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Bethany's six year old poem:

Bethany is Six

Six years old my Bethany is
Six years gone, can it be? Gee whiz
That sweet patient baby, that persistent toddler
with a marker in one hand, in the other a bottle - her
marker-face makeup a dazzling sight!
But we always knew she was growing up right
Through years three and then four, bring on five and now look
year six here we go - weíre opening the book
And an adventure it is sure to be, for is there such
a six year old as my Bethany who I love so much?
Full of such vim and vigor - hey, what is "vim" anyway?
Well, letís see what Websters has to say
"robust energy and enthusiasm" - little girl that is you
And you show it in everything that you do

Bethany, my sweet, you are on the ball
Youíve been that way ever since you were small
Street-wise, with mucho mas common sense,
and oodles and boodles of personality immense
You know where youíre at, you know where your going
And whenever we chat, I can tell that youíre knowing
whatís up, and then those creative juices are flowing
and a yarn you are spinning
As I look into those winning
green eyes and bright smile
- gapped still, though itís been awhile
since you hit the hard floor
tumbling out the van door -
neíertheless I can tell, through the giggles and wiggles
in each rhyme and kid-joke
That youíve got one over on your dad, poor old bloke

You flew through kindergarten, just as we knew
that you would, and your color changes were few
In fact "obedience" was the trait you displayed
obeying Mrs. Silver as you learned and you played
And play you did! You and your little friends
Ďtending and fore-tending and pre-tending no end
With Barbies coming out of our proverbial ears
Barbies in every conceivable get-up
pursuing every conceivable career
Thereís surfer Barbie, and shopping Barbie,
And, for all I know, thereís share-cropping Barbie
Alongside your babies that pee, sneeze and shiver
You, little girl, have become quite the care-giver

Snug in your room - mommy surely came through
In devotedly choosing new bedding for you
And upgrading your wall paint in such pretty yellow
Though she got no help from the resident old fellow
Thatíd be me - but I leave the creating to her
I knew sheíd do great - of that I was sure

Each year I ponder as this time rolls around
The time that has just passed us by, and Iíve found
That each year I grow prouder of you, and I see
That youíre growing up into the young lady youíll be

In soccer you proved that you had, once more
All the moves and grooves and drive you were neediní
To show those boys a thing or two, or four
And leave them in your wake, bruised and bleediní

Just kidding - youíre not the violent sort
But they learned not to underestimate a girl who, although short
in stature, was long in determination
You are Bethany Roberts, YMCA sensation

A girl who loves to have some good fun
whether it be playing freeze tag, or a good sprinkler run
A girl who loves the thrill of the chase
Though each year you speed up, while Iím slowing in pace
So I ask that you promise me this, just in case
If ever I canít catch you, can I still kiss your sweet face?

And listen to your stories, your rhymes and your wit
Though the volumeís sometimes loud, I donít mind one bit
Youíre my sweetheart, dear Beth Beth
my little sweet-pea
And Iím loving just watching you become what youíll be
I see you take steps towards the Lord in sweet prayer
And I can tell that Jesus your heart will prepare
For His lifelong home, to sit on the throne
Of your life as you learn to invite Him in there

So these are my thoughts toward you,
though in frail verse expressed,
I hope they convey to you
How completely I have been blessed

To have a daughter as wonderful as you
Who I love as deep as the ocean is blue
Oh Bethany my beauty, my sweet little miss
Happy birthday to you!
(chase, catch, hug and kiss!)

I love you
August 11, 1999