As the days go by and a chill creeps into the air, Penelope continues to grow. Like the leaves on the trees framing our backyard, she is constantly changing, so that no two weeks ever look the same for us. It is thrilling, and amazing, and terrifying. Terrifying because I know that as much as I want to bottle up the yumminess that is my sweet baby girl, she can’t stay this way forever, and time will keep pressing on as it inevitably does. This is not the first time I have written about the nature of time, and how it always leaves me feeling melancholy, because truthfully it’s something I think of often. Thinking about how quickly life passes by makes me very sentimental, and anxious to do all I can to stop it. I realize of course that I can’t stop time, but there are things I can do to try and make the most of the time I have, and truly savor it.
Today, as I pressed Penny tightly to my chest after burping her, I tried to really take in this sweet but ordinary moment, that right now seems to happen a thousand times a day, but I know will be a fleeting one in the grand scheme of things. I took in the feel of her squishy round cheek against mine, her soft fluffy hair with lingering scents of the outdoors tickling my nose, her plump palm pushed up against my much larger palm as she tried to grasp my thumb with tiny fingers, her warm breath smelling of sweet milk, the weight of her body on my lap.
I have never done anything more amazing than become a mother to this little girl, nor will I ever do anything as amazing again. It is this realization that has led me to a very big decision- I have decided to stay at home with Penny and not return to work next month. I am lucky to have a husband who has been supportive enough to find a way to make this possible for us, and I couldn’t be happier. I know that being a stay at home mom will bring about it’s own challenges, and I am sorry to close the brief chapter on my teaching career for now. But my heart lies with Penny, and I am so glad that I will be able to devote myself fully to being her mom. I know this will be the most magical time of my life, and I am ready to sit back and enjoy the ride.