10:00 PM

Something has been happening these last several weeks. It started on a Tuesday. Odd, right? That I can remember the exact day, but I think it's that first baby mentality pulling at my heart strings. Anyway, let's continue....

     I started to get Pen dressed as I do every morning, and noticed a difference in how her shirt was fitting. I swore she had just worn in not even two weeks ago, but it might have been longer. I told her to put her arms up and there it was, instant toddler belly. It was way too short. I tried again with another shirt, it was better, but still not the ideal length. My baby, my little girl, was no longer a toddler.

     Today, she turns four. That means four years ago I was at the hospital snuggling her tiny 6 lb 15oz. body in my arms. She was literally swimming in everything we put on her. I remember the first time I tried to burb her, having a moment of panic realizing I had no idea what I was doing. Obviously, those moments of woe faded, and I ultimatly got the hang of all of it, but holding her now, it's hard to remember a time I was afraid.

     Ok, that's a lie. I'm still afraid of a million things. The world, people, her growing up and having to make all the choices that will come her way. How could anyone not be afraid of that? But there is also this sense that comes over me like a force. It's strong, I feel it when she talks back to me, when I see determination in her. She's going to be more than mighty.

     I know that whatever life throws at this little girl, she's going to attack it. She's going to tackle it with a force. I can't begin to express my emotions on this very day. In fact, I've come dangerously close to crying at least four times today. It's just a newness that I must face. That my little baby girl, is not so much a baby anymore.

Happy birthday Penelope... 

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