Very recently, my parents started looking for alliances for my brother. The very thought of my brother getting married, sounded so much fun and exciting to me. It is a feeling that cannot be expressed in words. Anyone would agreed with that, isn’t it?
However, as time passed and as the idea of another person coming into my family sunk into my nerves, I think I started feeling insecure about something and I had no clue what that was about. It felt weird to have such a feeling creep into my mind, so I continued to understand the feeling. I was the only girl child in my house and almost grew up with no girls of my age. I was always treated special. Although, my brother is older to me by 2 years, he treated me like his daughter. The mere thought of things changing in my beautiful little world, sent thunderbolts in my nerves. I was worried for sure; and ironically I don’t even know the new person. She doesn’t even have an identity yet. It wasn’t jealousy for sure. I was worried and scared of possible changes in my little world.
I have this habit of speaking my mind out with mom. But this time, I was little hesitant. My mom is a smart person, she sensed it and made me talk about the thoughts that were troubling me. I poured my heart out with tears in my eyes. She listened patiently, held my hand, wiped my tears, and hugged me. I hugged her back. It was an emotional moment for us. Then, she told me things that not only lightened my heart but also gave me a very good perspective on being a sister-in-law.
She said, “Kanna, you are very special in this house, from the day you were born to day you wouldn’t even know. Not just you; your kids, husband and even your grand kids would have that special place in the hearts of every person in this house. You are our pride. You aren’t just anything, you are the daughter of this house and will be one forever. After you got married and moved out of this house, there is a void space in our hearts and which no one can fill. We all crazily wait for you to come home and your brothers always jump up in joy when they know that you are coming home. Whether you need us or you don’t, we are always right around the corner for you. You’ll be a mother one day, your kids would grow up, they would get married, and you will still be the apple of our eyes. Do you remember, how my mother was worried for me when you were getting married? Don’t you know how much joy my brother and sister-in-law show when we go home to meet them? Daughters are precious and would always stay same, no matter how old you grow. This is yours for now and forever.” I started realizing how stupid I was to feel insecure about my little world. Of course, I will stay special forever and ever.
My mom got me smiling once again. She saw me smiling, kissed me again and told me things that made me understand my responsibility towards my brother’s marriage. She continued, “Your brother is getting married, you have to be more responsible than ever before and be a bigger person in this relationship. I will tell you few things that will help you take this forward smoothly. DO NOT COMPARE, the lesser you compare the better your lives get. There would be varied interests between you and her, you might be good at cooking and she might be good at other life style. You might not have interest on fashion, while she might be a pro. You might love to dance and she might love to sing. Not everyone in the world is good at everything or bad at everything. Each of us is unique. Kanna, always remember that this is never a competition. You go hand in hand for rest of your lives, helping and loving each other. Not matter what.”
She paused and made sure that I was doing fine and continued, “It gets really tricky to manage relations. It is very important to be a giver in a relation, at least when during the earliest times. You cannot expect her to treat you the same as how everyone else treats you in the family. It is her first day in this house and she is just trying to understand this biggest change of her life called “Marriage”. Just as in your case, a woman loses half of her identity with her marriage by leaving her family and last name and by joining another family, anxiously thinking about how this lost identity be built again. As a sister-in-law you must be the bigger person in this relation and treat her very well. We as humans have power to amplify everything we receive; someone treats you nice, and you treat them 10 times nicer. Some one ridicules you, you might hate them all your life. You should comfort her, do not expect her to comfort you like we all do. This house and family is your comfort zone, as a daughter of this house, it is your responsibility to make her comfortable. Should I say, I felt more comfortable with your dad’s sisters than your dad or my mother in law when I first came into this house? I want you to do the same thing. If any, you should bridge the gap between your brother and her or me and her. Yes, she is new to this house and new to each of us. As a daughter of this house, you have the utmost comfort with everyone. You should be her voice, when she cannot voice out her opinions for N reasons. Women needs and expectations are much different from men; when your brother has problem understanding her, be that person who can explain him what it feels to be in her place. This is very temporary and short lived phase, but it is important for her to be comfortable and you should do your part.”
She held my hand and told “My sweet girl, we women weave a very small and beautiful world around us. As small as 15-20 dearest relations and that’s all. Similarly, your sister-in-law has her small beautiful world. But remember, TWO BEAUTIFUL WORLDS CAN CO EXIST. Respect each other. You both are responsible for creating happiness around the two families and keep everything integrated and give wonderful cousins, aunts and uncles for your kids to grow up with. Look at that bigger picture. You reap what you sow. You are in that driving seat now, do your part.”
My heart got lightened, filled with enthusiasm by the end of conversation. I never felt so much responsible for this beautiful relation that I am going to start with my sister-in-law :-). It felt so good to have this conversation. We often do not speak about our thoughts, which may rot inside us. I am glad this conversation happened with my mom. I am always proud of her, and wonderful parenting skills she has :-).
Cover picture courtesy : Devisatish Photography