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Bethany's one year old poem:

Sweetness, Spunk, and Patience

Bethany, my Beth-Beth
Sweetness, Spunk, and Patience

Holding your own, playing with Molly
Serious, mesmerized with the toys
     then laughing and jolly

Sleeping so soundly from evening till morning
Patiently waiting, no wailing or warning
     when you're hungry or need loving
As if to say "What the heck
Pretty soon Mommy or Daddy will check"

But don't get me wrong,
She can stand her own ground
She has to with two boisterous
     siblings around
Yes there have been times
     I've seen a rare temper flair
and then, beware!

And she loves to be very close to the action
As a sky-diving Andrew misses her head
     by a fraction
Dancing and clapping
     twirling around
Yes, "Hakuna Matata" has a nice sound

Sweetly, patiently seated in her high chair perch
She enjoys her baba and cereal,
     but after a while
She's apt to want down, so that she can search
     for delicacies waiting on the kitchen floor tile!
Oh Oh Oh! Bethany! Wait a sec, what's that there?
     On the way to your mouth
     a rug dwelling raisin?
     a stale Cheerio?
     a nickle or dime?
     it makes my heart stop, don't you know!

But it's just because you have a need
to examine and explore
things at your level
(which just happens to be the floor)

Crayons are a fine delicacy
and who needs lipstick?
any young girl can see
That an orange magic marker
Works like a charm and does no harm
As she prances into the family room
Her bright orange lips proudly smiling
as if to say (if she were able)
     "Oh Daddy, don't worry!
     it says "non-toxic" right here on the label!"

But that's Bethany, our darling little one

What a year you've had
You've done so many things - and fast!
Standing and walking
before ten months were past

You foretold how it would be
On the day of Mommy's maternity
You came out almost before we
     got to the ward
They asked Mommy - "are you sure you're in labor?"
"I suppose I am," she replied, "it hurts a tad."
The nurse did a check, and her eyes got wide
     and before I know it - I'm a Dad - for the third time
And the third time's a charm

We love you, dearest
I hope that you know
That come thunder and lighting
     heat or snow
We're here for you - to give you our best
To help you enjoy life with brightness and zest
And to help you become
     the special creation of God
that you are meant to be

Take it from me - my life would be less than complete
without you toddling around at my feet
So Happy Happy Birthday my love
I hope it's a great day, with joy and laughter
     all for you
And I look forward to the year coming after
     As you travel toward two
In your ever patient, sweet, and spunky way...

I so very much Love you!

          Love,

          Daddy
          August 6, 1994