Today is Nicole’s 14th birthday. Her birthday is about 2 weeks after mine. I typically don’t feel older on my birthday, I feel older on hers. Overall Nicole is a great kid. Meeting her friends at the birthday / skating party yesterday, Shannon and I feel good about the choices she has made concerning friends. Nicole is doing
well great in school and excels at competing in the jumper class her horse.
It is hard to not still think of her as my little girl. It seems like just the other day that Nicole was riding in the back seat of the car holding a stuffed animal. In the rearview mirror, I see the stuffed animal get tossed to the other side of the car. When I asked her what she was doing, she looked at me solemnly and said “Daddy, my hand went crazy.” She found that to be a legitimate excuse. She was so little, cute and serious it was hard to argue with her. To this day if something unexplained happens, the ‘my hand went crazy’ excuse is used again.
The picture of her in the purple dress is one of my favorites. I had just come out the backdoor with my camera and said, I am going to take your picture, Nicole screamed and took off. That picture of her in motion always brings a smile to my face.
It is hard to believe, Nicole is 14. She has become quite the accomplished equestrian, and rides 4 days a week. She competes a couple of times a year, and is amazing to watch.
As a parent, there is a huge sense of pride watching your child work and achieve her goals. This past summer she competed in two competitions and did very well. She even managed a couple of first place ribbons.
Today during her horse lesson, she took a tumble, and didn’t let go of the reigns. Not letting go of the reigns, she was dragged in the sand a bit. She came home with an abrasion on her back, with a bunch of sand ground into it. She had washed it at the barn, but there was still quite a bit of dirt ground in.
When Nicole got home, she asked me if I would look at it, and clean it for her.
Nicole – Will cleaning it hurt?
Me – What answer do you want, a mom answer, or my answer?
Nicole – I want your answer.
Me – It is going to hurt a bit, but we have to clean the sand out so it doesn’t get infected, which will hurt worse, and then you could end up at the doctor and need a shot.
Nicole – OK, but try and be gentle.
She hung in pretty tough while I cleaned it for her. When it comes to any procedure being done, like getting a shot, or having blood drawn, I am the one she prefers to have around. When she asks me about the procedure I try to be honest and straightforward with her. I know she doesn’t always like what she hears, but she appreciates that I don’t try to sugar coat how things will be.
When she got home from her horse lesson, we had some plans for the day, but after the fall, a laid back day was more in order. She just stayed home and played her new Nintendo DS games she got for her birthday.
I can’t believe she is 14. For some reason, saying I have a 14 year old daughter, makes me feel older than telling people how old I am.
Happy birthday sweetie, I am really proud of you.