Monday, September 10, 2012

His Parents

I refuse to use the term 'in-laws' when talking about RS' parents.

In a practical sense, we're not married. The law has no current place in our relationship. There is no legal binding between RS and I, let alone between us and anyone else. The law hasn't yet created a 'family' around us, so on a pure semantic level, the 'in-law' title just doesn't fit.

They say you can't choose your family - I humbly disagree. Blood does not give you the right to be involved in my life. Family or not, you have to earn your place at my dinner table. For me, family isn't about Christmas dinner and in-the-mail birthday cards; it's about the interwoven lives that reach out and continue to weave themselves into one another. The law can not create that, and I refuse to pretend that family can mean so little.

My Mother raised me, guided me, and cultivated the person I am today. As my parent, she has been the single most important person in the formation of me. I refuse to accept the idea that marriage magically bestows the title of 'parent' on anyone, regardless of qualification or ability. My Mother is a wonderful, strong, intelligent woman who I admire and respect more than anyone else; using the term 'mother-in-law' would require that I drastically alter my conceptions of 'Mother', for no mother-in-law could ever stand on equal footing with my Mother. I would never wish to dilute the meaning of Mother in such a way.

For these reasons - and perhaps a million more - I refuse to use the term 'in-laws' when talking about RS' parents. I don't yet have a term for them. I don't yet know if they even deserve their own title, their own classification in the grand scheme of my life. For now they are just 'his parents'. Nothing more.


1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you - I think calling anyone "mom" requires a deep feeling, not just because the "title" is awarded upon signing a paper. Call them however you do, but don't compromise who you are.