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Andrew's tenth birthday poem:

Andrew Is Ten

Did I ever conceive that this time would arrive?
'Cause ten ain't like zero, and it sure ain't like five
In fact I think there’s more distance between ten and nine
Than three hundred sixty five days in a line

Well, let's crank it up! let's start the house rockin’!
Andrew is ten - let me just say "wow" - he's knockin’
on the threshhold of teenhood, double digits you say?
Well, my first reaction is to say "no way"

But it's true, look at you - what are you now, five foot two?
No, probably more, maybe you're five foot four
I've lost track, all I know is our wrestling matches
Used to be quite simple, they suited me to a tee
We'd line up, you'd say go, then I would pin thee
with nary an effort, not a sweat I'd be breakin'
Well, guess what, I'm in for a rude awaken
Now I face an opponent of formidable size
And prior to combat, I find that it's wise
to stock up on carbos, vitamins and sweat towels
Because I know I am in for a battle royale

I watch as you roam in the land of the giants
And stare at the defender with ice-cool defiance
The Steelers are glad to have you on their side
As you open a hole, deep and wide
Football has always been a deep love
of yours, and last year the Steelers rose far above
The rest of the pack, undefeated, on a roll
You team came, saw, and conquered at the SuperBowl

And imagine our thrill with your coaches' acclaim
As we saw an All Star written there by your name
Well, truth be told, we already knew
For ten years we have seen the All Star in you

I'm watching my boy growing up before me
And I wonder, in your mind, what do you see
yourself being as you enter these important years
Full of their own triumphs, joys and tears?
I imagine that you imagine yourself (figuratively)
As a young man possessing Jedi proclivities
A young Obi-Wan, with lightsabre skilled
With courage, adventure, and nobility filled

Let me say to you Andrew no greater wish have I
than to be there beside you as you learn to fly
To help and to guide, and try to train you aright
That you may with honorable skill enter the fight

For we fight not against flesh and blood, no our strife
is with powers of darkness who desire your life
Even so, in this battle our Savior's at hand
To defeat our dark foes and give us the land

So Andrew, my beloved young Padawan
I would like, if you'll have me, to be your Qui-Gon
For there's no other young Jedi that I would choose
To be with, to laugh with, and when we win and when we lose
We'll be there together - as we perform this task
of growing up, we have more than some Force to ask
For help and strength, no we don't trust a Force
We trust in the Lord our God to chart the course

So enjoy this time, a time of ten year old wonder
And know though the days be clear sun or dark thunder
That I am so very proud of you, son
And if I could pick there'd be no other one
To take on the role of firstborn, though the going’s sometimes tough,
You the man, awesome Andrew, because you're tough enough
To be loving big brother, with strong, gentle hands
to Molly and Bethany, and, of course, Blakey-man

May this year be a blessing, and a time of growing
A time of joy, and a time of knowing
How loved you are, and how loved you will be
Always and forever, as far as you can see

Love, Daddy

September 23, 1999