I’m not sure my daughter-in-law liked me when she first met me. I’m not sure she even liked my son when she first met him.
But when she met me, I was chair of the department she was a majoring in and she was taking a senior seminar that was, let’s face it, designed to be a little intimidating.
I’m not sure she said a word the whole semester. I asked a lot of questions about where students were going and who they were. I’m not sure she knew.
Soon after, however, she started showing up at the house, having dinner, laughing, and arguing with my other sons like she was part of the family.
And now she is.
I’m glad she is no longer intimidated. And I’m glad she is Christian’s wife of 9 years, the mother of two beautiful daughters, Tabby, 5, and Sarina, 1.
This is a woman who has learned a lot. She approached marriage with some uncertainty but has learned to cook, clean, show hospitality and raise daughters.
She started a business, learned to wait and listen, and just hosted over 100 people at a donut party. And she made the donuts.
OK, maybe I’m being generous about the cleaning part. But she is fully engaged in the business of being a wife and mom. And her joy and confidence grow daily.
She is smart, sensitive and sacrificial. She is honest and earnest. And she is also a lot more eager to learn than when she was in my class. But then, the stakes are higher. She’s not just building a career. She is building a life,
So today, on her birthday, I salute her. Ann Metts is older and wiser. And our family is richer for the joy she brings us. She asks good questions and makes thoughtful observations, all I would ever have wanted from a student.
But she has turned out to be dramatic and funny, too: Anna Banana, at the church children’s program; Ann, a source of joy everywhere else. And you should see her daughters dance.
Being a daughter-in-law is a tough job. But it’s good preparation for a life well lived. There are always adjustments to be made, traditions to be learned and vocabularies to be translated.
They are moving to Seattle next week, a long way from home, or at least our home. There will be more to learn, to adjust to, and to figure out. They will build traditions of their own. They will have their own stories and their own jokes. And love will grow.
That’s because Ann is ready and able for new challenges. Including another year.
So happy birthday, Ann.
Thank you for loving our son and respecting his gifts.
Katie and I certainly love you and respect yours, even though I couldn’t count them all here.
This is part of my birthday project this year, a post for everyone in the family. For others in this series see:
three birthday wishes for Christian, son
So here’s to Katie, wife
be that guy, me