I wrote this poem three years ago as a Christmas gift to my daughters.

They were pushing against the edges of the nest, and I wondered where those changes — as vexing as they were inevitable — left me. 

Three years ago, I was confused and frustrated about my morphing role as “Dad”.

Three years later — thanks largely to my wise wife’s sage counsel  — I know my role is to continue to celebrate and support them as the wonderful young adults that they have become.

Today, with Christmas two days away, I share this to reiterate to them how incredibly proud and grateful I am to be their Dad, whatever that means.

Merry Christmas to all…


For what am I

If not a part of you?

I, whose eyes became your eyes

So that you could see the sparkle of a star-filled night sky

Learning what is, and believing in what could be

I, whose heart beat for your heart

So that you might know the magic of true love

That you might both receive and share its living power

I, whose hands felt for your hands

So that you could learn the warmth of another’s touch

Human and divine, able to reach the unreachable

I, whose soul sought for your soul

So that you would know and value the spirit of all,

More meaningful than name, color or creed

I, whose humor broke your frown

So that you would feel laughter’s healing balm

And be restored to yourself and each other

I, who would trade my own for the life I gave you

So that you might joyfully raise another high,

Earning salvation upon the wings of sacrifice.

Do I lose my Me, as you gain your You?

Do my eyes lose their sight – or cry with joy for your brilliance?

Does my heart stop beating – or drum louder with pride?

Do my hands remain unused – or clap loudest for your successes?

Does my soul petrify – or happily abide as yours blossoms?

For what am I

If not a part of you?

I am the

Father/Mother/God, who

Dreams and breathes and lives

Through you

With you

In you.



















‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Facebook edition)

twasA couple years ago, the challenge put to my writers group was to give the Christmas classic our own twist.

With sincere wishes for a Merry Christmas and happy holiday to all, here was mine:


‘Twas the night before Christmas,

And while the family slept,

I tossed; so I put on my slippers and

down to the computer I quietly crept.

My eyes wired open from too much late night caffeine

I hit the Internet to see what I could gleen,

At what news of the world I could quickly look

I clicked on to the world’s biggest mouth – Facebook.

Round and round my mouse did run,

Me thinking, “This might be fun.

“And if not fun, well then at least

It will help me sleep like a beast.”

When what to my incredulous eyes should appear,

But a misplaced apostrophe – sad, but true, dear.

And then even more grammar errors did make

My poor, old editor’s brain hurt, and heart ache.

Of course, there were the “To’s,” “Two’s” and “Too’s”

So mixed they should have cried “We’re abused!”

Not to mention the “Their’s,” “There’s” and “They’re’s”

Oh, the shame danced like snow in the air.

Contractions, misspellings, and bad usage abounded

For such bad grammar all English students are hounded.

“Who’s to blame?” I pondered, “for this verbal travesty?”

Then came the answer, bright as the moon — technology.

Computers and smart phones and tablets and texts,

And how do kids use such power? To send sexts.

Who needs spelling when you can just “LOL”

If there’s real justice, they’ll go to English Hell.

And not just kids — to make matters even madder;

Many of the adults’ posts were just as badder.

They, too couldn’t properly combine “can” and “not”

Their wrong possessives and plurals gave me the trots.

Then a solution to this conundrum to me did appear

Like a sleigh in the night, led by eight – well, nine — tiny reindeer.

I needed to find Mark, of the Berg of Zucker

And solicit his help with these language suckers.

To him I would say, “Mark, you have billions to spare

“Let’s make some new rules to ensure English, so fair.

“Insist that Facebook users must complete and pass

“A grammar exam after taking a short class.

“And if they fail, they will not get a new password

“And won’t be able to tell the world about their turds.

“This should be threat great enough to curb the abuse

“Of the English language and ensure proper use.”

I reached Zuckerberg – he was in the (online) phone book.

He said he liked my plan, and that he felt like a schnook

For helping to unleash bad grammar on the world

When he merely wanted to embarrass a girl.

As visions of “Affect” and “Effect” rightly used danced in my head,

I smiled joyously for a good deed well done, and went back to bed.

I dreamt of a new day when word choice would again matter

Then awoke to my kids’ cries, creating such a clatter.

As the Holy morning broke the kids tried to post their status

They tried to hit Facebook — but found out that they had no access.

They glared at me, mouths agape with horror as I shared my tale of Christmas Eve night,

“This is my greatest gift,” said I. “Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good write.”