Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Letter to (Four Year and Eleven Month Old) Graves

 Dear Graves,

As I said in Annie's most recent letter, you've actually already had your birthday and turned five and Papa always writes your yearly letters on your birthday so hopefully he'll do that in the next month or so. In the meantime, I'm still a bit behind, so here's a catch up of some of the last bits of your year as a four year old! 

One fun thing we did recently was that we had a little birthday party for Midnight, Annie's stuffed owl. It was largely her thing but you had a great time baking and decorating and finding little trinkets around the house for her gifts.

A few weeks later we had a party for Sugar Pie (the unicorn Beanie Boo) and you got more involved that time. You and Annie got up that morning and immediately started crafting. Then y'all  packed the trunk of the Mazda full- paper crafts in gift bags, other stuffed animals, and already blown up balloons and we celebrated at my parents' house. Annie was so excited to include more guests that time. Oh, and Sugar Pie is the second to youngest Beanie Boo and you and Annie are working hard on helping her learn to walk and say new words. Annie said Midnight would have to be in charge of her flying lessons, though, since we humans have no idea how to so that. We didn't have any parties in April which I was kind of grateful for because we need to plan y'alls party! And in May, "Foxy" (y'alls youngest) and Papa have birthdays within a day of each other so Annie is planning a joint party. She's done a great job already of thinking up commonalities between Peyton and a baby Fox (apparently, they do have a lot of similar interests).

Also, before Spring even truly came the weather got so nice. After a few days of somewhat nasty attitudes, you and Annie were particularly delightful once the sun came back out and I can't help but attribute it to the abundance of sunshine and fresh air y'all got. It certainly improves my own disposition.

You are such a funny guy!

Awhile back you told me "That tummy is lookin' good today". Well, thank you, charming sir because half the people I encounter (okay, maybe mostly your maternal grandparents who obviously have no filters) seem genuinely concerned about my size. As an aside, you are doing better with accepting that the baby is a sister and you've gotten super excited about it again. As a further aside, you guys have been really sweet and understanding through this. One night I started throwing up and couldn't stop and Papa said he might need to take me to the hospital. I took a whole Phenergan (I only ever take half!) and it helped but it knocked me out! I could barely get off the couch until lunch. I'm so grateful you and Annie are such good sports. Y'all did paper crafts, played with homeschool manipulatives, planned upcoming Beanie Boo parties, and Annie pretended you were her puppy dog and trained you so he was as well-behaved as Louie (something I've yet to manage to do, haha!).

I can't do it justice just telling you about it but I took this hysterical video of you running through the yard screaming in your Moose Caboose jammies.  You said you saw a beetle and it "freaked you out".

Recently Papa told me about this conversation he had with you and Annie:
(speaking about Mr Popper's Penguins)
Me: Why do you think he was sent a second penguin (it said in the book because the first was likely lonely)
AP: Probably to mate, they usually do that
Graves: Yeah, to mate.

In other funny news, you were looking at a picture of some kids on the front of a WeeSing book and you told me "This is Aubrey, Jude, Alaina, and Francie". The big girl (Ms. Carrie) and the papa are in a different part of the house. I love that Carrie was the "big girl" and that "Aubrey" had jet black hair in the picture.

You're also getting so creative. You found some empty Coke boxes one day and decided to be Santy Clause. You filled them with toys, set up a sleigh, found Annie some reindeer antlers, and then dressed yourself in a red gingham dress of hers and put on a white leotard for your beard. I love this age so much! I've been thinking recently about your and Annie's imaginations, especially now that yours has really started to develop. One factor among many, I think (and I think this is the case with AP's reading too) is just the sheer amount of time y'all have that you are allowed to choose how to use. Recently, I've noticed that in busier seasons Annie really struggles to "fit it all in" and often what she chooses for her few hours she has autonomy over is not what I'd prioritize (e.g. television shows). As with most things there are advantages and drawbacks (and I try to be very honest about those) but this is definitely, in my opinion, one of the perks of homeschooling. 

Also,  you got out this old man mask you have and the bath towel that was the closest to brown that you could find and made this pile and told me this was after the fight with Darth Vadar. It was Obi Wan Kenobi!

The other day while I was gone, Papa read Monsters Love Underpants to y'all and then for a craft y'all made construction paper underwear (that you use as bookmarks). You loved that! 

 You're so very sensitive, Buddy. One night Papa left you in the car to run in the house for a minute. You thought Papa had left you. You were screaming and sobbing and shaking and told us that you were "very afraid" because you remembered when Papa had told you that you couldn't sleep in the car because you might freeze. You told us you thought you were going to die. There was lots of extra snuggling that night before you fell asleep- bless your sweet heart.

As far as more serious things go, I forgot to mention it in your last letter, but Papa finally told y'all about the changes in his faith.  One night at Mickey and Minnie's you kept insisting everyone pray before dinner. It was a great opportunity to talk to you about not pressuring people to do something they don't want to do/are uncomfortable with and I'm so glad I was in a frame of mind where I didn't just start sobbing. I also reminded you that I NEVER force you or Annie to pray when y'all don't want to. It went well overall and I am trusting God to use this all for good in all our lives, but navigating this is difficult and exhausting to say the least.

You are the cutest, spunkiest, kindest five year old I know! We love you so much. 

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your little seersucker Easter outfit is a 4T. I love it so much!

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