Saturday, April 18, 2015

My Better-Than-Me Daughter

When I was 35, my then husband and I decided we wanted another child. We were very nervous about the decision because our previous child had been born with Down syndrome and clubbed feet, so we were afraid that our next child wouldn’t be healthy. However, we decided to go ahead.

The very healthy baby we were blessed with was a girl. Oh, what a change from having those two previous boys! Now I had someone to dress up, play with, and do things I knew how to do. I planned that we would have fun doing all those “girlie” things. I sewed her many outfits and I even learned to smock so I could make her those precious dresses. She was a doll with bright blue eyes and a quick smile. I knew she had so much promise and prayed that I would be able to guide her in the right direction.

Her dad sometimes would say about the way I was parenting Kelsey: “You are just raising another Pam.” Maybe I was a bit egotistical, but I thought that wasn’t such a bad thing to do. I was educated, caring, faithful, a hard worker, etc. I know I have many faults, but having another educated, caring, faithful and hard-working woman in the world didn’t seem to be such a bad thing to me.

All of that happened 21 years ago. During those 21 years, I have watched this person go from a little girl who could capture your heart with her smile to a young lady who can do the same. She is caring toward others and faithful to her Lord. She shows this often in her work with young people, with people with disabilities, and with her volunteering with her church and with Young Life. Kelsey’s dedication to her studies is about to pay off on May 2 when she graduates cum laude from the University of Florida with a BHS in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I couldn’t be more proud of her for everything she has accomplished.

Recently, she has made me the proudest when I watch her make the drive from Gainesville to Tallahassee to help her family. With her stepdad’s recent illness and hospitalizations, she has taken it upon herself to give up her last spring break and many other fun events during her last semester of college to come home almost every week to help.

I don’t know where Kelsey will go after she graduates. Neither does she, but I know that she will figure it out and go where she is supposed to go. Her path is set to continue being kind, caring, helpful, and faithful.

And her dad’s prediction didn’t come true. I didn’t raise another Pam; I raised a much better person – Kelsey.