The following is an open letter to my in-laws regarding a significant, albeit fleeting, secret their son (my husband) has been keeping from them:

Dear Mom and Dad:

On Saturday, your 45 year old son bought a motorcycle.  I did not wholeheartedly endorse the purchase, but I didn’t forbid it either.  And I did contribute to the down payment of the machine as I owed him a birthday present after my ill-inspired gift of “man jewelry” l fell surprisingly flat back in April.  For all of this, I am complicit in the entire affair.

What I had nothing to do with, however, is his choice not to mention to either of you that he was making said purchase.  I gave him the eyebrow when he sheepishly suggested to the boys and me that we NOT post any of our giddy photos of him on the bike on Facebook.

“I haven’t actually told my parents about this yet.  Is that bad?”

Hmm.   Tough question.  Yeah – it’s bad but I knew all would be revealed within a few days.  So, on the infraction scale of 1-10, I’d put this covert operation at about a 3.  Knowing you both, I figure that upon enlightenment, you are going to skip right over “the cone of silence” issue and immediately focus on the purchase itself.  So if I might offer up a few thoughts – because I too went through the same awful scenarios that are spinning through your heads at this moment – perhaps I can help you get comfortable with the idea.

Your boy is very happy with his purchase.  One of the probable reasons why he didn’t tell you about his plans was that he didn’t want anyone to Yuck his Yum.  And, the fact remains that he really cares about what you both think.  Any resistance from you (or me) would have stopped him in his tracks when he really just wanted to move full speed ahead.

At least it’s not another woman.  This rationale is likely more mine, than yours.  And I have said this about most of his hobbies over the year,s but the timing is just about right for an existential crisis and we’d all rather have him pondering the meaning of life on the open road than anywhere else.

At least it’s not a Harley.  Dave came to the conclusion all by himself that Harleys in the Suburbs are annoying as all Hell.  His comment to me:  ”I would have to spend all my time apologizing for the noise.”  You see – you raised him right.

He really is a safe driver.  Nothing says reckless abandon like a middle-aged Jewish guy driving a motorcycle.  So we really have very little to worry about.  And I put a moratorium on highway driving until he’s had the bike for at least a decade.

Your grandsons can’t wait to go for a ride.  Oh… shit…. That probably didn’t help.  So, what I meant to say is that your grandsons are NOT allowed to go for a ride until Dave feels comfortable enough for a passenger.  And I will be the sole judge of his skill because I am getting the first ride.

It will soon be too cold to ride.  (see, Middle-aged Jewish guy) We only have a few more weeks left of decent weather.  Come the first frost, we will all have a worry sabbatical until at least March.

Look, I’m not even sure you are going to put up much of a fuss about this motorcycle.  In fact, something tells me that you understand this stuff more than anyone.  But I look at this situation and I see my future  –  one where I no longer have a say in my child’s decisions – and sometimes find myself not only out of sync but also out of the loop.

You both handle this reality far more gracefully than I probably ever will.  And frankly, I’m more worried these days about the things MY sons aren’t telling me than what your son isn’t telling you.

You got this.  So does Dave.

And I can only hope that someday, I will too.

See you this weekend.

Love, Emmy

P.S. I will gladly give up my “first-in-line” stature if either of you would like the inaugural ride.  xxoo

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