Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Mommy I gotta tell you sumpin'"

Riley is such a cool little person. She is tough, almost never lets a tear show unless she is emotionally hurt. Once she was riding her scooter up and down a neighbor’s driveway with lots of big kids. I cringed each time she went down, but hesitated to stop her. At one point, she wiped out and slid, face-down, the remainder of the driveway. She stood up, a fresh strawberry the size of Chicago on her cheek. Her shoulder matched. All we ever saw was the slightest quiver of her lip, but she was right back on her scooter immediately.

The fact that she is so tough is in such perfect balance with how sweet she is. She operates from such a sound and matter-of-fact place that she can be really calming to be around. She does not have big reactions, so there is never any doubt that you know when she is truly happy, sad, excited, or meaning what she says. Although I wonder about how much she thinks about things (this is a problem I have!) I don’t worry about how she feels about things. She tells it like it is.

I got to thinking about her personality this week because of this one little thing that she does that I can’t really figure out. Anytime during the day or night, in the car or at a concert or smack in the middle of a play date, Riley says, “Mommy I gotta tell you sumpin’.” It’s really a question that she has for me or daddy, not that it matters. It never changes – never varies. “What was your favorite thing at Disney?”

This started five months ago in May just after we took our first trip to Disney. I had worried so that Riley wouldn’t be able to remember any of it since she was only three and a half. But I think the fact that it comes up multiple times a day will certainly help those memories endure!

“Hmmm. I think lunch at Cinderella’s castle” is my usual answer, although I vary it to save my own sanity from answering the same question over and over. This morning I said, “I think Woody’s Round Up, how ‘bout you?” She immediately called me out for changing my stock answer but accepted it when I said that she changes hers from time to time, too. Today, hers was “buying the sprayer things.”

A dear friend recently said that I was so patient since I am willing to answer this question multiple times a day without going crazy. Believe me; I have my moments all the time. But I suppose this question helps her somehow keep that grounded state she carries so well. Maybe she hears, “I’m right here for you Riley” or “It’s okay, close your baby blues and drift off, I’ll keep watch” or “I love you my sweet baby girl and I always will.”

Whatever she hears, I’ll keep saying it until she asks for the last time. I suppose that day is coming soon… she is growing fast. I guess it will be up to me then….

“Riley, I gotta tell you sumpin’. I love you sweet baby girl and I always will.”

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