All day on Saturday I thought about how, six years ago, I labored away under the guise that I'd actually deliver a baby on January 3oth. I couldn't have been more wrong. I didn't even start pushing until 5 am on the 31st, only to be ushered in for c-section number two at around 8:30 am. It was with utter relief that gave up hopes of VBAC success. I'm sure most moms don't feel this way in a c-section, but it was so nice to have something happening after all those hours of pushing that it seemed the baby was ready to come out in seconds. At 9:05 they announced, "I see wide shoulders!!" And then, "It's a girl!" I knew it all along.
The best part about Riley's delivery was naming her. Not even in our top three choices, she told me her name the very first second that I saw her. I instantly wondered what Mike would say since it wasn't on the short list. But she told Mike, too. We both said it at the same time. It was magic!
And magic is what it has always been with this strong-willed, sweet, old soul, athletic girl of ours. Riley doesn't demand much; she's officially low maintenance, unless you're expecting her to walk on her feet like the rest of us. From about eighteen months, she's been upside down in yoga positions. It changed to somersaults and then cartwheels and then walkovers and now handsprings. She watches TV while hanging upside down from our ottoman. If we're watching TV, it's through her round-offing legs. She never tires and never gives up on a new skill until she's got it. She has a physical determination beyond my imagination.
She couldn't be more easy going and seems to have this adult like understanding that if she accepts us saying "no" occasionally, we'll want to say "yes" more often. She understands other things too, like what kind of day it's been, why she should make healthy food choices, that this might not be the best time to ask for something, what might be the real reason someone feels bad. It's funny, but she really is an old soul. I love this about her because it's so unique, but also because her "roll with it" attitude makes being her mom a breeze!
She's so smart, but seems to have a special aptitude for math. She likes the challenge and is constantly trying to do Logan's homework. She's reading great and couldn't have more raves from her teachers. To quote a dear friend, "smart girls rock!" She loves her friends and classmates, strives so hard to impress her teachers, and even has a secret crush on a pal at school. His mom recently told me of a conversation they had about Riley.
She said to her son, "Riley's so nice and she's really pretty!"
Her son said, "Yeah, but she tackles me every single day!" (Guess she's got to learn to tame that athletic prowess!)
Lastly, this amazing girl of ours is sensitive, too. She'll never tell you, but she needs everyone a lot. She revels in the traditions of a kissing hand before she jumps the school bus or goes to bed. She can't sleep without certain stuffed animals and a good old tucking in. She is a wonderful big sister to Finn and adores Logan while maintaining her own identity. She keeps lots in, but I'm proud to say she lets me see that secret stuff - and I hope she never stops. She is really the coolest little chic I know and I can't imagine the world without her.
So as this cool chickadee turns six, I'm in shock, I'm in love, I'm full of pride. This little Riley is my girl, my daughter. Happy Birthday Riley!