I don't think there is anything more magical then seeing everything new again through our baby's eyes. Fall seems a little more special this year as we experience it with Everdeen for the first time.
This time of year always makes me feel nostalgic...the smell of crispy leaves drying out in the sunshine brings me back to my childhood. My twin sister and I would run down the sidewalk crunching leaves beneath our feet, seeing who could of course step on the crunchiest leaf. It's funny how stepping on an extra crunchy leaf can give someone so much pleasure. And as the days grew shorter and night fell much earlier we would pull out our winter clothes, which would have us perfectly snug for the chilly morning walks to school and sweltering hot on the walk home. I remember fall days always being such a gamble when it came to getting dressed. Shorts or pants? I always chose wrong :) And soon it would be Halloween and my sisters and I would each get an amazing handmade Halloween costume made by my mom with enough room to fit a winter jacket underneath...because it wasn't a Colorado Halloween without a blizzard :)
These past few weeks have been amazing, experiencing beautiful fall days with nothing to do except care for Everdeen. Our days are calm and slow...no stress, no deadlines. I've watched the trees across the street change from the green of summer to a glowing vibrant yellow that only fall can bring. We've gone from long days of never ending heat to cool crisp days in just a matter of weeks. I actually sometimes don't mind waking up at 3am to feed Everdeen as we snuggle and I kiss her little cold nose...I know she can feel the change in the air too. And I get excited for when she is older and can crunch leaves under her own feet, wear her winter jacket under her own Halloween costume, and learn how magical it is to see the seasons change before her own eyes.
But now that it is fall I have to start a new chapter in my life... one that I have honestly been dreading. I'll be joining the thousands of working moms who every day help provide for their families. Fall always seemed so far away when I was holding my baby for the first time in July. But now it's here and I am longing for those summer days again when I could spend every waking moment with just me and Everdeen and Martin. It's hard to have a small taste of what you've always wanted only to know it can't stay that way.
Since I've become a mom, I keep going back to my own childhood, which was everything I want for my own daughter. I want Everdeen to experience all the things that I did...which I know isn't exactly realistic. But the thing I keep remembering is how my mom was home with us, caring for us, teaching us, watching us grow up...and my heart aches to be able to do that someday too.
This fall I will be learning to see things in a new way. I know it won't be like any fall I've had before. I know it's going to be hard and I know there will probably be many many tears.
But as I began to prepare my mind and my heart for these next months ahead I realized that Everdeen will be able to share in some of what I had growing up...and that's my mom.
My mom will be watching Everdeen for us during the week and we couldn't be more thankful. Just knowing that my little girl is safe and sound with Nana during the day makes it a little easier to go back to work. I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child...everyone in my family has something special to offer Everdeen that they can only teach her. And she is one lucky little girl to get to be around her extended family so much. It makes me smile when I think that maybe she can have some of the same special moments that I had growing up.
So with this last week of maternity leave I'm beginning to find peace within myself and know that this next chapter in my life is just that, a chapter. And as I learn to see fall again through new eyes things are starting to look a little clearer.