A letter to my newborn son
Dear Mudpuppy,

Or "Little Tias" as Bug so affectionately calls you. There are no words to express the love and joy I feel as I listen to you contentedly nurse, stroke the softness of your newborn skin and smell the wonderful scent of little you. As you relax, I have the peculiar sensation of not knowing quite where I end and you begin. I could watch you sleep for hours (if you slept that long). But the most wonderful thing, little Mudpuppy, is that I am not the only one who loves you so much.

Already in the hospital, Bug and L.E.Fant were captivated by you. Their little hands were rarely far from you.

And those little hands still keep you close. When I hold you, they shower you with kisses. While you nap in your bassinet, they stop their play to peek over the edge and stroke your sleeping head. "Baby!" repeats L. E. Fant excitedly. And once when I tried to take you back from Bug, she asked, "Why don't you get you a baby?" as she tried to keep me from picking you up.

Everybody lined up excitedly outside the nursery to watch the nurse give you your first bath. If it weren't for the snack room, I don't think they would have ever let you out of their sight.

But who could blame them? Even as you began to protest, you were absolutely adorable.

Bear has been anxiously awaiting your arrival since he first knew you were growing inside of me. His excitement grew exponentially when he learned he was finally to have a brother. Even as you had barely begun to make your presence known through my oversized clothing, everyone we came in contact with knew you were coming and that you were a boy. The checker at WalMart. The stockboy at Super Saver. The lady bagging fish at PetCo. People on the street who made eye contact with Bear long enough for him to blurt out that his mommy was having a baby and that you were to be a brother.

I think it is common for excited parents to feel like announcing the birth of their babies to the world. Your big brother actually did so far as he was able.

Mouse has always loved babies, so there was little doubt she would become enchanted with you as well. Who would have guessed her enthusiasm for helping care for you would extend beyond snuggling with you and kissing those oh-so-kissable cheeks?

You may not care to hear it now, but there is something special in a sister who wants to learn to change even dirty diapers to help her baby brother feel more comfortable. If there is one thing we have learned about you in these few days, it is that you like to be warm and dry. You are the only one of five who actually likes being swaddled. And you will even stop nursing to protest a dirty diaper.

And trust me. A sister who hears that cry and stops what she is doing to help you out is a rare and precious sister indeed.

God bless you little Mudpuppy.