My Dear Leaf Baby,

Today is your half birthday! You are six months old, which means that six months ago this happened, and boy, does it feel like you've been here forever. Did I really give birth to you? Or is it just taking you a really, really long time to age. God actually dropped you out of the sky six years ago and one day when I was walking under a tree you landed on me and I scooped you up in my skirt and brought you home.

No, really, you were born six months ago.

It's happened. Life as we've known it has changed, and it will never be the same. Example. Today as I was walking, I was holding you like a football with one arm, holding some papers and a check in the other, which was also supporting you. With great efficiency and lightning speed you grabbed the check and stuffed it in your mouth. I quickly took it from you, but you had already gummed it and slobbered all over it. (Thanks, by the way.)

Or here's another example: you now often cry when I leave the room. I come hurrying over thinking, are you tired? Maybe it's naptime? Did one of your crazy siblings pinch you? And as soon as you see me you break into a smile, which changes quickly to a heartbroken look again, if I start to walk away. You just want me to be with you.

You're growing up. You are definitely out of the newborn phase, and you've begun to sit up, (not literally, although you're trying) look around, notice things, make your little mark on the world. This is both very good and slightly bad. Actually, not bad at all, just a wake up call for a mama with two children who are already making their little marks over the world. On the other hand, it would be not so healthy if you didn't learn to roll, or crawl, or all the other things that I'll bet you'll be doing soon. Growing up is healthy.

You've also begun to eat. I'm remembering two things about what happens when babies learn to eat. One great thing is that I can leave you with your superstar Dad now, to run around, run some errands, sit by myself. I haven't, really, but I can. The other thing, kind of not so fun, is the amount of time it takes to feed a baby pureed peas when they're not so into it. It's not like I had any gaps in my schedule that I was hoping to fill, you know? I kind of wish that we could just skip to you feeding yourself, but that would mean missing some other good stuff, so I'll deal with feeding you while bathing YaYa and teaching Kid A to read. The first time I fed you was at the Rainbow Gathering, and you made some faces that implied that you weren't very happy with my new form of torture. Or my new sense of humor. It was like I was trying to feed you cold mushy blended rice, or something. Which I guess I was. Sorry about that. It's been better since then. Still time consuming, though.

You've begun to blow raspberries, and when you do it, all I can think is that I would love to pluck your juicy bottom lip off your face and stick it in my pocket. I love that lip, just love it. I could stare at the expression on your face while you blow raspberries all day long.

You have a developing relationship with your brother and sister, which still needs to be mediated, mostly. I have to keep them from pulling you around the room or sitting on you or, the YaYa Sister's most recent desire, feeding you things you shouldn't be fed. But today, this morning, I saw you peeking over at something, sort of craning your head to see, and the smile on your face was like the sunrise. I didn't know what you were looking at and when I turned my face, there was Kai, with the same expression on his face. You looked so much alike, and so in love with each other that you took my breath away. What a thing, to have you all.