As you can see from the inclusion of our story, she granted me the right to chronicle the facets and limits of our bond. There must be something about motherless daughters that make us hope beyond hope for any potentiality of a mother connection, at least this is the case for me. Though I claimed to be just trying to gain support for my decision to document this material, by my reaction to her response, the orphan in me obviously longed for more. I must have hoped that she had originally misunderstood what it was that I desired from her when I'd sent her my reasons for embarking upon a mother search and that rereading it now would bring her a new perspective and willingness to take me on as daughter # 3. Instead I received confirmation that she gets it and is sorry but is stretched too thin to ease the boundaries of our assigned roles.
Nothing has changed between us and yet somehow it feels like losing a mother and I can't seem to make peace with my disappointment. I take console with my newborn son pressed close to me and call Lori, who always has just the right thing to perk me up. She tells me that at best a relationship with a mother-in-law is meant to be neutral. At worst, full out war. She claims to know only one friend that truly loves her mother-in-law, and that no one would never expect to find a mother in married family. I am apparently living in a mother fantasy land. This sounds about right. But I have to wonder: is this the absolute and definitive truth about the transactions between a woman and the woman who marries her child? What about that old saying: you haven't lost a son, but gained a daughter? How far do mother-in-laws adopt such a sentiment? How long does it take to love someone else's child?
I recall that my mother-in-law visited while my ad sat in wait on my computer. I am always excited to see her but somehow it is never exactly what I hope for. This trip was no different. Still to have her in the house and watch her interact with Aaron thrilled and pained me with intense envy. I wondered what it would be like to see my mother sitting in a chair reading or puttering through the rooms. She took me out to lunch on her last day in town. Mothers and daughters surrounded us; young girls preoccupied with their blackberries, their mothers eyeing them with that knowing look. I was in awe and hoped that it seemed I was out to lunch with my mother. The illusion of me with my own mother even for a few hours brought me such joy. She hired a car service to take her to the airport and I remember that it was late. I wanted her to have to stay, just one more day, but soon her driver arrived and she was quick to go.
When I came home, I headed straight for my computer and hit send.