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Molly's fifteen year old poem:

Molly is Fifteen

I'm in deep trouble
I feel like a dunce
Because this poem is lagging
yes, I've been dragging
And you've been fifteen for almost two months

But it takes time to write thoughts down
about one so special and so dear
My daughter, growing up into a young woman
Growing in beauty and maturity year by year

Soon to be a sophomore, in just a matter of days
And I could say "I can't believe it"
But that would be so cliche
Because I can, I can believe it
I'm growing used to the fact
That you're growing up,
and I don't grieve it
I'm happy, though the time is short
As the days fly past
Because I'm happy for how you're turning out
Though I want to say "not so fast!"

Yes, you're growing up, and
- bottom line -
For the most part that's something with which
I'm perfectly fine
Because I've learned there's not a thing I can do
To stop the growing up that's happening in you
So I'm going to just enjoy it
And take joy in what you are coming to be
Because if future-you is as awesome as present-you already is
Bring it on - growing up is more than alright with me

You are a delight, my daddy-date buddy, a shining light
Our talks over warm fajitas are great, if I may say so
As you've said before, we "get eachother"
As we get a basket of chips and queso
So whether we're talking about school or friends or the future
The conversation is so good
Especially over your favorite
Mexican food

You have expertly sailed through your freshman year
Though it has not been without tough choices
And, saying "this way" or "that way" or "over here"
is a cacophany of so many voices
And so often the way isn't very clear
But God never promised us detailed maps
He just promised us a road, and a light,
and wisdom when we need it to avoid the traps
But the confirmation often comes in hindsight
After we've travelled some ways
That's why faith is so needed
As we pass through our days

Keep taking those steps,
and in praying don't be lazy
Don't lean on your own understanding
Because the human mind is crazy
Just tether your faith
To the One who knows all
And he'll keep your feet from stumbling
And catch you if you fall

He's gifted you in so many ways
For instance, with athleticism and musical talent,
And brains too, I mean,
You've got smarts long as the day
It is getting almost routine
These report cards with only one letter: "A"
But you're a hard worker, and that's a great way to be
And you have fun with it, somehow, even Biology
Was fun to study
And as a study-buddy I think I did pretty well
I think I get credit for part of those stellar grades
What do you think? No?
(Well, I knew that would be a hard sell)

King of the Beach - you guys almost did it again
It wouldn't have surprised me at all to see you
Come through with the win
But it was a lot of fun - for your team we did root
And I was sad, but proud, when your team got the boot
You drew a tough bracket from the very first game
I think they made it hard on purpose
Due to your Queen of the Beach fame

Photography is another outlet for your creativity
Though many of your photos have an aspect of exclusivity
Namely, they are exclusively of you -
Well only a few . . .
Um . . .
OK, make that a lot
And it's amazing from how many angles
A self-portrait can be shot

Your webbyness continues to increase by leaps
As you blog through your days and AIM your peeps
While deftly working text messages on your phone
Quick as can be. You're a computer-girl to the bone
And it warms my nerdy heart to see
That in this - without the nerd part of course - you're kind of like me

And now that you're fifteen
Driving lessons are the order of the day
Or the week
Or maybe once a month . . .
Well, that's not acceptible is it?
Driving is fun!
You just never get to do it
(hang with us, doll, we'll get it done)

And let's not forget your summer-ending experience
Seattle - or "Smoothie City"
You all went, to make a difference
You told us that when you were serving
All was as it should be
And in that there is a lesson that I need to hear too
For we're naturally built to make it all about ourselves
But Jesus teaches us to make it all about others
And learn to put ourselves on the shelves
And pour ourselves out for our sisters and brothers
And as you grow older, I believe
More and more people will look to you
For help, for wisdom, for guidance, for encouragement
For prayer
For that's the kind of person you are, it's what you do
And people like you are rare
Jesus has made you just that way
And through your thoughts, words, and deeds
He has much to say

And now you've got band before you in Two-Four-Niner
And that makes my head hurt, being a band old timer
You're playing the same bass I played back then
I guess things have come "full-circle" from way back when
I'm so proud of how you have progressed
Though harmonies have left you feeling stressed
But just keep Jesus the main thing
And worship as your task
And You'll be blessed beyond what you can
Think or even ask
My words in this matter you can trust
Keeping God as your center is a must

So cling to Him, my daughter
For your present and your future
And for help with any hurts from the past
For He has already done a beautiful work in you
And it is one that I know will last

Happy Birthday, sweetie

Love, Dad
August 11, 2006