Friday, July 17, 2015

Letter to (Six Year and Two Month Old) Ann Peyton

Dear Ann Peyton

I'm still a little behind so I'm catching up with some memories right after we moved back to Mississippi. 

We made a lot of progress on the house pretty quickly but we got held up a bit waiting for our new floors to come in and trying to purge and get rid of stuff (you are so good at helping us minimize). We set up camp for you and Graves with your sleeping bags in our old master closet and again, you guys were so flexible. 

You've loved getting to spend lots of time with your friends and cousins here. Seeing you and Graves reunited with your precious friends has been one of the sweetest parts of moving back. 

I will say that when you're Highly Sensitive, nothing your momma says is going to convince you that saying goodbye to your best friend for a week or so is different from saying goodbye to your best friend for eight months. And then you spend half an hour crying buckets and another half an hour decrompressing. I get it, though. It's not unusual for me to spend half an hour getting worked up and the remainder of the hour recentering myself. I doubt I look as beautiful as you did in that state, though

Speaking of, your BFF, Aubrey told me awhile back that "we (the Howie children) are so silly. And Graves is so silly. But Ann Peyton is serious." She was a hundred percent right, Darling. But lately we've been seeing more of a goofy side where you get lost in a moment. I treasure them. I took a video of you letting loose and dancing and you were so beautiful with your eyes closed just really letting go. I want more of that for you. 


Probably next to your friends and grandparents, the greatest joy of being home for you guys is the backyard. One of y'alls new favorite thing is eating meals in your fort. So we do it alot! I always feel like an easy yes that makes the no's more tolerable. One of my favorite quotes from you recently was when I asked you if you wanted a pink Pop Ice and you said "well, I've had the pink ones multiple times".


The day we had the floors done, Papa and I shoved y'all outside around ten when the floor guys got here and there was really nowhere for y'all to be and you guys stayed out there, without complaint, until that evening. Ten or so consecutive hours with only potty breaks for you (Graves used a tree because otherwise what's the point of having a backyard?). I've told a lot of people this, but I want you and Graves to know it, too- I don't ask God for signs much but I also do try to seek Him in the every day. It may seem trivial or like I'm reaching, but ten consecutive hours seemed like the magic number confirmation I needed that this is home for right now. That doesn't mean I haven't still had hard days or miss Brooklyn, but as usual, the Lord used you guys to show me something important. 

Speaking of Brooklyn, you set up your little play camera on top of your dragon toy and said that it takes pictures of anyone "coming up to the castle" and then Socks (the sock monkey) "reviews them for safety". Feudal society meets twenty first century technology and it looks an awful lot like co-op living in Brooklyn.

Awhile back you got so upset because Graves has animal pajamas and you didn't. And actually you only had one legit pair of pjs that fit (you'd been wearing t-shirts and your clothes to bed). We're flexible about gender roles with stupid stuff like jams (which anyone who thinks dinosaurs are just for boys can excuse themselves from my life). Plus, our new financial independence goals means I'm going to pick things you can hand down to Gravey Train when I can (sidenote: you finally agreed if we eventually have another girl you'll share her rompers but not her dresses...um, not your decision).


I love the things you think up. One day you set up your sleeping bag and said it's the water and the wood floor is the mud and you do NOT want to get in either. I guess kids are all the same because I remember playing a variation of this with Cookie in our childhood kitchen on Minnie's blue and white checkerboard tiles.

I also love the (rare) moments I sometimes get with just you. A few weeks ago, Graves was sick and you cleaned your whole room by yourself (since Graves felt too bad to help) and then we just snuggled up on your bed and watched the rain fall out your window while you told me me about the birds you saw that morning before Graves and I got up. 

Annie. Annie. Annie. I was cleaning out a bunch of stuff and I found something so special. It was my NFP charts from when Papa and I first got married-- documentation of the most wonderfully perfect abysmal failure of my life. I teared up, truly. I'm so thankful I was the absolute worst at NFP. And so thankful for Papa not being able to take it and saying "Sweetie, you think EVERY night is a risky night" (sorry if that's TMI, girlfriend). Annie, you were the best wedding present we could have ever given each other! And the Lord knew just when we needed you. 

You and your brother continue to be two of the very best gifts the Lord has given me. 

Love,
Momma (and Papa)


P.S. Your swimsuit (which you can't really see) is a 5T. Incidentally, you wore it last year for your Five Year and Two Month Old picture. It still fits great, but you seem to look SO grownup in the picture to me. I think the lanky legs crossed like that make you look like you're practically a teenager! 
















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