To Chelsey on your Sixteenth Birthday –

Let me say this: I don’t feel old until I see those around me aging.  I know it must be odd for my parents and grandparents to hold my children when they first held me but it doesn’t hit home.  But you. Well, with you and your siblings it’s an entirely different matter.

I watched you grow, changing your mom’s figure and felt your tiny kicks against my hand. I sat in an empty hospital hallway in the wee hours of the morning listening to your mom scream. (I knew she’d do that.) And I held you while you screamed.  I changed diapers, combed hair, painted your face and tucked you into bed all before I went off to college. How can that be?

And how can it be that you are driving, holding my babies and looking at colleges?  It blows my mind.

But what doesn’t wierd me out is how beautiful you have turned out to be. You have blossomed and bloomed into a graceful young woman.  Your sarcasm (yes, it is possible be graceful and sarcastic at the same time!) and sense of humor are hillarious and your joy is catching.

Jesus has such a great plan for your life.  He loves you so much and wants your greatest happiness.  Continue to keep him at the center of all you do.  He will never let you down.

And someday, promise me, when Tess is sixteen, you will wish her a happy birthday and tell her it makes you feel old. Cross your heart.  Do it!!

Love ya, Chelsey!