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Growing Up As Chris Kirkpatrick's Daughter
Adolescence; Part II

Daddy went on a school field trip with my class once. He signed up to be a chaperone. All of my peers liked him, and wanted Daddy to come back.

"Where do we want to go next?" Daddy asked. We were walking through the zoo.

"Tigers!" One of the boys in our group said.

"Okay. Does everyone want to go there?"


"Okay. Onto the tigers then." Daddy held onto my hand as we walked through the zoo.

I remember being in the gift shop, and Daddy bought everyone some candy. Which we didn't need, but he did anyway. Daddy went on a lot of the field trips that me and my brothers went on for school.

When I was ten, I begged my parents to let me play basketball. Mom was very hesitant, but Daddy was excited. Mostly because my brothers weren't playing any sports.

"Good game 'Kota Belle." Daddy said. He gave me a hug.

"Did you see me score?" I was very excited about that.

"I did. You did a really good job sweety."

"I smell though." Daddy laughed.

"We can go home and you can take a shower 'Kota."

We always went out to eat after the games. Daddy let me pick. I could tell my brothers were jealous, but they got all the attention from my Mom.

Daddy took us camping one weekend. He was a little upset because Mommy couldn't come. Setting up the tent was always a major project for our family.

"'Kota get that pole."

"Okay. So what should I do with it?"

"Put it through here." Daddy lifted up one corner of the tent.


That was the worst part about camping. But for some reason as soon as we got it up, and I was inside, it collapsed. Daddy thought it was the funniest thing. I of course was VERY upset about it.

"Stop laughing Daddy!" Whining, always seemed to work.

"I'm sorry 'Kota Belle, it was just funny." He gave me a hug, and kissed my forehead.

Daddy always apologized. He is really a great Dad no matter what others think.

When I was twelve, I cut my hair. Daddy was very upset that I would do that. But having long hair was annoying.

"'Kota! What did you do to your hair?" Daddy asked. Mommy and I had just gotten back from the hair parlor.

"I got it cut."

"Why'd you do that? You have such pretty hair."

"I wanted to."

"Chris, it looks fine. She can get her hair cut if she wants." Momma said.

"And it's not that short." I said.

"I suppose." Daddy sighed.

Why he had that reaction? I don't know. I guess maybe to Daddy it met I was getting older. Daddy never wanted me to grow up but I did!

To me it seemed like it never really bothered my Dad to be in the public eye. I'm sure sometimes it did and still does though. It bugged me once I was old enough to realize what it can do to you.

*NSYNC was on tour, it was supposed to be their last one, but of course it wasn't.

Daddy took all of us, because it was during our summer vacation. I came aware of how 'annoying' the fans and press can be.

"Hey aren't you Dakota Kirkpatrick?" A girl, who looked about eighteen, asked me. I was just walking around the venue checking things out.

"Yes." I was annoyed, not only because of her, but because Daddy had been to busy to see me before the concert started.

"OMGosh, this is so cool." She said.

"Yeah. Whatever. I don't want to be rude or anything, but I have to go." I turned to go backstage and she followed just talking, I of course wasn't listening.

After the show I told Daddy about the girl. He just said not to worry about it, and that next time I go out in the crowds I should have a body guard. That ended up being a pretty neat summer, considering the circumstances.