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Bethany's nine year old poem:

Bethany Is Nine

Bethany
Nine years old now
my laughing princess
My wonderful daughter - how
I wish I could find the words
Needed to express how special and
Beloved you are to me
And how awesome you are - for I can see
You are a beautiful little girl
With your head on just right
With glowing green eyes
And a keen insight
Into all that is around you
With common sense and confidence
And - something I lack
Great spatial orientation
A sense of direction
Inherited from mom, no doubt
You always know where you are
And what it's all about

You have some vocal chords
Of amazing power
Any time, at any hour
You can raise the roof - you are a sweet riot
Even when we're telling you it's time to be quiet
Yes, you're volume control is set to eleven
My cute little megaphone gift from heaven

And you've got such a friendly heart
You continue to do so well
And even to excel
At making friends, and at making those
Who aren't so sure, who are new
To feel welcome, cause they can hang out with you
And with you as the ringleader
Organizing, setting the tone
(oh how you have grown
into quite the fun-facilitator)
Yes, a party is always spontaneously thrown
When Beth is around

And you continue in your sports-chick mode
This year in sports you really showed
That you have athletic ability to spare
This was your year in the swim-team
As through the water you would tear
At a fast pace,
Ranking in high place
You now knew the ropes
Your collarbone was strong
We knew that you couldn't go wrong
The refrigerator covered with ribbons
Proves that you did awesome
Every year it seems you continue to blossom

In basketball you played amazing D
And your offence was also none to shabby
As you led the team (in my opinion) as the MVP
Stealing the ball at the top of the key
Driving the lane with a full head of steam
Causing much pain to the other team
You made your coach so proud
Her husband thought you were pretty cool too
A regular fan club you had going before you were through
Because of course Mom was your coach
And her husband was me on the sidelines, cheering for you

My little Zoe Girl
And we know that "Zoe" means "life"
And that's something you have plenty of
There is absolutely nothing about you that's plain
Whether giving us a one-girl interpretive drama and dance show
Or singing at the top of your lungs
Songs unknown, and songs we know
And even songs you write yourself
You are top-shelf, sweetie
And I look forward to your next little dittie
As always, full of deep sentiment and worship to God
It makes me so proud to hear you
Make melody in your heart to the Lord
Whether with piano or voice
Or both - it's your choice
Just keep singing and playing, little doll
It seems that you can do it all
Because to add to this, you're becoming an author
Writing your stories, chapter by chapter
Of the travails and triumphs of fourth grade girls
I believe someday your stories will thrill the world!

I love to get hugs and cheek-kisses from you
Given more frequently now than you used to do
In fact there's only one thing that will make you
As un-cuddly as a cactus
And that's when you know I'm heading to band practice
If you had your way, well, you'd make short work
Of that situation - band would be something I'd shirk
To spend more time with my sons and daughters
The water I'm in is hot, and you're turning it up hotter!

I know you'll keep trying, and that's one thing
That I love about you - the way that you
Are consistently persistent
And persistently consistent in what you believe
You make a strong stand, giving up is not in you
And I believe that you will always achieve
What you set out to do
With the wonderful Lord giving you strength
Because I know that there is no depth, no length
Deeper or longer than His love for you, and his care
For Bethany Roberts, sweet and fair
My beloved daughter who now is nine
Growing up, in control and doing fine
You've filled my life with fun
With music and sweet kisses
With stories and jokes
my intelligent little missis
So, for a birthday blessing I want to say
That I love you, darling, forever and a day

Happy Birthday!

Love,
Daddy
September 10, 2002