Yesterday was Kelsey’s birthday. Kelsey, for those who don’t know, is my daughter-in-law; the wife of my older son, Chris; and the mother of my granddaughter, "Sweetpea". Later this week will also be Chris and Kelsey’s tenth anniversary.
Ten years ago, when we came to Abilene for the wedding, we hardly knew Kelsey. She was very young and seemed a little timid. I wondered, at that time, if she had the personality to hold her own in a relationship with my son, who had always been a risk-taker and an adventurer, with strong opinions and an abundance of self-confidence.
I watched – from afar, since we have never lived very close to them – as these two grew from newly weds into a strong, unified couple. My early concerns were quickly relieved. I began to see that Kelsey, in her quiet way, had strength of character and moral convictions that Chris respected and honored. And I saw, with some amazement, my son’s brashness of youth soften around the edges because of the love he had for Kelsey.
Chris and Kelsey were married eight years before Sweetpea came along. Sweetpea has been a blessing to the entire family. But sometimes I get so wrapped up in bragging about the child that I neglect to brag on her parents, who are doing an outstanding job at bringing her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Although I’ve always been fond of Kelsey, my love and appreciation for her have grown in leaps and bounds since Sweetpea's birth. When I see the pure joy she exhibits in mothering Sweetpea, and when I see her consistently put into practice the balanced and well-thought-out philosophy on child-rearing that she and Chris share, I am proud of and thankful for the huge part she plays in our family.
Kelsey will be coming, with Sweetpea, to visit us in a few weeks. She is going to considerable inconvenience to make this visit happen. It’s just one of the many examples I could tell you of her thoughtfulness and her high regard for family.
There are times when I think Kelsey has wisdom beyond her years, when it comes to being a wife and mother. I’ve said it before, but if I had hunted for the perfect wife for Chris, I couldn’t have found a better complement to his nature than Kelsey.
Happy birthday, Kelsey. I hope you know, with assurance, that both Dan and I love and value you.