Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Today is a very special day for me. It's the anniversary of the day that I met my daughter, face to face, for the first time. Nine years ago, around 10:00 in the morning, she arrived in a rush in our bedroom, and has been warming our hearts since then.
As a baby, she already showed an affinity for fashion, demanding that we change her outfits multiple times a day by puking all over everything. She quickly gained the nickname of "The Puker." I would nurse her and gently hold her upright to burp her, and she would errupt all over the bed/couch/chair. Aaron got used to jumping up on the spot and rushing for a towel and some clean sheets and cloths. She kept us on our toes right from the start.
We named her Riley, but her brother (less than two years her senior) called her Ya-Ya. He loved her (still does) and enjoyed this new plaything in his domain.
The three of us (Dad, Mom and brother) sang songs to her and read her stories and before we knew it she was talking. And talking. And talking!
And singing... She loves music, much like both her parents.
She loves to play songs on the piano (well, she loves to play when she's not practicing) and she can often be found singing the oddest lyrics in the oddest places at the oddest times. When she was sick a couple years ago, I knew she was finally starting to feel better when I overheard her singing in the shower, at the top of her lungs, "Frosty the snowman, la la la la la la la..." Of course we gave her an mp3 player this year so she could listen to all her favourites and sing along. Jamie-Grace, you'd better release a new CD soon. Riley's getting antsy for more music.
And her heart... She has such a sweet, sensitive heart. She wants to understand how people can be so mean, but it just doesn't make sense to her. In Riley's mind, people should be kind-hearted and put others first. It's just the way we're supposed to be. When she encounters situations where others are being unkind to her or to someone else, she will think about it and process it for hours, trying to figure out a way to make the situation better.
She loves to be silly with her brothers, girl-cousins and her across-the-street best friend. She'll make up a word if there isn't a good one to describe something, but she'd rather just make a scrambled mess out of words she already knows.
She'll often ask us to play "Francesca Bassiltelli" (it's supposed to be Battistelli) and then grin, knowing she got it wrong on purpose.
I think what I love most about Riley is that she takes in and tries to understand everything. In Sunday School, she is the one who has been listening and can answer any question the teacher might have from the discussion for the day. This past Sunday, as we were talking about questions we would ask God if we got the chance, Riley put her hand up and said, "I would ask 'How can I know that my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life?'"
She is such a dear to us. She adds such joy to our family. We thank God for giving us our Riley and we wish her a very happy birthday today!
Riley would love to read birthday greetings from the friends and family that she knows and loves... If she knows you, could you please leave her a birthday greeting in the Comment section? She is looking forward to reading this post later today and would be very excited to read birthday messages from those she holds dear.