13 Verses for My Granddaughter on Her 13th Birthday

Today is my Granddaughter, Eva's 13th birthday. That's a big one; she's entering into her teenage years. I feel especially close to Eva. We often go for long walks and sit by the Saugatuck River drinking coffee and solving the world's problems. So here are some verses I wrote to celebrate all of that. It's so much fun being Eva's "Baba."

For Eva

I have cherished brave Eva
From the day
She was born.
We’ve been friends from that moment
Through rose and sharp thorn.

We’ve walked miles together
In sun, showers, and snow
In deep conversation
Whenever we go.

Sitting hard by the river
Eating cheese and egg sandies
And donuts
From "Coffee an’"
Sweet as Halloween candies.

We talk about school
And “Democracy Now.”
We discuss what we’ve written,
How to follow the Tao.

We talk about Life
And its meanings so deep
About New Worlds,
Marx, and Malcolm.
That make our minds leap
To conclusions unexpected
With insights brand-new.
Eva learns from her Baba.
Baba learns from her too.

Now she’s turning 13
Entering teenage at last.
I just can’t believe
Life is passing that fast.

But I’m confident Eva
Will serve the world well.
She’ll write books
That will change it
And save it from hell.

She’s a philosopher you see
She’s a lover of truth
(A grammar snob also
But never uncouth.)

So, Eva, let me tell you
At this age of 13
Just how much I love you.
You’re the best girl I’ve seen.

God’s blessings upon you.
Be safe, happy, protected.
Be loved by your friends.
Be never rejected

Because your heart is so pure.
Your thoughts are so clear.
That’s why we all love you
And hold you so dear.

That’s specially true for Baba
Your companion and friend
Your grandpa who’ll protect you
Till his own life shall end.

And beyond that I promise
For our hearts have been blended
From your moment of birth.
Love like ours
Can’t be ended!

Happy birthday, dearest Eva!!

Published by

Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

10 thoughts on “13 Verses for My Granddaughter on Her 13th Birthday”

  1. Lovely poem!
    Mike is Eva the granddaughter who you at one point stated is self described atheist? I often wonder what Dan McGinn would tell me if I shared with him now that my faith is dashed. I often say to myself and others, “if the RC Church is wrong about my son, what else are they wrong about?”

    Self proclaimed agnostic,

    Ann Franczyk


    1. Yes, Ann, Eva describes herself as an atheist. And I’d bet Dan would agree that your reasons for agnosticism (and your question) are entirely justified. I too have a hard time understanding why the hierarchy continues to embarrass itself by speaking on matters about which it has been totally discredited. It just keeps digging its own grave. Very sad.


  2. Mike, this is a beautiful poem and heartfelt, touching words that describe a wonderful relationship. Thank you for sharing. Teri

    On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 3:55 PM About Things That Matter wrote:

    > Mike Rivage-Seul’s Blog posted: ” Today is my Granddaughter, Eva’s 13th > birthday. That’s a big one; she’s entering into her teenage years. I feel > especially close to Eva. We often go for long walks and sit by the > Saugatuck River drinking coffee and solving the world’s problems. So ” >


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