I am easily impressed by people. Once you say something that sounds remotely smart, DAZIT! I am already in awe of you. And Lawyerman is constantly irritated by this trait of mine. But e no jus start for me. E don tey wey I be like dat. When I was a teen, I had a friend who I thought was a well of wisdom. With hindsight, now I know she was just … I don’t even know what she was. So, on this day, she prayed that may our future mothers in law be dead before we meet our future husbands. WOW! I thought. Such wisdom! Shebi if she don die before I meet my husband, shebi I won’t have MIL issues? I thought that had to be wisest prayerpoint ever. Stupid me. Let’s even leave the fact that I did not think ‘what if I give birth to a son and my son’s future wife is already wishing me a short life’?
My Mother had the best mother in law. Why did I not think of that? My paternal grandmother, Madam Alice Olatejo Akodu was an angel. Inside and out. She had an ethreal beauty that made me scared to touch her. I think I remember that she had a halo on her head sef. She was a Christian to the core. She was one of the first missionaries of Apostolic Faith at Anthony Village. When she became born again, she did that thing that Christians are supposed to do? Repartriation? No… Hmm what is is called now? Retribution? No… Restitution! Yes! Restitution. Anyway, because she was my grandpas’s 2nd or 3rd wife, she left him and said he was not her husband, that he was his 1st wife’s husband. And she never went back. Never married again. Not for her the pick and mix Christianity that obtains now. Mama Botanical. She was kind to my mother and my mother always said it. That her mother in law was the best mother inlaw a woman could hope to have. Mama Botanical never sided my dad against my mum in ANYTHING.
When my parents were newly married, my mum, being an only child of an only child was a bit precious. And I learnt that she would go back to her mum’s at the slightest provocation from my dad. Mama Botanical never got tired of going to Mama Surulere (Maami, my maternal grandmother)’s house to plead for the return of their wife. Up until when Mama Botanical died, as soon as my dad married my mum, she stoped cooking for him. My dad used to spend his Saturdays with his mum. She would give him soft drinks, but she would NOT cook for him. Because she knew my mum would be cooking at home for my dad and she did not want to spoil my dad’s appetite by feeding him. She kept ducks and she would send my dad home to us with some ducks. That was how i got my love of eating ducks. Mama Botanical loved my mum fiecely and the love was fiercly returned by my mum too.
Let’s celebrate our good MILs. It is not always doom and gloom. We rarely hear of bad FILS so, as Yorubas say, ‘alatise ni o mo atise ara e’. Na the owner of the problem know how to sort the problem. Daughters in law go on to become Mothers in law. Do you think your son’s daughter would be happy to have you as her MIL? If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, change it. Not the mirror, but what the mirrors reflects back to you