Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Letter to (Five Year and Six Month Old) Graves

 Dear Graves,

You've been tons of fun, as usual. You've been really enjoying your Little Gym class and it's been so much fun to see you make friends and really throw yourself into something. It's been much better than blastball, which you were a little apprehensive about. You also helped Annie plan a little bee-themed birthday party for your friend Maddie, since we were going to be out of town the day of her real party. We made cupcakes and brought decorations and celebrated at the park.

We finally, FINALLY got y'all registered for the year for homeschooling. It was the first week in October and we've finally got you and Annie registered for kindergarten and second grade, respectively. You made Oscar (the stuffed blue owl you took with you) take a pen off the woman's desk and Annie explained that you were just making Oscar be mischievous and that's not his "real personality" (Oscar's that is; clearly that is your real personality ;)). 

Speaking of homeschooling, one night you volunteered to practice handwriting "all night" (and tried very hard to do just that). Why, you may ask would someone who so dislikes handwriting try to stay up all night doing this? Because your punishment for running 1/4 mile away from us "to get an orange from the grocery store" was to go straight to bed after dinner and you had to stay in his bed (as opposed to the typical "night parties" you and Annie have in their room) until you were asleep. It's amazing the schoolwork that sometimes gets done when bedtime rolls around.

Of course, your favorite thing in the world is Sallie. I overheard you telling her "Oh Babes, you're the softest girl in the whole world." She's becoming more and more smitten with you, too. For the longest time she's stared at a picture of you and Annie that I took in New York every time I put her on our bed and way back when she was tiny she was crying and Papa brought her in the room with you guys and she stopped. He carried her in another room and she started back. And now she just coos and smiles and eats up all the attention you give her. I worried because you and Annie are such good friends that she might be a little left out and that the novelty would quickly wear off but I don't think that's happening any time soon!

You also looked at her and said "I love baby clothes, please don't sell any, Momma". Your wife is gonna be SO lucky. I mean assuming she loves baby clothes. And babies. If she doesn't love babies, that's going to be tough. Or a deal breaker. Probably a deal breaker. 

Recently, you just walked in a room carrying her and brought her to me. It was alarming but you were doing a great job and really the way you had her, it would have been hard for you to drop her unless you had tripped. I think, as with many, many things with you, you waited to do it until you felt confident. I made or clear that you needed to ask first and we've been practicing a lot. You have become increasingly competent and one day we were in a hurry and I seriously asked you to pick her up and put her in her carseat.

When I was growing up, we had a cat I loved so much. He was so laid back and Cookie and I taught him "tricks" and would literally flip him in the air and catch him. He never scratched or bit us. I'm convinced that Sarah Lamar is the human equivalent of that cat. I recently walked into the room and were making a web(which he still pronounces "wib") out of her arms and legs. She was just cooing away like it was no big deal.

Another day awhile back you told me that you were "burping her" when I walked in and you had positioned her upright in her swing and were holding her (while she was strapped in) at a ninety degree angle and patting her back.

Related, you like to do this thing you call "balancing" her. You sit her up (in the swing) and put your arms around her in a circle and see how long she can balance. You always catch her when she starts to topple.

To be honest, you really love all babies.  You pouted the other day as we were leaving church and when I asked you what was wrong you told me that you wished we could take your toddler friend Eleanor home with us. You saw an extra old car seat in our carport and said "see we could have put that in the car and brought Eleanor to our house". 

Cookie asked you if you wished  Sallie had been a boy and you said, with great force and sincerity, "I love ALL babies". 

I've been noticing more and more ways you are like me. One way you're like me is that you LOVE and to organize and find a place for things (although you'd never know it from looking at either of our stuff).
That said, in some ways you are (like me) decidedly unorganized. For the second time in one day you left your shoes at home. Papa said you could just go barefoot at the park (?!?) but Annie let you wear some blue and pink shoes and she wore her back up pair she keeps in the van. No big deal, especially since you wore a bright pink and white checkered romper to the park recently because you wanted to be some pink Star Wars guy and you have no concept of colors being gendered. You stretch me and are constantly making me evaluate my priorities and rules and what is really worth my energy.

We love you so much, Bud!

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. I don't even know what size your Halloween costume was. Y'all came up with a them yourselves- parrots and pirates. Papa had actually already bought this on super clearance at Walgreens last year to just put in the dress up clothes so it worked out perfectly. 


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