Of all my achievements in life, both those past and future, the one I am most proud of is my daughter, Brighton Wingfield. Or as I keep calling her — Winter. Hey, it’s a seventeen year habit I’m trying to break!

Winter is her given name. She was almost a Brighton. If I’d had my way and the rest of the family hadn’t weighed in with wrinkled noses and subtle suggestions that I keep Googling baby names, that’s what would have landed on her birth certificate. She was sixteen when we had the conversation I think many children have with their parents:  If you hadn’t named me Winter, what would my name have been?  I told her my overruled pick and she fell in love with it. Went to school the very next day and told all her friends and teachers to start calling her Brighton. Funny how you lose the battle but win the war, right?

My daughter is a sensitive and creative soul. Her passions are film and photography, but she also journals and draws and can dance up a storm. She was the Sharpie Tattoo Queen in middle and high school. She was fortunate enough to attend Chattanooga High School Center For Creative Arts. This special and rigorous school is straight out of the old TV show Fame (if you’re old enough to remember that). Students have to audition to be admitted and, if selected, they commit to a full college-prep course load in addition to majoring in an artistic discipline from 6th grade through graduation. The school and its staff have won many awards for their commitment to arts and academics, and to these talented artists and performers of tomorrow.

She is currently attending college here in Tennessee and double-majoring in Film Production and Photography. She made the Dean’s List last semester — all A’s! — and I’m taking her back to school tomorrow so she can get ready for her spring semester.

I’m working with her to get her website up over the summer to showcase her photography and video production skills. She has already worked with a local Head Start program for the last two years to do a short publicity video for their Board of Directors as well as her Senior Class video and other projects. The girl is mad talented and I’m as proud as any Mama Bear could be.


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