Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Baby's Getting Married

It’s official, my baby’s getting married.  Thus, flashbacks.  Memories pour faster than beer at a packed sports bar on game day.  My life has been far from conventional.  Traded from my baseball team at age fourteen, graduated from high school early, owned a Mini-Cooper in 1971, got married on April Fool’s Day, went to the airport instead of the hospital to become a dad twice, few have accused me of being Ward Cleaver.  Like him, I provided for my family as the kids grew up.  Now they have and are waiting for me to do the same.  Like that’s going to happen. 
That frail, little four-and-half month old arrived with pneumonia and a mystery prescription bottle of brown goop is getting married.  The same one who needed speech therapy in grade school and became the speaker at her grade school graduation.  The girl who could dance and was a team captain in high school.  Except for cleaning her room, she’s the one who always had a plan, a focus, a goal.  She only applied to one college and graduated with two degrees in four years with a grade point average that was nearly perfect.
She’s had the same boyfriend for almost ten years.  He tried to ask me for permission for her hand a few weeks ago.  I could tell by his body language and nervous grin what was on his mind and said yes before he performed his whole speech.  I have since retracted it, agreeing instead to sharing her.  They went together to Korea, where my baby was born twenty-four years ago for some college friends wedding.  He proposed to her in the Seoul Tower and because of the time difference, we got a phone call at two in the morning from our baby to share her good news.  I had promised to keep the plan a secret from my family and succeeded. 
So, I have an unknown future date for a formal weeping, crying, sobbing, balling session.  Investors, buy Kleenex stock now!  Her husband-to-be, who I dearly love, is of Chinese decent and I have been told there will a tea ceremony.  He also wants to roast a whole pig.  It should be an interesting celebration.   
Further reflection inspired me to pull out some old poems I wrote about my baby.  Put Kleenex on the shopping list please. 

Who Are You?
Can’t say I didn’t have something to do with you
Our bloodlines are different, that much is true
You’re my daughter, I’m your Dad
Joy and pride I never would have had
Without you loving me and me loving you

I’ve loved you longer
You can’t beat me on that one
Born in Korea, growing up in Washington
We play the “I love you more” game
Without you in my life
It just wouldn’t be the same

So sick and fragile you came to me
Now you’re reading and writing novels
Dabbling in poetry
It’s been a miracle to see you grow
When you first came
You weren’t much bigger
Than my little toe

You are an angel that Heaven sent
A chosen child with rhythm and style
A loving, gentle temperament
This is my answer to your question
“Who Am I?”
You are warm sunshine and my big blue sky
I will love you forever
Even after I die

Chosen Child

My big nose doesn’t hang on your face
You’ll never grow a blonde hair
My eyes don’t sparkle under your lids
When you’ve got trouble
You know I’ll be there

I didn’t make you
I don’t know whose who
Didn’t take me long though
To fall in love with you

Got the same color blood
Share one address
Your picture’s in the dictionary
Defining happiness

Recital Day

Floating around with rhythm and grace
Great big toothy grinning face
Innate talent can’t be denied
Emitting an inner glow impossible to hide
Once again a proud dad cried
A performance so great
It’s a miracle dad didn’t dehydrate
Your audience in a soulful trance
Watch you every time I get a chance
My child, you can dance

My Baby

Small bones swelling with rhythm
Heart the size of the sun
Sensitive as a third degree burn
Brings out the best in everyone

Sings like an uncaged bird
Free and clear
Overflowing river of positive words
Contagious smile from ear to ear

Tender as a cool breeze in summer air
Dancing through kidhood
With a passionate, electric flair

A rose, a rhododendron, a lilac tree
Full bloom in June
Million times more vibrant
Than the sun, stars and moon

Smarter than a P.H.D.
Full of life outside and in
Endless love and energy
The essence of relentless beauty


  1. Saw Kung Fu Panda 2 with the 4 year old grandson the other day. Po was good with finally finding out where he came from, but Goose is his father. So, the last 10 seconds sets up KFP 3. Po will be very confused to likely meet his Panda father. Anywho, boiled down to love the one you're with. Tissue required.

  2. this is something I will never experience. I'll bet you have been a great father! Loving your poems, such music from your soul. Guess I will go put a few dollars into Kleenex now:-)

  3. My kids have never shown an interest in finding their birth parents. Guessing Po will say something like my baby told me when she was in Korea, "You're the best and I'm so happy that you're my dad (don't worry, I won't go looking for my biological dad, cuz I have the perfect one back in the states."

  4. I have tried to be a good dad. Kleenex stock is rising every time I read these old poems I wrote. Glad you enjoyed them too.

  5. So beautiful, Glenn!!!

    Congratulations to all of you! You're going to love it when you have grandchildren!

  6. Thanks, Ann. I was married almost eight years before I became a dad. It's always fun when my kids' friends bring their babies around.