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Molly's four year old poem:

Tiny Dancer

I never did see someone tackle three
with such joyous energy
After your stormy twos
You've said goodbye to the blues
(for the most part)
and have lightened our hearts
with your sunshine smile
and cheerful disposition
Happy go lucky - you leave us all wishin'
that we could live a life carefree
As our sweet little girl who is three
and now four... already

Tiny Dancer, with a bow and a smile
spinning, twirling, bending, whirling through life
The storms sometimes break in you
but just for awhile
due to a toy unjustly confiscated
by a brother who needs to be educated
in sharing (at least as you see it)
Or a little sister -
Bethany - our little Ultra-Twister
Barging in on your game
Or maybe Andrew calls you a name
And you might get sad - "He hurt my feelings!"
But then the next minute, the hurt goes fleeting away
replaced by that bright smile - as you say
"I'm better now"

And how!

Being the middle child is never easy
Because siblings can get grabby and teasy
But you hold your own
having developed some feminine wiles, hitherto unknown
You can drive Andrew crazy with a word oft repeated
And quite soon his patience is depleted
It can be anything!
"Molly, quit saying that!" And you'll say it again!
"Molly! quit singing!"
Your voice loudly ringing to high heaven
For verse number seventy seven
of an impromptue praise chorus
that you are composing for us

But just watch a while and we can see
That within all of this rivalry
You love your baby sister
And your great big brother
And you wouldn't have any other family
We see it in the heart-work
That you put in your art-work
Of your happy house, with a big boy and a little girl baby
A Mommy, a Daddy - and, of course, our little lady
You - smiling there, with a bow in your hair

In the simple, bright crayon colored world of Molly
That you share with us all.

I love you so much for your
sweet heart and kind spirit
For your joyful laughter and sweet voice
(I do love to hear it)
For your grace and gusto
and your innocent brown eyes
That so trustingly look to your Daddy

So sweet birthday wishes
my Ballerina Princess
May year four bring new treasures
new joys and new pleasures
Because before you know it you will learn
that quite soon life can get serious and stern
But I hope not too soon

When you're a grownup you don't get
as many chances
For loud, gusty singing
or interpretive dances
For the joy of being
an innocent, happy four year old
WIth the ability to experience
Sheer ecstacy, glorious fun
and abject terror, all in the space of one
10 second span on a South Texas shore
And then, the next second, to go back for more
shrieking at the fun and wonder of the waves
There's so much more in store

And so, we let time pass
and we let it all come - as it certainly will
But we pray for you still
That the child of your innocence will live on
in your eyes, your heart, your spirit, and your smile
for just a little while longer

In your world where all that is past is "Last Night"
And all of your future will happen "Tomoyow"
And you get to live life in the bright shiny "Now"
And Right Now, let me say
That I love you, Sweetheart
and I always will
And as you grow, you will remain, still
my beloved Daddy's girl.

I Love You,

Daddy
June 20, 1995