Riley is Boss


            Riley looked up the flight of stairs and said, “I can climb those.”

            But her mom said, “Riley, no, you could fall! You’re too young!”

            But up Riley climbed, until she got to the top. Then she looked down and said, “I can climb back down.”

            And down she went.

            When she got to the bottom, her mother gave her a hug and said, “Riley, don’t you ever do anything like that again!”

            But of course, she did.


            Riley got the car keys and sat behind the wheel of her dad’s car. “I can drive this car,” she said.

            “Riley, what are you doing?” said her dad. “You’re too young to drive! You don’t even have a license!”

            But Riley backed the car out of the driveway and drove down the street. At the end, she turned around. “I’m pretty sure I can drive all the way back.”

            And so she did, and even parked the car perfectly in the driveway.

            “Riley, you could have hit someone!” said her dad. “You could have banged a lamppost! You could have scratched the car! Don’t you ever do that again!”

            But of course, she did.


            Riley jumped through the stands and onto the track. “Riley, where are you going?” yelled her brother and sister. “This is a big people race!”

            “I’m pretty sure I can race too,” said Riley. She took a place next to the other racers.

            “What are you doing, kid?” asked the judge.

            “I’m racing.”

            “But you’re a kid. And kids don’t race the 100 m.”

            “Maybe they should.”

            The judge said, “Oh boy. Just don’t get hurt.”

            The race started and Riley ran down the track as the crowd cheered. When she got to the finish line, she looked back. The other racers were still running.

            The judge gave her a gold medal. “You’re pretty fast.”

            Riley smiled. “I can run all the way back too.”

            “I bet you can.”

            When Riley’s brother and sister got to her, they lifted her up but they weren’t happy. “Riley, how could you? You could have fallen! You could have been trampled! You could have been laughed at! Don’t ever do that again!”

            And when she got home, her parents looked at her gold medal and said, “Riley! Stop doing things you’re not supposed to do!”

            But of course, she did anyway.


            On the television, a man was running for President. “I could do that,” said Riley. And she started making up sign and buttons that said: ‘Riley for President!’

            “Riley,” said her grandfather, “kids don’t usually run for President.”

            “How come?”

            Her grandfather thought hard. “Well, I don’t know.”

            “Do you want to help?”

            “Sure,” he said. So they made signs and buttons, and put the signs all over town, and gave the buttons to other kids. Soon, lots of kids were wearing buttons that said “Riley for President!”, and even some of the parents were wearing them too.

            Riley’s parents saw the signs and said, “Riley, what are you doing! Kids don’t run for President!”

            And her brother and sister saw the signs too, and said, “Riley, you’re just a kid! You can’t do this!”

            And the judge from the race, who happened to be walking by, said, “Kid, what are you doing now?”

            But her grandfather said, “Are you going to help or not?” They all scratched their heads. Then they sat down, grabbed some markers, and started to make signs and buttons.

            Riley’s signs went pretty far. Soon they were all over the country, from coast to coast. And they were even on television, and on the radio, and on the computer, and they all said: ‘Riley for President!’

            A Very Important Person came to the house one day in a helicopter and said to Riley, “Look, Miss! There are rules and they are important. And one big important rule is that kids can’t be President!”

            “How come?” she asked.

            But he couldn’t answer. And then one day a letter came to Riley’s house, and it told her that many many people had voted for her to be President, more than had voted for anyone else. There was a big parade in town and everyone carried Riley on their shoulders. It was easy to do, because she was a kid.

            Riley and her family went to the Great Big Building where she would do the job of President. They gave her new clothes. And they gave her sunglasses. And sometimes she got to fly in a helicopter. And whenever she wanted to eat ice cream, she was allowed. The Very Important Person said to her, “This can’t be happening. Kids can’t be President!”

            “I am the President, though,” said Riley.

            The Very Important Person sighed. “Who do you want for your Vice-President?”

            Riley thought for a moment. “Grandfather,” she said, “would you like to be Vice-President?”

            “I’m a little old for that,” said her grandfather.

            “Way too old,” said the Very Important Person.

            But Riley’s Grandfather agreed anyway, and soon he was Vice-President. Riley and her grandfather ate ice cream in the Great Big Building, and got to work.

            “Humph,” said the Very Important Person. “You can’t work while eating ice cream.”

            “How come?” asked Riley.

            But the Very Important Person couldn’t answer that. Instead, he said, “Well, you know this is a very hard job. It takes a lot of good manners and school to do this job right. You have to be a certain age and you have to know certain things!”

            “Like what?” asked Riley, but before he could answer, she said, “Maybe like doing things even when people tell you that you can’t?”

            “Humph!” said the Very Important Person. “Just because a very young kid is President and a very old man is Vice-President doesn’t mean that you’ll make this country better!”

            But of course, they did anyway.

Dream hard, rage hard.

31 thoughts on “Riley is Boss

  1. Let it be so.

    It’s funny to me, watching other parents hovering over their kids are telling them not to do things they might fail at, might get hurt doing… Why? Why do they do that?
    Sure, it might save some tears in the short term but you’ll never know how high they could have risen if you hadn’t held them back!
    Shake things up. Question the rules. Be amazing!!

    1. Shake it up. Burn the system down. Start again. But do it with kids. Let them construct the new system, because they know better how to appreciate and love the world than we do, we who’re jaded and purple in the head.

  2. Riley must be from a country other than the U.S.A., as our constitution says you must be at least 35 years old to be Prez. But it’s okay to act like a child. And to throw temper tantrums when you don’t get your way. But you must be at least 35 years old.

    1. Simple and sweet, Walt, you’re right there’s not enough of that. Everyone agonizing over everything agony-inducing. Could go far down that route, but sooner or later you have to retract, no?

  3. This gives me hope… I mean, yeah, I think there is a legal minimum age for being president, and I should know what that is. But I don’t Or did you mean in your country. I’m sure that if there is a rule against children running Canadada, it is more along the lines of a suggestion than an actual law.HA! But I would vote for a kid any day.

    1. Yah yah legal this legal that, when did that stop your current president from doing things? Legal-schmegal, vote for a kid, get some decency and wonder back into our lives at the political level. Also, bring back drive-in movie theatres.

            1. I think while your government is shutdown that you should secretly launch a measurement coup. Go metric overnight. It will make you all a lot happier. Plus you will find that various appendages will sound much longer. Ha!

  4. Every girl wants to be like Riley. She is strong-willed, has no fear, is sassy and never boring. She has dreams like the rest of us but unlike most of us, doesn’t overthink every single thing. She doesn’t worry that she’ll fail. She doesn’t care if her hair is perfect and it’s not. She won’t count calories or exercise excessively for a perfect body for acceptance and attention. She won’t say ‘like’ or ‘um’ to add unnecessary space fillers to sentences. You don’t want to like her because she is also incredibly annoying but you can’t help it because she is inspiring and makes you want to be better.
    I wish I could be more like Riley but I care more about my hair than the human condition…

    1. Every boy wants to be like Riley, too. I care more about my coffee than I do the human condition, except on Sunday mornings between 6:30 and 8:30, when I’m overcome by the realization that everything gets in the way of what we want, and I wonder why that is, but then I sip more coffee… and voila.

      Hey who are you?

  5. my cells light up when i remember how in love with you i am
    i can not believe i leave you sitting in the back of the cupboard of my ‘reality’ for so long without getting you out and dusting you off…. shame on me
    nothing has changed you are still my verbal king

  6. I’d vote for Rily over our kid in the Whitehouse. He forgot to bring gramps opting instead for Dad. But Dad only taught him the art of bankruptcy and shut down.

    Generation skipping is good. My grandkids are doing many more innovative things than my kids.

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