“Hey Alesha, how are you enjoying New York City?”
“Not too bad. My aunt has been awesome. Momma, I saw your recent blogpost and I was wowed! Can I come over so we could discuss some things?”
“Sure you can baby! But isn’t it too late to set out for LA?”
“It’s just 9am. I should arrive California before 7pm. Will you allow a sleep over?”
“Sure baby! I will be looking out for you! Safe journey”
That was one of my mentees, Alesha who had just moved to the New York City from Nigeria. I was so excited- I would be meeting her face to face. She is such a beautiful soul!
Earlier that day, I had written a blogpost on “TYPES OF MOTHERS-IN-LAW + HOW TO RELATE WITH THEM.” And the comments and mails I got from the post was enthralling!
Soon, Alesha was around and we got discussing.
“How is your wedding preparation going?” I asked and she smiled, settling down beside me.
“Fine. Well…” She started and paused. “My fiancé is presently in Texas with his family. I came over for some visits to his family as well as to do some shopping” She said and I gave her a high five.
“My rich baby girl!” I hailed when her face suddenly turned pale.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
‘I have an issue bothering me actually. Okay, before I say it. Let me ask a question” She paused. I nodded for her to go on.
“Is your mother-in-law alive?” She asked and I nodded.
“Oh no, you must be living in hell!” She exclaimed and I smiled.
“Why do you think so?” I asked, squeezing her succulent hand sweetly.
“I hate mothers-in-law! I so hate them! My mum suffered a great deal from her mother-in-law! She literarily got my dad a new wife because my mum couldn’t give birth to children after me! He wanted boys but none was even coming forth!”
“Oh my! But I thought you have four brothers” I asked.
“Yeah. My mum eventually gave birth to them after my dad’s mum had forced my dad to marry another wife! Like, she caused issues between my mum and dad. Even when my dad beats my mum, she would be the referee! I grew up seeing those!” She said, tears forming her eyes. I squeezed her hands again.
“I did something and I wanted to know if its Godly. I wanted to ask you.” She said and I nodded.
“In my room at home, I fixed a picture of my mother-in-law to be on my mirror”
“Whenever I wake up, I would move to the mirror and say silently but firmly ‘Be gone, mama! ‘Be gone, mama!’ Is it right? I really can’t stop myself” She said and I shook my head sadly.
“You must have been so hurt!” I pulled her close.
“I don’t just want a mother-in-law” She cried, tears streaming down her face. I decided to overlook her tears and talk to her.
“I will be frank with you darling. I need to.” I said, patting her shoulders as she shook with so much tears.
“That’s why I’m here momma. Correct me. Beat me if needs be.”
“One, how do you think Carl would feel if he finds out how you’ve been dealing with his mum in the corners of your room?” I asked and she swallowed loudly, her eyes deeply locked into mine.
“He’d feel terrible actually!” She managed to say after a while.
“Two, your mum has four boys. Would you be happy to find out your mum is dead on the wedding eve of one of your brother’s wedding?” I asked again and she threw her hands up.
“Hell no! Oh my God! That’s what I have been doing! I ain’t sane no more!” She cried on, covering her face with both hands.
“Third darling Alesha, you will be a mother to boys if God allows. You wish to be dead before their weddings?”
“No momma, no!” She wept on.
“You remember the Golden Rule? Do unto others, what you want them to do to you!” I said and she nodded.
“It’s a selfish thing for ladies to want their mothers alive and their husbands’ mothers dead! It’s a sin! Its wickedness, its foolishness and its selfishness!” I said and she nodded, sulking as she held a throw pillow to her chest.
“When I got married, I feared also what my mother-in-law would be like. My mother-in-law is a neat freak, a very good cook and perfectionist, so whatever I do must have a small ‘but’ ! ‘Oh Lin, why is the toilet seat soiled?’ ‘Oh Lin, the soup is bland!’ ‘Oh Lin, you didn’t lay my bed well!’ Lin this, Lin, that! I was so frustrated that I told my husband that I hated his mum!” I explained and she nodded expectantly.
“What did he then say?” She asked.
“He said. ‘Sweetheart, I know how free you are with your mum. Let’s assume she asks you to get out of her room angrily, what would you do?’” I said and paused for an answer in her face. She smiled slightly expecting me to continue.
“I replied him that, ‘Since she is my mum, I would walk up to her bed and tickle her! I would fall over her on the bed till we roll over with laughter’ You know what he told me?”
“No I don’t”
“He said, ‘Do so to my mama too, she’s your mama!’ I tell you my sister that that closed the chapter forever!”
“Just like that?” She asked and I smiled.
“When Mama complains, I would just hug her and pull at her wrapper, telling her to back me as I am too tired”
She chuckled. “Woow!”
“At times when she is angry, I could just prepare some freshly pressed juice and go to her room with it. If she asks me out of her room, I would simply jump on her bed and start playing with her”
“That’s so weird!” Alesha looked away shyly and I smiled.
“She is one of the sweetest friends I have in the whole wide world!”
“Hmmmm…you are simply lucky mama!”
“It’s not about luck darling. When you have the normal daughter-in-law defensive spirit and she has the normal mother-in-law defensive spirit also, you will keep clashing. But even when she is having the defensive spirit and you counteract it with the good spirit, soon, you would have won her over!”
“Don’t push her away! She is as precious to your husband as your mum is to you!”
“And one thing I will also like to mention is that, don’t be scared of what she would look like or who she will be. Whatever you expect of your mother-in-law is what you will get!”
“Make a Naomi out of your husband’s mother! Yes, it might be hard and all but that is part of the hard work that marriage entails!”
Suddenly, I started hearing a clapping behind me and when I looked back, it was my mother-in-law.
“Linda! See how you are talking about me as if no o, you love me”She paused and face Alesha “My child, she doesn’t love me o” She said and started walking towards us.
I smiled as I watched Alesha’s confused face.
“If you go to my room and check my bed, you will see how she scattered everything because of her play play!” She said and Alesha started laughing.
“She wanted me to help plait her hair and got me a box of chocolate as bribe. Is that love? How can I eat such sugar at this age huh?”
“But Mama, you look like you enjoy the whole thing” Alesha said and my mother-in-law looked away, a shy smile on her face.
“Mama, oya confess!” I started and she shook her head.
“Who loves trouble ehn? Me I don’t…” She was saying when I cut in.
“My dear, I went for a short term course in Miami last month for a week. The day I was leaving, mama was crying o” I burst out laughing and Alesha joined me.
Mama started laughing too.
“It was tears of joy joor, I was too glad you were going away” She said again and I shook my head.
“Mama, all liars shall go to…” I paused and stood up.
“See her again o, she is coming, she is coming to…” Mama started shifting into the cushion expectantly and excitedly.
No, I didn’t disappoint her.
I rolled over her, tickling as I did till Alesha came to rescue her from too much laughter!