A few weekends ago, I attended Chelsie's graduation from NAU. She is entering the honorable field of teaching. I've known Chelsie since she was 12 years old. She was a cute, naive little girl who always wanted to tag along with her older brothers, much to their dismay. I've watched her grow into a very beautiful young lady. But it's still hard for me to remember that she's not the cute, naive little girl anymore. She's a grown woman who actually holds a college degree, has lived on her own, and has dated more boys than I have appendages. I still tease her mercilessly, which I'll need to put a kibosh on, since she'll soon be making more of a positive difference in the world than I currently do, and that deserves respect. Teasing, regrettably, is my way of saying I like you.
Last Thanksgiving, Chelsie phoned all of her siblings and their spouses and asked them each to write a letter to whomever they had picked for Christmas (we each pick names instead of buying presents for all 9 adults). The letter was to be about why we are thankful for that individual. We all laughed with each other about how Chelsie was trying to shake things up. Chelsie had the best of intentions, but we still took this as an opportunity to tease her. Being the youngest, non-married Draney, she really has to fight to be heard and taken seriously. So, her plan backfired; we all ended up writing a letter to Chelsie. Chelsie got 8 letters read to her on Thanksgiving about why we are thankful to her. Here's the poem I wrote to her:
I’m thankful for Chelsie for so many reasons
To write them all would take 7 ½ seasons
From her radiant smile to her fantastic hair
From her helpfulness to the clothes that she wears
I value her opinion; she always tells the truth
I hope she has a daughter, but doesn’t name her Ruth
I’m thankful for Chelsie and all that she does
She is the 2nd best sister in law there ever was (can you guess whose the 1st?)
She has a flair about her; a great disposition
Engaged like 17 times and almost served a mission
Youngest of five, first one to finish school
Too bad in Flagstaff you can’t use your pool
We love you, We love you, We love dear Chels
Please next time let’s do something else
Sorry Chels, maybe next year we'll try it again.
FYI - I'm currently accepting dating applications for her. If you or anyone you know loves to laugh, have fun, and has a strong testimony, please submit your photo and cover letter, along with a list your most redeeming qualities, 3 references, and the name of your last girlfriend. You must be taller than her, moderately attractive, and have nice teeth. Remember, she's the baby of the family, so you'll be dealing with 4 older siblings, 3 of whom are very protective brothers. Shy applicants need not apply.