Life Without In-Laws

A couple of nights ago, I had a dream with D’s mother in it. We were in Goa or elsewhere exotic on vacation and there she was, in the middle of a crowd. D grabbed my arm and said that was this mother. He told me that he didn’t know she was alive and wanted to go up to her. But before we could walk up to her, she already recognized his and waved him over. We talked to her for a while. She took us over to her house and acted as if nothing was weird. As if this is how everything should be. Later in the day, she came to me and put her hands on my shoulders as if she was about to embrace me. She then looked me deep in the eye and said that she was proud of D, that he had found his over. She then kissed my forehead as if she gave me all the blessings of the world, all the blessings a mother-in-law gives her son’s bride.

Then she was gone. The dream was over. I woke up, slightly confused and looked at my surroundings in the dark. I was back in my bedroom, sitting up on the bed as D lay beside me, deep in sleep.

For a very long time, I sat there in the dark, looking around and remembering her and every word she said to me. Was this a sign? A sign from his deceased mother that she approved of me and gave me her blessings? Or was this just a dream I had because I was thinking about not having in-laws a few days ago?

A few days ago, as D and I were talking about our new home and planning where we’ll place furniture, etc., my mind drifted off and started thinking about how my in-laws will never visit our home. Like back home in India, when a son and daughter-in-law move into their new home, the mother-in-law comes to do prayers in the house. Or when Karva-Chaut comes, the mother-in-law sends her daughter-in-law sargi. I won’t get any of that. I mean sure, D’s aunty in Pune, India will fulfill some of those duties. But it won’t be the same as it being my mother-in-law doing it. Like most girls in India, when they leave their parent’s house, they find a mother figure in their husband’s house to guide them and nurture them and share married-life events with them.  I won’t have any of that. When D and I have our first child, we won’t have a dadi or dada (husband’s parents: grandmother/grandfather) to welcome the little angel into the world and spoil him/her. Of course they’ll have their other grand-parents (my parents). But having a dada and dadi you live with and grow up with is a bit different.

I know, most women cringe at the thought of having a mother-in-law involved in their lives. But I always wanted in-laws. I wanted a joint family and the way D describes his dad, if he was still with us, life would be exactly as I had imagined it. D didn’t know his mother, if you’re wondering. She passed away when he was only a year and half old. But his dad raised him and never remarried either. His dad passed away when D was 18. I believe, his dad was his best friend and he tells many stories of him and his dad together.

Anyway…life without parents or in-laws isn’t same. Even though they sometimes annoy us and we disagree with them, they love us dearly and they are our protectors and care-givers. I just wish my parents stay forever with D and I and his came back to us. 🙂

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