Only a week after Allen and I got engaged, his grandfather (my mother-in-law’s father) passed away. The funeral was especially hard as there was so much sadness for the loss, and yet excitement for our marriage.

After the funeral, Allen’s Aunt Dollie heard me refer to Mrs. Newton as “Mrs. Newton.” She quickly corrected that now was the time to start calling her “Wanda.” Mrs. Newton heard this and responded, “I have always called Mrs. Newton (Allen’s paternal grandmother), Mrs. Newton.”

It wasn’t said harshly, but the point was received. Mrs. Newton (Allen’s mother) has always been Mrs. Newton to me and remains that way still – with the occasional references to her as “Meemom” now that Addison is around.

I bring up this story because after 12 years of knowing her and six and a half years in the family, it’s one of the only mother-in-law stories I have. Lately I have heard some whopper of mother-in-law stories from my girlfriends. I offer the best advice I can for the given situation, but in the end, I just cant relate. I try not to rub it in … much.

Now I must interject that the first in-law joined the family ten years before I did. And I have heard that there was a little bit of a learning curve for Mrs. Newton as mother-in-law, but by the time I came around, my scuffles with the Newton Queen Bee have been non-existent. I know that I am blessed, so today I leave this to my mother-in-law:

Mrs. Newton –

I thank God everyday for you. For the mother you are to my husband and the Meemom you are to Addison and Wrigley. I wish you could lead a class for mother-in-laws around the Southeast, because from what I have heard, there are some out there that could use it. I’m sure us living with you can be tough, even though you assure us that is not the case, but it reminds me how lucky I am to have two amazing mothers in my life – one because she gave birth to me and one because she wants to.

Love, Stephanie