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Bethany's three year old poem:

Happy to be Three

Your first year was a patient one
        quiet and serene
You were the most compliant child
        I think I've ever seen

The second year the switch was flipped
Land sakes alive and holy cow!
Our "Patience" was gone with the wind
A whirlwind you were now

Still, every little season of you
has been so special to me
As I watch you grow and I watch you change
Through the entire spectrum of the
        personality range

It has me thinking, smile on my lips
of your third year, just past
        it sure went by fast
And now I can see this this was the year
        that you came into your own
                personality

I look at you - my how you've grown
And I think you are so sweet
from your long brown hair
to your pitter-patter feet

I love your cute laugh as you tell a tale
of Pooh Bear locked up in a cowboy jail
Or something funny Andrew's doin'
or of Molly's drawing that you did ruin

Funny, funny, sweet as Pooh bear honey, are you
and so sly and coy too
When you see I have intentions
        to plant a kiss on you
As the couch becomes our round-about
Hard to get, my little girl giggles
your high pitched squeals and laughter sounds-about
the house as I kiss your cheek amid the wiggles

"I do it myself" - that's your motto
You can buckle your sandles without a lott-o
        delay these days
And you button your dress
with a smile on your face
        that's a joyful popsicle mess
And flash those eyes - are they green? blue?
Well - it depends on what you're wearing
        dress, hose, shoe

And did I mention big girl undies?
        Cinderella, Nala
All of a sudden - viola!
        the diapers they are gone
So as you chase through the fun days
now the potty you can sit upon
And most times, and most ways
your tinkle stays
        off the floor, the carpet, our shoes
Good for you, sweetheart!
        because we've paid our dues
in this area through the years

It fills me with joy to know that
        happiness is yours
You know how to have fun
        this much is sure

And no matter what you are being
        my ballerina
        or comedienne,
        Olympic gymnast
                in a stuck-landing stand
        My song-singer
                "let me be your wings"
        How well my little girl sings!
And my sweet ni-ni time book reader
or our early morning
        drowsy-frowsy-talk-to-Mommy-and-Daddy girl
Later - my squealing with glee
        "Play tag hide and seek with me!" maiden
Made in Heaven.

My heart is always stayed on you
and the things you do make me so proud
        be they quiet or loud

You are our precious little gift from the Lord
because He wanted to make sure that
        we would never be bored
And - as always - He did it just right
So as you have fun at your Birthday tonight

I must confess
        I am so very blessed
to be the daddy of one
        so sweet, and so fun,
        so beautiful as you are

So - whether near or far
        sunrise and sunset
Whether you're happy and lively
        or if your feeling upset
No matter what - this blessing to you I send
That my love for you
        will never, ever end

And I wouldn't trade the stars in the sky
        for that sparkle in your eye
nor the kingdoms of this world
        for your bright little smile
        And your cute, unique style
        For you are my favorite little three year old girl

                        I love you

                                                 Daddy
                                August 2, 1996