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Molly's twelve year old poem:

Molly is Twelve

I look at this young lady
And I wonder how she's grown so fast
Not so long ago a baby
Then a toddler walking
            And talking, oh my! She was talking!
            (Not that we could really understand)
Then a schoolgirl skipping along
            Holding daddy's hand

Once I could hold you in one hand
No longer, but even so
You still bless your dad with a hug
And a kiss on the cheek so I will know
That you're still my little sweetie

Yes, I remember your childhood, my fun-loving girl
With the sweetest smile, and sparkling eyes
Lighting up my world
And I look at you now
And I can see

That inside you're still the same girl
And your smile still brightens my heart
You are twelve years old, in junior high
Now on the brink of your teen years
And though, as a dad
            I have some rather keen fears
About the perilous land of teen-dom
I know the King, and He rules in His Kingdom
And He will protect and keep
My precious daughter
Who I'm confident will hold on to
            What we have taught her
As you move on to
The next stages
            and turn yet more pages
In your life
And I'm sure that you'll teach us a thing or two, too

In fact, I'm learning some things now I never, ever knew
Like how a seventh grade girl starts to think of cosmetics
And hair-care products
            Makes her dad a bit frenetic
Because I can see you are so beautiful
            just the way you are
But I'm learning that you deeply, deeply care
About your long beautiful hair
Which I'm glad to say you inherited from your mother
To be honest, I'm just as happy With it pulled up in a pony tail as we play another
Game of hoops out in the front yard.
Now wait a minute, is this some straightener
            you have applied?
Well, that's fine too
Though I nearly cried
When I saw the name of the product
            I was a bit dazed
"Straight and . . . Sexy?!"
Is your mom crazed?

A twelve year old girl can
Talk for days on the phone
But that's totally normal
And I can even condone
The fact that you will sometimes swoon
At the very mention of Orlando Bloom
Or say the word "like" a thousand times or more
When you're, like, telling a story
About, like, buying shoes at the store
You know I, like, think that's pretty cool
And I'm glad that you, like, like your school

In fact the transition to Arnold was very smooth sailing
You have friends, you have fun, you're the opposite of failing
In fact you made A's in just about everything
            From Art to History
And it's been so cool to have you
In the Student ministry
You're the perfect little greeter in 249
You handled the change from KidZone just fine

Rock The Mic was tiz-izzle tight
As you and your 249 homies
            rocked it night after night
Camp was so fun and it was so fine
When you and I got to ride the zip-line
Camp was all mud-dives and waterslides
And hip-hop attire
And awesome worship
That set our hearts on fire

And can I mention your mad skills
At singing and keyboards?
Music is in you without a doubt
As in your room you belt it out
And you've retained your sporty streak
My awesome awesome athlete!
Now that is definitely another
Way you take after your mother
And I love the way you always strive
            and push for your best
And that's so wise
For God will take care of the rest

More than anything, though
I want you to know
That you are deeply loved by your mom and dad
And your brothers and sister
And, most importantly, by the Lord
Who is love Himself
And Who gave Himself for you
And though I know this gets said
Over and over, it can never be said enough
He and we will always be there
In the good times and when times get tough

And so as you start your middle year of Middle School
And you - whether I like it or not -
            Follow that changeless rule
Of life, in other words, you continue growing up
May your heart and mind be set on things above
Despite all the distractions this world has to offer
So that you will never leave your first Love
Because, despite our desire to protect and shelter
God has a wide world out there
Into which you'll soon venture

And though you may feel like just a young girl
There's a Power in you that has conquered the world
He is Jesus, our Lord
And He's always the same
In His great love for you,
And He has called you by name

So have a great year
My Molly, my dear
Full of fun times with God
And with family and friends
You rock! Awesome Molly
My love for you never ends

                Happy Birthday

                Love, Daddy

                July 31, 2003