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Andrew's eighth birthday poem:

Andrew is Eight

Andrew - my eight year old
no longer a little boy - truth be told
you are growing up
In so many ways, as we pass the days

You have grown in Wisdom -
your mind just doesn't quit
No stone remains unturned
as you strive to understand it
Science still seems your strength
And you will examine all the breadth and length
of any subject under the sun
and some in outer space - what fun!

What other kid can name the destination
of almost every Apollo spacecraft launched by our nation?
Tranquility Base, and, of course, Fra Mora
lunar wide open spaces
the Sea of Storms, and Hadley Rille too
to name a few really cool places

You've grown in Stature -
As taller and taller you stand
And formidable indeed
with light saber in hand
There's those little details
A Nike backpack has replaced the jungle one
You've got a wallet now to safeguard your mon
Your books are thicker, your shoes, they're bigger
Stuff that you used to think so cool
Seems babyish now - you're no fool
Gerbert's no longer what's happnin'
As you rock-out to Steven Curtis Chapman
You've got a camera now, clickin' away
Takin' party pics on your own birthday
We've dumped the TV
(you hope temporarily)
But that's no problem for you I'd say
you've always got an epic movie
playing in your head anyway
as you walk around a corner and get
suddenly attacked by imperial storm
troopers
commanding "Freeze, Rebel Scum!"
Not falling for that, you take them out
( a one man Rugby Scrum)
Or you dive to avoid a confederate sniper
it sends you running for cover
joyfully hyper

I hear you talk just like I do,
and it does make me cringe some times
And I think ruefully, "isn't it nice
to hear Andrew say 'that stinks on ice'"
It's just like I predicted it would be
As I look at you, a "miniature me"

It's hard to believe that you are nearing
that pre-adolescence that we have been fearing
How long will it be till those
chases on the playground between boy and girl
Get a little more serious - perhaps it won't be
the worst thing in the world to you anymore
It will be nothing major
if some little maiden is "addicted to you" then, I'd wager

Andrew, you are a lot of fun to be around
And I love to hear the sound
of "Daddy, Daddy!" as I come in the door
And I brace for the impact
to keep from bowling over onto the floor

And on your birthday, as I do every year
I offer a prayer for you - that you'll let God steer
you in the right direction - closer and closer to Him
That you'll continue to grow in Spiritual Wisdom
(and that's the best kind)
You decided this year to make sure
(and plant it firmly in your mind)
of your salvation, as you came to the realization
That Jesus died for your sins too
And your sins put Him on the cross
Just like mine

I love seeing you lead your sisters
as you explain to them God's plan
in ways that they can understand
And I pray that you will continue in Him
And let Him lead you too
And as you go through year eight, you'll participate
in His plan for you
As He continues forming you into
the man that you'll someday be
And filling that imagination of yours
with the dreams He wants you to see
So, Happy Birthday, my little big guy
You're my favorite fellow, the apple of my eye.

I love you

Daddy
September 11, 1997