving them carte blanche to do almost anything that won’t cut, burn or cause an explosion. And the other one; she is just so efficient it’s unbelievable. She always has clean kids, a clean house and her kids take naps behind closed doors. (As I was a hovering mother, this seems incredible to me.)
As I said, they are all good mothers. In spite of their differing parenting styles, their kids are all happy, healthy and well-adjusted. Those great kids are of course, my grandchildren. There’s nothing more I could want from a daughter-in-law.
Read more articles, stories and poems by E. Williams at www.trovemagazine.com