Monday, March 10, 2014

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

Dear Ann Peyton,

I'm way behind on this, but I can't just skip over a month of YOU. We're now almost to March and I'm writing about January. But we're just going to go with it.

So much has happened in the last two months. I'll tell you all about our move and settling in process in your next letter, but for now I want to tell you about the month in which Papa was gone looking for our new home and it was just me and you and your brother. It was hard and not necessarily something I'd want to do again, but it was full of sweet, precious moments. So many of them with YOU right at the center!

One of the hardest days of the whole process was when we found an apartment we loved and really, REALLY thought was ours and then at the last minute got turned down because we have children. I remember you saying ""We can wait for it, you don't have to cry, Momma". And then a few minutes later, "I really think we can find a pretty apartment". At that point, you knew very few details, but you were so resolute in your consolation and so tender in your empathy. As hard as that moment was (and I have much more clarity on it now), I can't tell you how incredible it feels to be raising such a kind, tenderhearted little girl. 

One thing I realized about the apartment that I fell in love with is that it might have been our Plan A, but it's wasn't the Lord's. It occured to me that YOU weren't our plan A either, but your were His. What beauty was birthed out of something that seemed to not fit our needs and desires at that point. And what a small thing this was compared to your precious life. It gave me a new perspective to think of it that way. 

You had a couple of cavities and we barely squezed it in and got them filled before the move. They told me to watch you so you wouldn't bite your lip. I didn't watch you. And you looked like Mick Jagger for a good three days. It was awful- so swollen. 

We had one snow day in Mississippi (we've had plenty here since) and you had so much fun! I'm glad you love the snow because you've seen a lot of it lately, sweet girl! 

You are always saying the funniest things. One day you told me "Lately, every day is a rough day. Jasmine (the pretend princess) always wants to play the game where we pretend to be things and she keeps wanting me to be a Clorox wipey."

I also have to tell you about one night when I was just exhausted. You and Graves had been up until 1:30(?!?) the night before and then Graves skipped his nap. I had  about fifty times that dayand I decided at eight thirty that I needed to go to Walmart and also bathe y'all. There was a Little Debbie stocker guy at Walmart that I mistook for a Walmart employee. He told me "God bless you ma'am. Well, it really looks like he already least twice". It was such a poignant moment because he spoke such truth. 

 One day I fixed y'all boxed shells and you wouldn't touch it because you said "I like big flat cheese (singles) and tiny cheese in pieces (shredded mozzarella) but NOT cheese that covers all my food." You are my punishment for every awful thing I ever did to Minnie and I enjoyed the rest of the box. (Obviously you're amazing in about a million and five ways, but the way you channel little girl SD strikes fear in my heart sometimes.)

One night right before we left I had to go to the attic to get clean pjs for you because I was totally out. And then I put my hair dryer on them for a bit. Because it's like twenty degrees up there and they felt like ice cubes. Also, they were your request but they were a 2T. Graves's were actually a 3T, but it doesn't matter what's too small or too big because they both had monkeys so THEY MATCHED. Which is the all important goal every night. You are so compulsive. And so my child. 

Oh my goodness, you and Graves. I say this over and over, but watching y'all together is the best. The very best.  One night on the way home from somewhere at around nine o'clock you, well acquainted with the car nap avoidance procedure, murmured quietly to yourself in the back seat "I'll keep him up so we can have a night party when we get home". Then louder, more forcefully "BUD, What Does a Pig Say??".  Another night you told him "Gorilla, you are being too rough with Momma." (He had climbed onto my shoulders and was screaming "want to go higher!" and yanking my hair.) 

You did so great on the plane ride up. I mean you flew better than some adults. Such a natural little traveler. 

When we got here, I thought we had lost Darth. It was AWFUL. She turned out to have been hiding in a closet the whole time, but I got a little worried and you got VERY worried. You kept looking our our window to see if you could spot Darth in the courtyard. I think it made you feel better. And you kept saying things like "We'll just have to stay forever and look all over this whole city for her" and "I have an idea of something we can do every day- we'll walk around and look for our kitty and then...WE'LL FIND HER!" I'm so glad we did!

Annie, you are something special. I love you more and more every day. I can't imagine a single one without you! 

Momma (and Papa) 

P.S. Your little Jelly the Pug dress is a 4T. It's another one of your very favorites =)

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