Dear Leaf,

You are one month old and as I write this I am so exhausted I feel as though my soul is leaking out through my shoes. I feel as though to bystanders I would appear unhuman. It is only 8:30. Late evening, not even night. I forgot how much having broken sleep can wear on you. It's as though you wait until I am just about in a state of REM to start gritching and grunting because your body has already metabolized what I gave you 3 hours ago. I have upped my daily caffeine allowance to include a second cup of tea, which I drink in the early afternoon with my eyes closed, sighing hugely over the amazing aroma that rises from my cup. Two cups of tea contain all the caffeine I can handle without becoming riddled with anxiety. Perhaps one reason I am so tired is that you are the third and my days are spent surrounded by incredibly small people who need help with everything from basic bodily functions to social relationships.

Perhaps it is because you are the third that I am loving this so much. I know now that it will all pass and once again I will sleep. However I will not always have you as a curled up bug on my chest, a little snorting roly poly sighing into my neck. I will not always have you staring at me as if I am the most magical thing you have ever seen, me knowing that I have done absolutely nothing to deserve that kind of love. Your eyes are so beautiful, your hands like small birds that fly by your face, startling you.

Today to celebrate your one-month birthday your brother and sister woke up at 6:30 and we sat and sleepily listened to you telling us long stories of all the things you've seen. We watched you staring and smiling at the play of light and shadows on the wall by the bed. I told you about them, how your sister loves to sing and dance, how your brother loves to pretend he is doing killer skateboard tricks and how he tries to stand on his head, over and over again. You gazed at me while I spoke, and they sat smiling shyly, watching you drinking it all in. We are all memorizing you now, touching your soft hair, kissing your cheeks. I have to keep Kid A and the YaYa Sister from kissing you too much, they are as addicted to you as I am.