My family has enjoyed watching little two-year-old Riley Curry upstage her famous dad, Steph Curry, of the Golden State Warriors. As I write this, my mom is so excited for the Game 2 news conference so she can watch the next episode of the “Riley Show.”
It is interesting that my mom, a 48 year old woman (I mean 32), my brother who is 19, and I at age 16, all are equally engaged with all things Riley. And I wondered why?
As I pondered, I concluded that Riley is not only so adorable, but she also represents having the confidence to be authentically herself. So uninhibited that we hand a piece of gum from our mouth to a reporter. She is not afraid to act how she wants, to say what she wants.
And then there is that exuberant, unbridled happiness she displays. As her mommy, Ayesha Curry, says “she is vibrant, spunky, and full of life.“ Don’t we all yearn for that time when we just were so happy and carefree? I enjoyed seeing a mom who nurtures the joy in her small child.
Finally, I like that Riley’s parents are parenting her to be an individual and not constraining her behavior. They are raising an independent young woman and it is so essential for young ladies to understand that they have rights, a voice, and worth. Sheryl Sandberg advocates that women should “Lean In” and not be afraid to be speak up; she too would be proud of Little Miss Riley. When my brother and I were little, and to this day, my mom allows us to be ourselves, to be outgoing, precocious and confident. Sometimes at restaurants people would stare at us while we did something like laugh loudly with joy, while their kids sat silently with joyless faces. I remember thinking, will those kids grow up with a mind of their own, and a heart open to being their authentic selves?
And, my concluding thought is kudos to Riley’s dad Steph, a man who has the humility to be the NBA MVP but still teach his daughter that she is the shining star in his world, a star so bright that the rest of the world is riveted. Thanks Riley, watching you I “feel blessed.”