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May 22, 2008

18 years into the raising of my daughter, Emily, and about 8 years after she surpassed me in maturity, Emily says “Yes” to Nick Troutman’s proposal last night!

Emily had a crush on Nick many years ago, but never went out with him. In 2004 I asked Nick if he wanted to be on Team JK. I was not impressed with his kayaking at the time (age 15) but his personality was top notch. In 2005, I offered to let him travel in the Jackson Kayak RV for our “Fun Tour”. I gave him a choice, however. I told him he could travel in the RV, or he could go out with my daughter, Emily, but he couldn’t do both. Living with us and going out with Emily was a little to close for us and our 13 year old daughter. We did the entire Fun Tour with Nick and he proved to be one of the best kids I had ever met. Always helpful, always positive and motivated, never argued, never complained, never asked for more, only offered more. He also became a much better paddler that season and was hooked on the sport. Emily really enjoyed having him around but flirted with other boys a lot, knowing that Nick was off limits.

Finally, at the “Big Kahuna” event on the Ottawa, Nick told me that he would rather go out with Emily than be on the team. I finally, told him that if he wanted to go out with Emily, he could and that he could still travel with us if he wanted. He asked Emily out, two years ago, today (5/23/06) and they have had an incredible relationship ever since. Like all relationships they evolved over time, and in their case, they kept growing closer to each other. In the beginning, Nick was always trying to avoid any public affection, afraid I wouldn’t approve. Eventually they became so attached to each other that it was impossible to not know that they were totally and completely in love with each other.

Last week Nick had to take a trip to Denver to get a “present” for Emily. I suspected, but who knows. Emily, on her own, booked a night at the Pagosa Springs Resort where there are hot springs and private cabins. That was Emily’s gift to Nick for their anniversary. By 8pm last night, Nick had proposed and Emily had accepted. Wow! I still haven’t seen the ring or them as they are returning from their trip today.

Will she keep her name, or be a Troutman? I am cool with either one; not that I have a say. 🙂

I couldn’t have hand picked a better man for my daughter, and watching him grow from a goofy kid to a very special man with skills, motivation, kindness, and integrity makes me super happy about the news!

Time is a train, makes the future the past…

We are all moving along in this life, where nothing remains the same, yet we steer ourselves over, around, or through obstacles, and towards the beacons that attract us. Where that takes each of us is mostly up to us, and partially on luck. Of course, they say, Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation.

Nick would have not have had a chance with Emily if he wasn’t the person he is. Emily wouldn’t have had a chance with Nick if she wasn’t the most special 18 year old girl on the planet. They deserve each other and we can all learn from their relationship.

Well done Emily and Nick!