Grether Labs.

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For Olivia, on Your 10th Birthday (Petite Madame Maelstrom)

by Morgan S. Grether

This weekend two new lives entered our lives,

Two tiny-but-growing creatures, mewing, full

Of vim, electric, whirlwinds. I had thought

Your sister and you were whirlwind enough, but they

Are great additions to the family,

These kittens. And, dear 10-year-old, you’re great

At taking care of them. You have arrived

At last at the land of double-digits, sweet

Petite Madame Maelstrom, whirl-girl,

And it would be quite difficult to see

How I could be a prouder father. I

Suppose you could have had a few more huge

Accomplishments under your belt: you could

Have won a marathon while running back-

Wards; or you could have built a rocket by

Yourself then orbited the moon; you could

Have also won a slew of Oscars just

To have a showy way to hang up all

Your Nobel Prizes. Really though, I doubt

I would be too much more delighted than

I am with you in truth. With ease, you make

Me laugh each day so much my sides can hurt;

I’ve seen you like this with your friends as well.

You worry when it’s worth it; otherwise,

You keep an even keel (which Kipling taught

Us is as good a quality as one

Can have). My whole heart swells with joy

When I tell someone, “I’m Olivia’s dad!”

Because you always seek to do your best

And push to become better than you were

The day before. What more can I ever ask?

Composed: May 2014