Dear Pope Francis,
My nephew is visiting this weekend. He’s six and I haven’t seen him in two months. He’s changed so much even in that short time.
Anyway, I’m doing uncle things today and I thought I’d share a poem I wrote for him on his fifth birthday.
For James, At Five
by Uncle Kevin
I can’t believe
It’s been only five years
Since we first met
And I put the tip of my finger
Into your palm
As you lay in your incubator
As if the stars
You came from,
And were formed from
Were still cooling
As you took on your Earth-shape
I remember your stubbornness
A firm resolve
To take hold of this world
And bend it to your will
You drove your nurses to distraction
Moving about your crib
Tearing out IVs
Pushing your boundaries
Experimenting with the world around you
To see if it measured up.
I remember your mother and father
Who loved you from before they knew God would send you
Standing watch, urging you on, modelling strength
Remember this, what they gave you, what they still give you
Your parent warriors
It will carry you through the tough times,
That echo of devotion and protection.
And then, one day, you were ours
Released into the world
Into our lives
And you shifted our focus, my focus
Onto life, and possibility
I thank you for all the memories I have
and will have
Your large blue eyes
Deep, wise and searching.
Your contagious laugh
Your rockstar hair
Your big hugs
Your thirst to know
Never stop asking questions, James
For that is the key to this life
And I hope five is your best age yet
And there are lots of splashy baths
With squirty fish and sunbathing sharks
And Yankee Doodle sung
at the top of your lungs.
I hope your days are filled with superheroes
Endless aircraft carrier missions
and Crime Phone calls
And quiet times with your mom and dad
Bent over books, learning new things.
And lots of visits to Sidney
Hope you liked that.