Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Better than Seven Daughters

"He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth." Ruth 4:15

A son is a son till he takes a wife, a daughter's a daughter the rest of her life. - Irish Proverb

Ruth was declared to be of enormous value to her mother-in-law - "better than seven sons", a staggering claim in the ancient world where many sons were a badge of honor. But beyond the status and honor that accrued to a family with many sons, everyone knew then as they surely know now, it is most often daughters who have the longer lasting, intense bond with their mothers

Many families have seen one or the other of these sayings to be true. I have seen more women maintain closer bonds than men to their family of origin. I can remember the difference between the relationships my mother and aunt had with my grandmother and the relationship my uncle had with her. For all the jokes that are made about the relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in law, there have been many wonderful examples of in-law friends. My own mother was my very best friend, and my mother-in-law was right up there at the top of my list as well.

But I have a son who is better than seven daughters.

I say that not to demean my own daughter, but to confer upon my son the honor that he deserves as a particularly loving and considerate son, and a clever and funny friend.

When he was just a little boy, there was a little girl who was madly in love with him and pursued him for several years. She finally gave up after concluding that "he was just too attached to his mommy."

I don't know if that is still true. I don't think so, but I may not be the best judge of that. I do know that he never went through that phase where he was embarrassed to be seen with Mom or Dad in public. He has no frame of reference for the scenes in movies and on television where the kid walks ten paces ahead of his parents, belittles them in front of his friends, or would rather walk home than be seen riding with Mom. And he is eighteen.


This week I will be celebrating my son, remembering his childhood and thanking God for the young man he has become.

Happy birthday, Buddy.

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