My mom-in-law

December 17, 2005 at 3:47 PM (family) (, )

I knew my mother in law before I knew her…

It all started with the pink heart.

I was somewhere between fourteen and sixteen and my future spouse, her son, was between seventeen and eighteen years old.

It was Valentine’s time, and he like countless boyfriends before him, had sent his girlfriend some chocolate hearts in honor of the occasion.

“Where’d you get these? They’re so cool,” I said. Hearts like the heart in the “I Love Lucy” credits only pure white chocolate with pink food coloring.

With pride he said, “My Mom makes those.”

And I didn’t believe him.

Moms made breakfast lunch or dinner.

Moms made cookies.

Moms made beds (or made you make them)

Moms made Turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas, or ham at Easter time.

Moms grew tomatoes in the back yard.

Moms made lists

Moms made it to work on time, and still did all of the above.

But candy? No. That came in bags at Halloween, aisles at the grocery store with eye catching wrappers, or full stockings at Christmas. It took him a full ten minutes to convince me that his Mom was, in fact, the candymaker.

Later in our twenties when we saw one another again, I understood the scope of this candymaking operation. Seasonal variations were handled without a hitch. The Valentine hearts would give way to shamrocks (both green and orange) in March,
eggs at Easter, chocolate nut bark in dark, milk and peppermint and peanut butter cups year round, footballs for the fall, pumpkins for October and snowmen for the holidays. His mom and he, and his sisters were the assembly line as the chocolate was softened, molded, and hardened and or colored.

Whenever I pass the high end chocolatiers with their wrappers and boxes and ribbons, I smile because I know my mother in law could do it better without a second thought.

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