"Them Riley Women"

My husband and the husbands of my sisters have a little term for the women in my family.

If my mom, two sisters, or I do or say something a tad crazy, maybe a little hardcore, perhaps rather remarkable, they just roll their eyes knowingly at each other, give a little sigh, and mumble something about "them Riley Women".

Our reputation precedes us.

It's my mom's fault. She started it. Her own mother passed away when she was only three years old. She was raised by a gruff dad and four older brothers. Resiliency, hard work, and "hard core" just came with the territory. Self reliance and determination flow through her veins.

Which makes it genetic. Or so I can see in my sisters. They are just like my mom. They work harder and longer than any one else. They create solutions. They generate fresh ideas. They make intricate plans. They build things with their bare hands. They garden and can and sew. They go and do. And do so quietly and without public accolades.

Me?? Umm...I kind of took after my dad. We like to entertain people. We listen to loud music and have fun and work to make people feel welcome and loved. Which are all important qualities too.

There's some of my mom in me. In fact, I have a pretty good balance of the two. I'm very blessed that way. My parents both have great strengths that make them wonderful people and lucky me, I got a genetic dollop from both.

But I dropped out of the Super Woman marathon in my family long ago. The white flag has been thrown. I'm painfully aware that I will never be quite as amazing and ambitious as my mom and sisters are. It really used to bother me--it still does sometimes--but I hope that I've matured enough now that I can sit back and just enjoy what wonderful women they are, as well as embrace the wonderful--and different--woman that I am.

So what was the dividing barrier? The great sifter between the "wonderful women" and the "Super Women"?

Child birth.

They have 'em natural. I don't. I've tried, but between a stubborn body, painfully long inductions, moving schedules, plane schedules, pure ignorance, etc, I've never been able to make it happen.

I greatly admire--with varying shades of jealousy--my sisters each time they emerge from glorious natural birth experiences. They are so strong willed and amazing. Seeing them walk through the valley of the near-death shadow of natural childbirth, unscathed, leaves me feeling rather inferior and just plain "wonderful" instead of "Super".

Whatever. Enough about me. This is no pity party.

This is a birth day party because one of "them Riley Women" just went and did something today that sets the Riley Women bar at a whole new level. She gave birth to her baby in a car in the Hometown, Idaho City Hall parking lot!!!

How do you ever top that?! Unless you have twins on a boat in the middle of a snow storm...you don't. See why I forfeited long ago?

My mom and sisters are incredible! I admire them all for their strength, courage, and pure unadulterated ambition and I'm grateful to be their sister and daughter. I mean, really, these are the kind of people you want to surround yourself with in a crisis or the end of the world. I'm set for life. ;)

Congratulations to both of my little sisters for bringing into the world a whole new generation of "them Riley Women"!

Welcome to the world little Evalett (April 24, 2012) daughter of Erin and Kip...

And little Oakley (May 8, 2012) daughter of Camille and Tyler!

P.S. Here's a little fun "Them Riley Women" fact... There are three girls in my family (and two boys, but they don't count right now). All three of us girls each had a firstborn son and then a second born daughter. Each of those second born daughters was born 4 days from each of their respective fathers' birthdays. Pretty sweet, huh?

P.P.S. And, suuuure, maybe both my sisters can give birth naturally, but I still win the prize for biggest babies! Take that, sissies! :P


MiMi said...

Oh. My. Worst. Nightmare.
Seriously, HOW did that happen???!!

Myya said...

I love this post. LOVE IT!!!

Congratualtions on those adorable neices of yours & AWESOME about lil Oakley's birth story. SO cool!

Lisa Thomas said...

You are an amazing woman. And if you were MY sister, you would outshine me every day of the week! :) Don't sell yourself short. And congrats to Erin and Camille.


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