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Molly's thirteen year old poem:

Molly Is Thirteen

We all know the girl that I am talking about
Her name is Molly and she is awesome
And she has such lovely hair . . .

Thirteen years old? Now that's too much
And perhaps that explains why it's taken such
a long time for me to compose
These thoughts in my heart into clumsy prose
Thoughts of my little girl, now nearly a young woman
"Teenager", that word sounds so -
Well, it throws me off a bit
And makes my head spin, I admit
Perhaps that's why this poem has been so long in coming
Or I could blame my old age - maybe I'm dumbing
Down as the time goes by
If you know what I mean
Because there's more than enough to inspire
As I think of Molly
Our newly minted teen
But in writing this poem I've felt my share of panic
Deadlines loomed, deadlines passed
I became ever more manic
In desperation I even thought I'd condense
This entire poem into AIM-speak
(but would that make sense?)

Here, let me try:

DaDeO: sup?
MoLlY: nmh. u?
DaDeO: u rock! lylad!
MoLlY: lylad?
DaDeO: luv ya like a . . . daughter
MoLlY: oh. lol!
DaDeO: u r cool, smart, sporty, pretty
MoLlY: thx!
DaDeO: gtg. ttfn. cul8r!
MoLlY: lol! ttyl!

But what fun would that be?
Evidently, a lot, based on the extremity
Of the time you spend AIMing
In deep conversation
With (seemingly) the entire Arnold AIM-chick population
Plus friends at church and a sibling or two
(and possibly now and then a guy, I have no clue)

And I'm so proud of you
The way you are, the things you do
You've had a great year
And have continued your winning ways
King of the Beach last summer showed it pays
To hustle and play hard and work as a team
(and it helped to be teamed up with a volleyball dream
named Johnny R, that kid's definitely A-list!)
But now the championship run of 2003 is way missed
As this year the Roberts teams got knocked down a few pegs
In the 2004 tourney (and oh my aching legs!)

Seventh grade was good to you too
With lots of very cool friends
And - I definitely have seen
Your influence on them for God
And I know that it's true
That your heavenly Father
Shines through you
I know seventh grade life can't be easy
But I must opine
That you made it look positively breezy
And that's a very encouraging sign

Yet there's another aspect of being a teen
Well, a teenage girl, at least
That I've also noticed
And it has gradually increased
There is this emotional swirl
That can overtake an otherwise level-headed girl
From time to time, and you were not exempt
From now and then becoming verklempt

We've heard the song about those rings
That indicate one's mood, such clever things
But I've found something that's just as useful
To tell me the moods of my maiden fair
Her beautiful hair
A handy guide to give me a clue when she's feeling blue
Or tip me off when she's ticked off

Hmmm. I could almost write a song:

"Now when it's frizzed I'll mind my biz 'cause she is probably
Not in the mood for snappy chatter from the likes of me
And when it's in a pony tail take her outside immediately
To bump the v-ball 'cause she'll most likely agree
And when it's messed it simply means that she is feeling stressed
And when it's straight it means she's definitely feeling great
Three times smoother hair her happy fate
Mood hair, oh mood hair
Please tell me what mood's there
So I can better know how to understand
The various emotional fluctuations of my Molly's mind . . ."

Yes, that could almost be a song
But I know that it would be wrong
To focus solely on your emotional states
For they are not among your most important traits

You are smart, Molly, that's a proven fact
Straight "A"s this year, to be exact
Even in science, which seemed a surprise
To you, though not to me, because I knew you were wise
to scientific minutia
And, you must admit, it helped that I studied with ya
I enjoyed our science study sessions, going through your pre-test lessons
Me trying to get you to see the "whys" for which I care lots
You, rolling your eyes, memorizing facts for which you care not
But both of us having fun with it
And happy about those "A"s now that you're done with it.

You continue to develop as a sporty chick
Helping to keep your dad in shape, though I'm forty and thick
Bumping the volleyball - our record's ninety-seven
And I think at year's beginning we could only make eleven

You are also a musical girl, making leaps and bounds
Of progress on the piano, I recall the beautiful sounds
You played at your last recital - and it thrills me just to know
All the places that you and Music will go

Yet even more I look forward to where God will take you
For He's given you a mission, whether here
Or in places not so near
Like Brownsville, where you worked hard and served well
A helping hand and a testimony of Jesus to tell
And I'm secure in knowing that you're secure in His grace
As you learn ever more to live for Him and seek His face

For His love for you He does not ration
No, He loves you with a sacrificial
Unconditional, joyful
And I know that He's got a plan to take you free and clear
Through these amazing, wonderful yet emotional years
For it doesn't take much guesswork or much imagination
To know that they will have their share of sadness and elation
Hopefully more of the latter, but I know that what matters most
is that the Most High overshadows you
And envelops you in His wings
And we don't need mood hair or even mood rings
To know how He feels - His majestic grace and deep love for you
Is the real Juggernaut that none can withstand
And He upholds you, my love
In His strong, mighty hand

And I praise Him for you
May He bless you completely
And give you a great year
And love on you sweetly
I'm so proud of you
You make my heart smile
And it gives me such joy
To know that, for at least a little while
You're still my little girl
And I'm blessed in every way
I love you so much, Molly
Happy Birthday!

Love, Dad

August 10, 2004