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Blake's ten year old poem:

Blake Is Ten

Each year that goes by
You get to be that much more fun
Whether we're shooting hoops,
Or you're singing songs
Or kicking a soccer ball on the run
I know it's been said before
But you are the perfect fourth child
And I love all your personality's parts
laughter, sports, that streak of wild,
charm, charisma, comedy and smarts
Everybody loves you, for, yes indeed, you are a joy
A joy to your teachers, your buddies, your siblings, your mom
and to me. Happy birthday, my ten year old boy.

You are a smart little guy
I sometimes wonder how high
Your knowledge of sports will climb
it's certainly gone far beyond mine
Name a sport, name a team,
go ahead - just pick one at random
Chances are Blake will know their record
Their tendencies, strengths
Their best scoring tandem
March madness approaches soon,
Intense games, buzzer beaters, and crowds making a racket
And I know, Blake, you will totally be glued
You'll have a bracket
and I know that you'll track it
Against what happens on the court
Just imagine the excitement
We'll revel in each win and
Should a favorite team lose, Oh the humanity!
For you can emote with the best of them
In the face of sports calamity

Then there's soccer - wow - it just keeps on rolling
The game's gotten faster, tougher,
But you keep on scoring
And working that magic out on the field
You are definitely the real deal
We hope the game is always fun for you
It's fun for us! True dat, double true.

I remember in particular the TYSA tournament
Down a player, five on six,
against a team that dominated everyone
And, just for kicks,
their coach said they would "steamroll" us
"We'll see," thought I. I had no fear
And, sure enough, you scored perhaps the best goal of the year
Threading the needle, hard to the corner of the net
That's one that coach won't soon forget
We got out of there with a tie,
And it was perhaps the most satisfying game yet

Next came the Vipers
Again, we had no subs - it was rough!
You guys ran until you could barely stand, such troopers
But you played on, you played tough,
And when the Fury lost on penalty kicks, it was no loss to me
I was so proud of you, just as proud as can be.

Because you never gave up,
You never gave in
And, to me, regardless of the score
That counts as a win
Though others might think
Your team doesn't have what it takes
Just do a little steamrolling of your own
And they'll soon learn their mistakes

Are these games important?
After all, they're just games
And I hope they are fun for you
Whether we lose, or kick rear
and take names
But, even beyond the sport, in one way they matter a lot
Because they help you see what's deep inside
To see what it is you've got
And what I see in you is good.
You are coachable, humble, and unselfish with the ball
A team player, with a well-placed pass,
to spread the scoring around to all
God has gifted you in this way
And given you an awesome sport to play
I believe He's got a plan that goes beyond what we can see
Because everything, all of life,
He uses to show you His way

I remember when we finally won a tournament
Against a team whose coach
Didn't even know each player's name
He just stacked a team to try to get a win
But we don't share that coach's shame
Not the Fury, you are brothers together
And together you fall or take the land
And it was so good to see the Fury
Number one on the victory stand

And just like a coach who shows you
how to kick the ball into the goal
The Lord is training you up to be His kind of player
and to love him with all your heart and all your soul
And this I can guarantee you
Your heavenly Coach knows your name
He knows everything about you
And he's put you in the game
To shine for Him, to play your heart out
Because His love for you is never in doubt

I had the joy and privilege of baptising you this year
To lower and raise you up from waters clean and clear
And - just like the celebration after a goal
Baptism is a celebration of victory for a soul
Just as the Lord burst forth from the tomb
And all creation sang as never before
You made public what Jesus had won in your heart
Years before, there was added to the score
One Blake for Jesus, and nothing for the evil one, forevermore
And His is a victory beyond anything a sports team can know
Because He allows us to be His children,
Though we're undeserving, He loves us so.

And I love you so! Happy birthday my friend
Congratulations! For now you are ten
I'm so proud of you, my son
May this year be one of happiness, and joy,
and lots and lots of fun!

Love

Dad
February 28, 2008