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Bethany's eight year old poem:

Bethany Is Eight

Bethany, my growing up girl
So streetwise and so cool – in tune with her world
But sweet and loving too,
A great friend and so fun

I love listening to you tell your stories
Quite long they can be, but you have
The author’s knack
For spinning a tale
And though it’s tempting to want to go back
And check your facts
You never fail
To keep me just on the edge
of credulity
You draw me in – until I see
That twinkle in your eye
Or the mischievous turn of your smile
And realize, all the while
You’ve been pulling one over on daddy
But always all in fun

Speaking of fun, how about those cheers you led
With your Steeler pom-poms, as your coach said
You have a heart of gold
And – truth be told
A set of lungs to match
It was nice seeing you get your chance
You were a natural
For two whole years you had admired the girls
Who cheered Andrew’s team on to victories and
Championships
And now with your chance finally come
You made the most of it, my spunky one
Introducing yourself with a cartwheel, nicely done
Moving your feet
and dancing to the funky beat
Of your halftime show
On the Astroturf of Pridgeon stadium
In the Big Game – as you and your cohorts said
“Show’s over – Later!”
To the opposing team
Not trying to be mean
But just stating a fact
They were gonna get tackled, run over and sacked
By the big boys of Millsap (and CCCS)
Who were cheered on to sweet victory
By the girls in gold and black

And – as always – your determination came through
In the athletic arena – swim team was cool
And just watching the true heart of you
As you play your games
never ceases to amaze
Fractured collarbone? No worries –
You endured that sling for what, 3 ½ days?
Then back into the pool in a blur and a flurry
Of backstrokes and breaststrokes and butterflies in a hurry
You were determined to do it
And do it you did
I just knew it
Would be no problem for you
For you are made of sterner stuff
Both sweet and tough
All at the same time
Like reason and rhyme, all fitting together
My sweet little persevering champion

But still a little girl
Barbies continue to hold your attention
We’ve got so many of them
I believe we could hold our own
Barbie Convention
It would set the style
Just like the “Bethany Cut”
Which – I believe all this while
Has been sweeping the globe
It’s so cute – and so you – framing your pretty face
And beautiful green eyes

I love to watch your musical growth
On piano, as you work through your lessons
While I’m trying to help and answer your questions
Though at times you appear somewhat skeptical
That your dad really knows what he’s saying
So we’ll get in a heavy debate
Should you be playing in G position, or C or what?
At times you can be stubborn – a hard nut
To crack
But I’m glad that you have no lack
Of ability to take a stand for what you think is right
That ability will come in handy
For the larger fight
That this life can be at times
When all the world’s reasons and rhymes
Go against what you know to be God’s way for you
So I pray that you’ll stand, both tender and strong
In the truth that you know so deep
To say yes to right
To say no to wrong
That always and ever His word you will keep
Precious and stored up in your heart

It’s a joy to see you growing up, dear
As the days and weeks turn to months and years
And to know that God has His hand on your life

So happy, happy birthday
May this next year be awesome
And even on the days when life’s not so grand
On hard days when the troubles of life seem to steal
your joy
Know that God is with you
And – as for me –
Know that I am head over heels
In love with you
My sweet little Bethany

You fill my heart with music

Love,
Daddy
September 3, 2001