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Mother’s Day reflection

My mother-in-law and father-in-law have retired to Phoenix from Chicago. Because of the logistics, their trips to Knoxville have become fewer and farther between. They did however visit us Easter weekend, which luckily happened to be one of the best weather weekends we have had in a long time. Because of the balmy temps, we spent a lot of time outdoors; boating on Lake Loudoun, dining on our deck and strolling through the newly-opened Shops at Pinnacle. It was nice catching up, reminiscing about the past and talking about the future.

Since Mother’s Day is Sunday, I thought that I would share some thoughts about my visit with my mother-in-law. First of all, her name is Cookie and that pretty much says it all. Cookie is not your typical mother-in-law. In fact, she’s a hoot. She has never met a stranger and has something nice to say about everyone she meets. You can see Cookie coming from a mile away because her taste in clothing is rather dazzling. The brighter the better. Think about the exterior of Regal Cinemas and that pretty much defines Cookie’s fashion sense. She has been a terrific mother-in-law to me and grandmother to our girls. She minds her own business and has never questioned our judgment.

During one of our conversations that weekend, Cookie told me that I was a wonderful mother, which made me feel really good. Not that I haven’t heard that before, I have, from my own mother, to which I responded, “Thanks, of course I am, I learned from the best.”

But when your mother-in-law tells you that you’re a good mother, that means something.

We were talking about her daughter, Merrily, and laughing about when Merrily was expecting her twins; she insisted that nothing was going to change. Mind you, at that time, Merrily and her husband, Dan, were two professionals, traveling extensively and living on Cape Cod, but according to Merrily, nothing was going to change.

We all know that everything changes with motherhood. And it changed Merrily in a very positive way. She went from stressed-out and over-scheduled to relaxed and casual in no time. Family became her focus and not just her family, but everyone’s family. Simply put, motherhood completed her.

It was during this conversation that my mother-in-law surprised me. I commented on how profoundly Merrily had changed and said, “She’s a wonderful mother.” To which Cookie responded, “Well, so are you.” Thank you Cookie. I learned from the best, my mother, and you.

— Judy Briody


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