Monday, November 21, 2016

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

Dear Annie,

Well, I have a few things to fill you in on. Backing up a few months. One fun thing we did this Summer that I haven't shared with you yet is a trip we took to Oxford.

Papa singed up for a shift there and Walgreens pays for his hotel and his driving time (and apparently the hotel will throw in the crib without charging the standard ten dollars if you ask nicely) so we decided to all go along for the ride. It was our first trip as a family of five and it was actually a lot of fun. It had been awhile since you had been so we took y'all on a little campus tour and even had a mini civil rights lesson at the James Meredith statue.

Y'all really enjoyed the hotel stay and having breakfast in the lobby after we dropped papa off was a big hit as was having cable. Then we had a few hours to kill until Papa's shift ended so we ate lunch at Newk's, visited Petsmart, and had dessert and enjoyed the play place at CFA. We picked him up and walked around the square and spent about an hour in Square Books, Jr. while it poured. Sarah Lamar woke up for a good bit (perfect!) and we shared an early supper at Ajax and headed home. There were a few pull my hair out moments and I do HATE driving in unfamiliar places, but overall it was pretty easy. You guys are, gratefully, pretty flexible. (I, typically, am not.) You and Graves fell asleep on the way home said "oh no, we'll probably be on that bad schedule again". By which you meany y'all go to sleep at two in the morning. Win some, lose some.

 You are so funny and so stubborn. I had taken a break from homeschooling when Sallie was born and the week we started back you just couldn't wait any longer. You and Graves were dressed up as Batman and Robin and you keeps pressuring me to start back again and the book I put on hold to help me do so had already gotten put back once so we strolled up to the library right before it closed one Saturday, costumes and all.

Papa worked two out of town (but within driving distance) one week. One night he got home at one in the morning and he said that he saw no reason to be especially quiet since everyone should be pretty well asleep but then he heard a loud and hearty (and somewhat villainous) HA.HA.HA! which was followed by a back and forth between various action figures. You and Graves were both up and were waiting for him to get home and went to bed within two minutes of him tucking y'all in.

We had kind of thought y'all we caught up in playing but y'all fell asleep minutes after they saw his face. Another night you feel asleep on the couch with him and during the night he got you and snuggled with her, which you typically don't like like (he and Graves LOVE to snuggle anytime, anyplace, and probably with anyone and I do, but very much on my own terms). I asked you if you knew he snuggled with you and you said "yes, I snuggled with his feet before I fell asleep". You missed him so bad!

Speaking of Papa, after Sallie was born he and I were talking about how funny it would be if we had two really laid back babies who morphed into super intense, tightly wound (though incredibly amazing) bigger people (you and possibly Sallie) and one very high needs (though also amazing) baby (Graves) who morphed into one of the most easy going people I know. I have absolutely no confidence in what James Dobson says about how you can tell their personalities at like six months.

Of course I have some "Annie and Graves stories" to share. One day awhile back, I found Graves outside the bathroom door. When you don't have much self control and your sister is a tiny legalist and has anxiety about RULES, you play games with a bathroom door between you.

Another day I opened the freezer and realized that y'all had frozen these plastic peas and turkey (?!?) Y'all are such weirdos, but you are weirdos who are becoming increasingly adept at getting your own food from the fridge and freezer. Again, you win some, you loose some. After that, y'all started pretending to freeze your Star Wars figures in "carbonite". Sometimes I worry I don't interact with y'all enough, but I love that you two don't know the word "bored" and are so creative when I give y'all space to be.

A box of math manipulatives came in the mail one day and y'all ripped the box and started making things right by the front door. And awhile back you made panther "claws" with toothpicks and ponytail holders! Another thing y'all love to do is making a "train" out of the kitchen chairs when I move them into the den to mop. Y'all usually make your first stop in the Amazon Rainforest because it's so "close" and then head on to (usually imaginary) planets. Y'all recently let Sallie be the conductor!

Besides Graves, I've been spending some time thinking about other friendships in your life. I took a picture of you and Aubrey this Summer at the pool and it made me so reflective. For seven years (and for sixteen months over a distance of twelve hundred miles) you two have maintained such a sweet friendship and loved each other so well. I'm so grateful you have known a true "best friend" so early. I hope you two are always close!

Annie, I love how smart and creative and fun and resourceful you are. You are such a pleasure and we're so very thankful for you.

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. The watermelon dress you're wearing was mine twenty five years ago and I have no idea what size it is.

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