Wednesday, March 11, 2015

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

Dear Ann Peyton,

Winter has been a blast with you. We've had some good snows and have been doing a bunch of fun things. One new thing we did was visit the transit museum. I think it was really fun for you because you're fascinated by the subway.

The snow-- you and Graves both love it, but you vary on how long you can tolerate it. Graves spends half an hour jumping and sliding in it and and then starts sobbing when he has had enough. You bring your dinosaurs and bury them and dig them up and play little imaginary games with them. You are NEVER ready to go inside.

We also had your last day- and observation day- at Brooklyn Ballet. It was very bittersweet and I shed a few tears. I think we're all shedding them more and more lately over leaving. 

Recently the prompt on your  iPad drawing app was "draw someone on stage". "Look I drew Joseph on stage at church" you told me. I had told you how you'd Creative Arts Camp this year and you said it made you sad but maybe we could find out what Bible story they were learning about at camp and I could find in in the Bible and read it to you and Graves and y'all could act it out yourselves. I (truly) think all our return visits will likely be scheduled around either Mockingbird or Creative Arts Camp. 

We are all going to have to learn how to live with leaving a part of our heart in this place we love so much. I anticipate the transition being okay because I know you miss so much in Mississippi deeply, but I know there will be so many things you miss about the city. 

At some point this Winter, Papa cinched your coat at the waist and something about it makes the whole ensemble look more intense to me. You look like a tiny mountain climber, and you might as well be one, darling girl. I also finally decided y'all were only wearing snow boots around. I want to get my money's worth out of them (which was like $15 on eBay) and your little canvas mary jane tennis shoes from Target don't seem appropriate at all for the climate. 

The weather has made me reprioritize. You wore a sweater dress to church one week because when the windchill is in the negatives, you lay down the bishop if you're a reasonable momma. You also have two pair of corduroy overalls. You literally wear them all the time. Like I think seventy five percent of the time, if we're leaving the house, you have them on. It's mostly been too cold for leggings and we STILL haven't boarded the denim train (I know, I'm absurd). I bought them and a navy pair years ago for $4.99 each at TJ Maxx (I was a buy ahead freak back in the day). They may be my best kid clothes purchase ever. At the time you were probably eighteen months old and I thought the granny print was a little dorky, the colors a little drab, and the construction (i.e. legit OskKosh overalls) a little masculine. But i couldn't pass up that steal. I envisioned you wearing them to paint or something. Now I consider them so sweet and girly and decidedly not grown up like so many things on the market for little people your age. They are some of my favorite things ever.

Papa contiues to go back and forth between making you laugh and pushing your buttons and it's hard to tell what will do which. Awhile back he ran in the bathroom and dumped ice on the you and Graves in the tub and starts flicking the lights and telling y'all your dinos are about to become extinct. You loved that. As an aside, we tried to put an end to co-ed baths. But y'all missed it so much, and honestly it's such a break for me, so we just let you guys bathe in your underwear now. 

As a further aside, one thing I'll REALLY miss about our tiny place is being able to hear y'all in the tub from literally any other part of the apartment. This is a point of interest because, my, y'all love absurdly long baths and Graves is STILL at the point where it's oh so nice to know he's contained.

I know in my heart that I love you and Graves together more than I could ever love you separately. One night you read Papa a story you had "written" in lieu of your bedtime books. After it was over, Graves got upset because he didn't have a story and he said he wanted one about a dragon and "it could be short". I got ready to tell him a quick one and then you hopped in his bed, snuggled up with him and said "I'll tell him a dragon story!". One of God's sweetest gifts to me is y'alls friendship.

The last time we had a day where Papa worked the afternoon/evening, y'all missed having time together in their room in the morning (you guys usually play in there while I take my bath, plan school, get in the computer and eat breakfast). You wanted to know if she could stay with him for rest time "just for a special treat".

You two crack me up. Y'all were singing a song about Santy Clause and I asked you if it made you sad that he doesn't come to our house. You said nope. You and Graves have a magic dinosaur that visits y'all and brings extra treats. He puts extra Oreos in the package and things like that and we never know it. Sometimes he goes and adds them at Target around Christmas time and they're in there before we even get them. My kind of magic.

You both only have the fitted sheet on their bed. Y'all don't care and it's less hassle. Ya'll have been wanting to take of the sheets for your "nests" that you make and I finally got out the flat sheets for them. Also, you told me that she had made your nest really big so Graves could fit, but the rule for your nest was "one stuffie, one blanket, one pillow". You're the sweetest. And also the most militant.

It's so fun to watch your thoughts come to life. I gave the you and Graves the brown felt I had left over from something and ya'll used it for dress up costumes for a couple of weeks. I walked in your room one day and ou had made some "vines" for MonkMonk and attached them to your bed. 

We showed y'all The Land Before Time for the first time and I cried just like every time I struggled through it in elementary school. When Little Foot's momma dies she tells him she'll be with him even thought he can't see her. Graves said "will we always be able to see?" And seemed worried. You were totally zoned in and go "we can't always see the movie; we have to send it back to Netflix". And Graves said "No, see each other". You some Big Feelings, but in certain ways he's MUCH more sensitive. He also said later that being mean could "break someone's heart" and you said "well, Graaaaves, I don't think that would really break someone's heart". You're SO literal. 

Annie, I can never capture enough of you in these letters. But it's fun to try! You are so funny, so smart, so incredible. We love you so much.

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. You are wearing a 5T turtleneck, a ballet skirt from 3K/4K and socks your aunt gave you at least two years ago. I love your sense of style, girlfriend! 

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