If you have more than one child you know about keeping the peace. So to be fair, I will share with you about my first born.
Riley is my oldest daughter and she embraces the role. It was apparent from the moment she entered the world that she was a people person. She is my only child that came without being forced to exit the womb. Riley was born with a calm curious look on her face and the desire to party… all night long. I remember looking at her in the hospital and thinking, “Is she really mine? Did I actually pull this whole pregnancy thing off?” It was very surreal. I also remember this as the happiest feeling I had ever felt. I guess I was too naive to be scared. You see, I’ve always felt like I should know exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. When I laid eyes on that tiny person who was half me and half Stephen, (he would argue she’s a LOT more me at times) I knew I had finally found my dream job.
Riley has challenged me in ways I didn’t know were possible. She is smart (I’m biased) and very strong willed (I’m right on with this so don’t argue.) She has a memory I envy and she loves very deeply. Her heart is amazing. I know she misses my dad more than the other girls because she was his oldest grandchild and they had some very special times together. When she was only two, my dad drove to our home in Pennsylvania and then drove Riley back to his house in Hindman. For six hours they talked, she watched movies, and not once did Riley miss us or ask Poppy to take her home. I’m thankful that she has strong memories of him and we talk about them together.
We love to tell Riley the story of her middle name, Isabel. I didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl but I really loved that name. One night Stephen was on call (he was a first year resident at the time with terrible hours and miserable pregnant wife) and rain from Hurricane Isabel was pounding our town. After his 24 hour shift he came home remarkably awake and happy and declared, “That hurricane kept people from coming to the hospital so I got to sleep! If we have a girl, we will use the name Isabel.” She has lived up to her namesake.
Riley will be the first to get her driver’s license, the first to graduate from high school, and the first to leave the nest. In other words, she will be the first one to break my heart. At least she won’t be the last.