I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was five years old, and the second to last kid on the school bus. It was my first day of Kindergarden, and something told me I had been traveling for far too long. After communication via the walkie-talkie, I heard Mr. Harris come through and tell the driver to find out who I was. “Your Dad is Mr. Goodwin?” the teenage boy sitting behind me prodded, clearly petrified of me now, and as everyone began to scramble to figure out where to drop me off, I realized from a very young age that either A: I WAS a child star!!! or B: My Dad was kinda a big deal. Quickly my dreams were crushed as I found out A wasn’t true and I became paranoid when I realized the implications of scenario B. Growing up as a daughter of Buckingham County Middle School’s Assistant Principal for 40 years running, it was inevitable. The berating and ridicule from both teachers and peers, “you’reeeee mister Goodwin’s daughter”. It’s as if they thought I was the golden child impervious to discipline because my father silently patrolled the lunchroom, arms sternly crossed. But they couldn’t be further from wrong. Tell me, in the most awkward stages of grade school, who would want their parent’s office next to their 6th period algebra classroom? In fact, it’s more pressure! The pressure to make sure you aren’t getting into trouble--or at least your Dad isn’t across the room keeping a watchful eye. Because who wants to go explain to their father what in the world possessed them to throw water balloons outside of gym class and THEN re-examine the details across the dinner table? Apparently me, because I did that once. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed having my father around and did take advantage of being able to knock of his door during break to ask for 75 cents for airheads, but I was no child on a pedestal, given everything because of who my Dad was in the school system. Nor did the title of “Mr. Goodwin’s Daughter” get me out of an ounce of trouble, or provide me a better school life experience unattainable to most. But after JaVard picked on me one too many times about it, I couldn’t help but get a complex about being in position seemingly of advantage, and knowing that it was anything but. Acknowledging that I would never win a sack race at Field Day just because my father was refereeing (there was just no possibility that I would ever be coordinated enough to hop and hold a potato bag up at the same time anyway), If I wanted it I would have to work for it. And practice. And you know, BE A GOOD SACK RACER. Sure, my Dad could have coached me, but I if I didn’t take the opportunity for myself then all his coaching wouldn’t mean squat.
As an adult, I had to give up the Mr. Goodwin’s Daughter stigma that I held on myself and know that I am the only one responsible for any successes or failures within my life. As with anyone, we may meet people along the way that offer stepping stones of opportunities to reach our goals (like my college teacher Mrs. Faison who so strongly believed in me and my public speaking-ness that she paired me up with her good friend and Designer Margie Kyle for a TV pilot. The show may not have taken off, but I met professionals along the way, boosted my confidence, and am FOREVER forever forever grateful for Mrs. Faison’s belief in me!), but (thanks to my mother’s advice), I realized “like your teacher, people can provide stepping stones, but it’s what YOU do with them that matter. Other people don’t do it for you.” And I knew that, I just needed a reminder. I will always proudly be the daughter of the Football, Golf, Track and Tennis coach with THE best legs, and the player who had a framed photo in his office of him on the cover of Golf Digest (I'll never tell!), Mr. Goodwin!
For the record, my Dad never coached me into winning any blue ribbons in sack races. In fact, I never sack raced at field day. While he was the referee, I was too busy circling the field, popping blue airheads like it was my job and competing for the blue ribbon in socializing. RECORD HOLDER TWENTY SEVEN YEARS IN A ROW AND COUNTING!
My Dad, Avery (A. Very. Good. Win!) and his girlfriend, Lucy!