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For Violet, on Your Seventh Birthday

Tonight it’s clear that I’m a lucky man.
Seven is my lucky number, yes,
For seven years you’ve made me smile and laugh,
For seven years you’ve made me proud as heck.
For seven is the age you’re turning now.
Astounding little smartypants, tough
As steel, and clever with all your jokes,
You talk to me in Japanese and teach
Me Minecraft tricks; you read me books and love
When I am reading books to you. You used
To say My Little Pony books were best,
But last weekend you said you have outgrown
Them. And I wonder what you’ll outgrow next,
As you change so fast before my eyes I can’t
Keep up. I woke one morning stunned to find
Your baby face had vanished; in its place,
A beautiful young woman. From the start,
Although you love to play with us and be
With us, you’ve been the family member who
Is fiercely independent, Lady March-
To-Her-Own-Drummer. How I cherish that!
And you should too; it’s far too rare these days.
Yes, you make new friends on every playground, like
A tiny politician; and yes, you love
To roughhouse, launching on your sister and
Me, shouting loudly “We are sandwiches!” Yet
You’re quite content to sing alone in bed
Or ponder hazy daydreams by yourself,
Miss Violet-Stands-Alone. Just know that as
The years fly past and as you grow and change,
And outgrow this or that, and keep on running
Down your independent paths, there is
One thing that doesn’t change, one thing on which
You can depend: your family’s here for you.
So here are seven hugs and seven big,
Sweet kisses, seven knock-knock jokes, and here
Are seven more of everything for you!

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