Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Letter to (Four Year and Seven Month Old) Ann Peyton

Dear Ann Peyton,

You've had such a fun month. It started out with you being the flower girl in one of our friend's weddings. Papa, you, and I drove to Chicago and it was such a wonderful little trip. We left Graves at home with Mickey and Minnie and it was such a fun time to just enjoy you. The trip took (around) twelve hours and by the time we pulled into the hotel you had napped a bit, but were delirious and excited.

You were an AMAZING little flower girl. You just adore the bride and it was so much fun to watch you soak up the magic of her special day. You "threw" more than "tossed" your petals (overhanded and with great force), but it was adorable. Equally adorable was the fact that you felt compelled to pick up all the petals after the service ended. We stayed at the reception late into the night and you danced yourself silly. I cherish the pictures and memories of that special weekend so much.  You did tell us, upon returning home that you were "so glad to be back with your prince". You said "I had fun, but I missed him". If that's not the sweetest.

Actually, the sweetest is all the pretend wedding you orchestrated in the weeks following the trip, where the two of you would link arms and process off Graves crib, pretending to be a newly married couple. You even went so far as to ask me one night if you and Graves could REALLY get married when you grew up.  "Well no," I told you, "you can't marry Bud for real when y'all grow up. But I do think that if you get married it will be to someone just as sweet and amazing as Graves is" and then "What? Oh, yes sweetheart, I'm certain Bud will want to come visit you at your house after you get married". It was literally one of my favorite moments ever. 

You also have been dancing a good bit together. You take the quilt off your bed and set up the chairs around it and make a "stage" with an "audience" and y'all do ballet to The Nutcracker. Bud isn't so graceful and I heard you call out "Ugh. He hit me in the abdomen!".

You and Graves have been having a fun time doing school together, too and I loved it when you told him "No, Bud. George WASHINGTON is a president. CURIOUS George is a monkey. They are *not* the same." Preschooler/toddler convos are the best. 

Sometimes when we go places, he pulls you along now. It's interesting to see your little personalities develop and how y'all interact as siblings. 

We've seen a bit more of your stubborn side lately and when we tell you something you don't like you've started saying "I get to make the choices". I've told you that you sure do, but I get to decide the consequences of what you choose. The first time I said this, you told me "You'll put me in time out, then we'll talk about it, then in the morning a REAL prince and princess will come and I'll have them instead of a momma and daddy and they'll let me make ALL the choices." "Oh, where will we be?" "Maybe on a little trip or something." You exhaust me mentally about as much as Graves exhausts me physically.

It's so funny what you pick up on because the other day I heard you say, "Well, you lost the privilege of dropping things". 

We had another rough library book this month, but I think this one was appropriate. It included scary graffiti and a homeless lady. But throughout the book, the little girl who is the main character finds beauty in her life and her city. It was a difficult read but I adored it. [Incidentally, we had our first Annie-initiated conversation about homelessness that same day. You asked if truckers had homes and then if everyone had homes. The most beautiful thing I saw that day were the wheels in your mind turning and the strings of your heart being pulled. It's such a privilege to hold your hand as you begin to see, really see, the world.]

You've been asking more hard questions. Mickey and Minnie's kitty cat that they've had since Cookie and I were tiny passed away and you wanted to know a lot about that. At first you wanted to know about why she was "tired and weak" (I had explained she had just gotten really old) and then you started asking about people. I heard myself tell you "Actually, we are made to live forever. Just not here on Earth." Later that day we listened to Bruce Springsteen's version of "When the Saints Go Marching In" and I got teary because it talks about "when the new world is revealed" and it's just so beautiful and sometimes we just long for heaven, you know?

You asked me if everyone "has" God and I asked what you meant and you said "Does everyone have him in their heart?" and, as hard as it was, I had to tell you that no, not everyone has Him in their hearts in the sense that they know Him and want to obey Him. I decided to give it another year and then I'll teach you r about Prevenient, Justifying, and Sanctifying Grace. 

You are such a sweet, beautiful girl. I'm so proud of you and love you so much. I'll never be able to tell  you how much.

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your turkey dress is a 4T. 

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