Rockford, Ill. — Where does the time fly?
My daughter Celine turned 15 today and it is amazing to me that she is three years away from moving out of the house. We are celebrating her birthday by playing a team from Illinois in MRL soccer. We were here last weekend and during our nearly six hour ride home Celine told me her goal was to play soccer and attend Davidson College in North Carolina.
She has been thinking about college for two years and said she wants to attend a small liberal arts school. Davidson is the goal although she knows the chances of making it are slim. She has not closed the door on Plan B, C, D or even E.
My gut feeling is the little baby that used to throw up on everybody because of a bad stomach is going to be a future leader. She wants to be an ambassador and wants to make a difference in the world. Soccer might pave the way for her.
The little girl that used to splash water in a plastic bath tub speaks backwards fluently, is a great writer and loves to debate. By the way her Bloomfield Hills Force teammates call her Enilnec. That is Celine backwards.
She asked me what was my proudest moment. I am proud that she is a good kid, although she and mom fight sometimes. But my proudest moment was when she led a group of inner city kids during a camp at Wayne State and got them involved in a great project and think session on how to improve Detroit.
I am proud of her on the soccer field because she is not the most skilled person out there but the girl hustles and battles with girls way bigger than her. And after mostly frustrating games some how finds a way to make plays late in games.
But what makes me happy is she lets me in. We talk now and she asks my advise. She believes in me and I believe in her.
Happy birthday to the little kid that wore pigtails. Happy birthday to the kid I used to talk to when she was in her mother’s stomach.
Happy birthday to the kid that did a full sprint and leaped into a cold puddle of water at the pumpkin patch and laughed all the way home.
Happy birthday to the kid who was so cold and wet following a soccer tournament championship game that she could not move. I carried her to the car as if she were a slab of ice.
And happy birthday to the kid that used to put her head into my chest when she was really tired.
And happy birthday to a great future leader.