Thursday, March 6, 2014

Letter to (Thirty Four Month Old) Graves

Dear Graves,

Mid January to mid February (the expanse I intend to cover in this letter) has been a crazy time for our family. The last two weeks of January were spent doing the final packing in Missisippi and getting ready for our big cross country move. The first two weeks of February involved settling in to life in Brooklyn. Though I won't say you are an easy child (you are too much of what Southern folk call "a mess" for that), but your nature is so very easy and it's one of those things that has made this transition exponentially easier. You are generally so easy to please and you take things in stride. Something will set you off and you'll scream hysterically for a minute or two (at most) and then you carry on with your day as if nothing happened. You're  generally easy to console when things aren't going your way and when things are your like a lightbulb you bring so much cheer to a room. My sweet sunshine boy, you helped me make it through many a lonely Mississippi night without your papa and you helped me make it through many a dreary Brooklyn day when it felt to cold to even breathe. 

But you are so dramatic! We always say your sister has a flair for the drama, which she comes by naturally, of course. And she is given to long, exhausting, emotional breakdowns. Yours are quick and hysterical and dramatic in their own way. For example, one day we were at Target and you and I seemed to be in having a similar day emotionally (read: crying about most everything). Pretty uncharacteristic for you; par for the course for your momma. Anyway, we were looking at raincoats for Annie and I told you that I was sorry it was just so much harder to find cute boy raincoats. You just sobbed. Poor guy. I think I've ruined you. 

I have to tell you this because it involves you. One night while we were still in Mississippi, I ate frozen mozzarella sticks by myself for dinner and they were so incredibly delicious. I thought about the year I nursed you despite his dairy intolerance (it was truly of the hardest things I've ever done). And I looked 2014 and a city of eight million people twelve hundred miles away in the face and I told it "you ain't got nothing on this girl". It was a stupidly powerful moment. It's strange in a way, so much of this journey has brought me back to thinking about my pregnancy with you, your birth, and your early months. They were all hard in some ways and all grew me into a grown up in some ways. I feel like in so many ways those days are comparable to these days. 

Speaking of, New York has been wonderful with you. But first, a few stories from our time back at home. First of all, you really, REALLY need your papa. You did great without him, but I'm so not one for rough housing and you so are. One night Annie told you "Gorilla, you are being too rough with Momma." (You had climbed onto my shoulders and was screaming "want to go higher!" and yanking my hair.) 

You're so funny in the way you say things now. You told me one day when I was changing your diaper that "We don't call it a booty. Minnie says BOOHINEY".

We had some weird and rough nights at home, but you guys mostly rewarded me by sleeping late the next day. One morning you woke up super early, went over the dress up clothes bin and put on an infant glow worm Halloween costume, told me you were the "bery hungry cat-a-pilla" and snuggled up with me and went right back to sleep. 

Another night you woke me up even earlier (around two). I heard you crying and you had a plastic bin packed with a bunch of stuffed animals and and just RAN into the living room. Your tiny toes were freezing (you won't wear socks and I didn't have your footies clean). I woke up the next morning and we were both sweating.

Onto life with you in the city...

One thing I have to say is that I'm really, really glad we brought the cats. I was (less than) ambivilant to be honest. It was just an extra hassle and of course we love them, but I just felt like the liter box and the small space and the flying them up was such a pain. But like I said, it's been worth it a hundred times over. You have fallen in love with them (well, mainly General, Darth doesn't really let you near her- smart cat!) and just adore the kitties more than ever before. General lets you lay your head on him and you're always looking around for him to pet and play with. You two have gotten to be even sweeter friends than you were at home. I think it's wonderful because I feel like having them here is something that adds a little bit of security for you and your sister, which is so, so important to me. 

I know you do miss home, even though I don't think it's near as intense a longing as it is for me and Annie at times. We were snuggling on the couch one night and you randomly said "Brodda Mitchell starting his sermon". What?!? You sure do love our old pastor. Anyway, we had a little discussion about where we went to church that past weekend ("tabernacle") and who you missed from church at home ("Brodda Mitchell" and "Miss Paige"). It made me miss them all, too! As a sidenote: Brooklyn Tab kind of terrified you it was so loud! 

One thing that's been interesting (and a little sad!) is how cold natured you are- just like me! You tell us often (even if you're very bundled) that you're "freezing cold" or that you are "shivering". It's so cute to hear you say it, but pitiful all at the same time. You have enjoyed playing in the snow a few times, much to my suprised excitement and we're usually able to get you warm somehow- you wear Papa's hat and scarf on top of your own hat a lot! Also, when you're a Southern boy in Brooklyn you might occasionally wear your sister's leggings under your jon jon.

You love riding in the stroller a lot, though. You still fall asleep in it on the regular, which is sort of weird to me at almost three. But you love it! 

You and Annie, as always, have such a dear little relationship. A few weeks ago we were walking somewhere and you said Annie's hands were too cold to hold. She told you "I just want to be close to you and hold your hand, Bud." You shook your head. She said "I can put on my mittens and you obliged. 

Sometimes, y'all get into trouble together. It's frustrating, but funny, to see what y'all come up with. One day y'all decided to intentionally tee tee in the cardboard "car" you had created. I guess it was a long trip. Ha! 

If I do get made at you, though, there's no way to stay mad. That very same night I looked over and saw you eating dinner with your arm around Annie's shoulder. You had the sweetest expression on your face. And you spent the whole meal with your arm around your best girl. When we intentionally had y'all close because we hoped y'all would BE close, I never imagined what an intense love it would be. This whole thing is infinitely easier because you each have your best friend here and even at such young ages I think you find tons of security in each other.

Graves, I love you so incredibly much.

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your madras pants and t-shirt are both a 2T.

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