My MIL is My BFF!
A true story of how one woman and her mother-in-law turned their relationship around for the better.
Still, small hints of her generous personality began to peek through. When my son had eye surgery, I did what any mother would: I passed out cold. There I was in the days afterward, holding an infant with stitches in his eyeballs and had a toddler to entertain, too. My MIL called religiously to check in, alternating among “You can do it,” “It's OK to cry to me,” and “Treat yourself to something nice when this is over.” They were simple words, but she was like a magical fairy godmother at the time.
I found myself calling her more, hungry for parenting advice. I learned that she was a curious woman with infinite interests. My mother-in-law, it turned out, was thoughtful, forgiving, and quick to praise. (Yep, you read that right.)
Nowadays, I call her my extra mother, but she's proven to be a surprisingly satisfying partner-in-crime, too. It wasn't long before we found ourselves palling around like we were teens on the loose. During one visit, she enthusiastically accompanied me into Heidi Fleiss's bra boutique, the Little Shop of Sex. At first, we went in to gawk, but then we wisely realized that Ms. Fleiss knew a lot about boobs, and we scooped up her wares. Hey, it's not every day you get naked with a madam and your MIL.
I like to joke that the secret to having the perfect mother-in-law is to marry her youngest child. By the time you enter the picture, she'll be used to crushed expectations. But the secret to having the perfect MIL could really be in loving her intensely. It's part of loving my husband, loving the woman who shares him with me—for better or worse.