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Blake's five year old poem:

Blake Is Five

Five years old - Blake my little guy
It's hard to believe how the years can fly
But here you are, one glorious bundle
Of energy and smiles, rough and tumble
Imagination, fun, and goodness - and now
Five years old, all I can say is "wow!"

I won't forget the fun we had the day you turned five and I said "yes please,
I'd love to celebrate my birthday at Chuck-E-Cheese"
'Cause it's always a party when you are around
And it was so fun to hear the sound
Of you and your little friends having a blast
I'll be sad when these Chuck-E-Cheese birthdays are past
To be sure I think you, and a token-filled cup
are funner than any grownup party we could think up
I'm glad that we birthday together, you and I
Because you are my absolute favorite little guy

You are such a gift! My little friend
The perfect fourth child, placed at the end
Of the line of our children (at least we think we're done)
We couldn't have picked a better fourth, little son
Compliant and cheerful, witty and fun
And hardy too when dealing with son number one
Though Andrew must be a colossus in your view
Still bravely you play with him, though it is true
That at times you get whacked and tossed about
You're a tough little cookie, there is no doubt

On the soccer field, well let us just say
On your little team you led the way
I'll always remember the thrilled smile on your face
When you scored your first goal after a field-long race
It was just a taste - you were amazing and everyone knew
If they wanted a score, just get the ball to you
How you flew down that field, ball dribbling before ya
He shoots! He scores! You made the fans adore ya
You were so good, the team's star - that's right
Your athletic future is looking quite bright
T-ball was another fun adventure
Running the bases, sometimes in the wrong order
But that's OK - you had lots of fun
Hitting and pitching and scoring your runs
Though we admit that when the games were done
We weren't quite sure which team had won!

You remain a true friend to your little pals
They are nearly like brothers
Joey and Donald and Caleb and others
Yet girls continue to catch your eye
And your face will still light with a grin so shy
At the mention of some of the cute little babes
That populate your world at church or school
Though you'd rather hang with your buds as a rule
Sometimes a flirtatious maid pays you a call
And I get the feeling you don't mind that at all

And you also had a furry friend, but you know what?
I have no idea what's happened to Buddy the mutt!
He was a good little pup, now where did he go?
Dognapped! That's my theory, though we'll never know
What he lacked in loyalty he made up in play
And you two were friends, so it was indeed a sad day
When he didn't return - we hope he's OK
I'm thinking the 4th of July scared him away
Though it took him a week or two to plan his escape
He finally got his act together
(that faithless canine, our friend in fair-weather)
I think that little hamburger stealer went for a drive
With the neighbor's crazy lady-friend up I-45

Speaking of fireworks you are still a bit wary
And I will admit that it can be scary
When I'm the one that's lighting the fuses
I'm not surprised when my Blake-man refuses
To stand outside -
Surely there's some early recollections
     of my yelling "Hit the dirt"
Missiles flying in all directions
And though - thank goodness - no one got hurt
These are memories I'm sure you'd like to forget,
You are trying, but they remain with you yet
I've got a bad rep, though well deserved
Of causing my family to become unnerved

Our play times are now more fun than ever
When (pretending, thank goodness) you generally sever
My head from my body, with bright sword and keen eye
You see, you are Strider, and I'm a "bad guy"
And the good guys always win - well, I wish that were true
But I'm glad that's how it is in the world of you
Whether sword fighting my brave little boy
Or teamed up as superheroes - it's just a joy
As Spiderman (you) and Batman (me)
Beat up the bad guys (pillows)
To save Bethany
Or at times I'm the bad guy yet again
The Green Goblin, Blanket Monster, or one of their kin
And you get that glint of battle in your eye
And I know that - very soon - I am going to die!

Christmas in Nebraska this year was just great
Even though it was without snow I'd have to rate
It among the very best, getting to share
Time with great grandma Shirley - she loved having you there
As you would sit quietly on her lap
     Taking good care
To be the sweetest little guy possible
     You were so cute
And chasing pheasants was a hoot
At Larry Mike's, as round and round we ran
Stalking our prey, nets in hand
It took you a few tries to get the hang
But eventually you were as dead-eye as the rest of the gang
Nowhere else but Nebraska could you do such a thing

So as you go into year five, little Blake
Know that we love you so much -
and here's a truth you can take
With you always
God loves you too - and He fights for you
He is with you ever, a Friend so true
He's stronger than Superman, braver than Strider
His love for you goes far deeper and wider
And higher than the stars
Seen through your wide brown eyes
He's your true Super Hero who fights the bad guys
And He always wins, so don't ever fear
When you're all alone, He will be here
And He'll give you a sword that never will break
And all the power you need to win, dearest Blake
So I wish you a great year five, my son
May if be full of blessings, and joys, and fun
I love you so much, and you're mommy does too
And Andrew, Molly and Beth think the world of you
You're our favorite five year old, for goodness sake!
Here's to a great year!

          Happy Birthday Blake!

          Love, Dad
          January 25, 2003