Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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

Dear Ann Peyton,

Quite a bit to catch you up on, per usual!

First of all, I forgot to tell you in your last letter that you and Graves and Sallie and I finally joined Northside. It was such a special day and it's such a special place. This community has breathed love into my life and y'alls lives for a year and a half. So many people have helped me in the pew so I don't have to do this alone. This is home. And it was past time to make that official. And now it is. Thanks be to God.

What else?

I made you and Graves a new daily checklist and put it on the fridge. The clothes pin moves each night to wherever they need to get on the list before they can have a treat, snack, or media time. On Sundays it's be way near the top; on days when Peyton is home and we have a big day it's be further down so y'all can get their tasks done before the business/fun starts. So, for example, if I move the pink one to the fifth row down, you would need to do everything above her independent schoolwork before you got to your privileges. 
The treat is an Oreo or whatever y'all pick and you guys can have one unhealthy snack. I was tired of y'all bugging me about it and I needed to transfer the ownership of it to you two. At Mickey and Minnie's it's a free for all and if we go out to eat or to a birthday party or something that's bonus.Surprising to exactly no one, you were super excited about it. 

We have had a bit of sickness. Graves had 101 fever and threw up and then you came down with it. We had a big week planned and you were heartbroken to have to cancel everything. To your credit, you are an EXCELLENT patient. Every time you woke up in the night, Sallie woke up, and I was taking care of both of of you. I just told you what to do and get for yourself and you did it (telling me things like how you were taking special care not to throw up on library books). You said "I think I'm probably contagious" and I said "yeah, I think so, too. What's your point? Are you worried we gave it to Mickey and Minnie?" And you said, so softly "I'm just not sure church is a good idea this weekend". Bless you bones.

Around that time, Darth got a huge gash on her neck and you were in tears wanting to keep her in the laundry room forever. You've really bonded with her now that you've taken over most of the responsibility for her care and was so worried because you "only has one pet" now that General ran away. We did have a good discussion about how I don't like letting you and Graves take risks and become independent but if I didn't they y'all be able to enjoy life as much. 

Papa and I have been doing body weight exercises and you love doing them with us. You really like showing us up by more than doubling our time with Wall Sits (we do about a minute and you did two and a half the other day). 

You love being outside so much. You, Graves, and Sallie are all much less contented if circumstances don't , or their mother doesn't, make time for it to have a piece of your day.I knew we'd miss our backyard when we lived in Brooklyn but I didn't realize how much until I found myself taking you and Graves to the park every single day it was dry and above forty degrees. And I am SO not that kind of mom. Even then, I didn't realize it until we got home and they spent a couple of 8+ hour days outside with hardly any complaints while our floor was installed.

You and Graves crack me up. Recently, you told me "I was trying to pour this really full container of milk in my little cup of cereal and I was so afraid I'd spill it. And then Graves had a GREAT idea. He said 'how 'bout a bowl?'". He bests you in the common sense department every time.

I love watching you with both your siblings. You and Graves often make Sarah Lamar the conductor of the train and recently you put pillows all around her exersaucer and made her the captain of the ship. Y'all are so good to her!

And your relationship with Papa continues to be so sweet. Awhile back, Papa had worked several extra shifts and got home at 10:30 tonight. At 11:15, he had you and Sallie out walking around the neighborhood (their brother was asleep). Y'all were both SO excited to see him (as was your momma).

You and Papa watched this video about an ethical dilemma where you had to decided weather you would run over one person or many. At the end he asked you one more scenario- the one I had been afraid to bring up- what if the one person was your best friend. You said, very causally, "Yeah, I was thinking about that". And then you told us that Graves had randomly asked her last week if she'd rather be killed or have her best friend be killed. It all made me VERY uncomfortable but I know I spent a lot of my childhood thinking (obsessing) over this kind of thing and it's most healthy when we foster dialogue.

Y'all did another one about self-driving cars with Graves. You made a decision in favor of a group of pedestrians because a pregnant lady was involved ("that's kinda like 2 people because of the baby"); and Graves kept chanting"The HUmans, the HUmans!" when picking to mow over 3 cats or 3 people. YOur decision between cats and people did not have to do with which have a greater claim on life, but rather which made a bigger mess to clean up- " I love animals, but the people would be more of a mess."

Recently you explained to me why you love your fox shirt Minnie got you-"Actually, the two reasons I like it are because Minnie gave it to me and because it's a domesticated animal."  I joked that it's hard enough to find mostly animal clothes for a seven year old girl period so to harsh on the domesticated ones seemed a bit much. You then reminded me of your whale dress. I was like "huh?" and you go "my smocking whale dress". So, yeah, ironically marine motif seersucker bishops are a go as long as long as they include large wildlife that hasn't been domesticated.

I used to be such  a pj snob and I loved yours and Graves's little jams. In my defense, I'm also a homebody and it was/is what I see you guys in a LOT of the time. And I didn't necessarily spend much money- I just didn't buy things unless I wanted to see y'all in it. Well, I bought y'all some new cute ones. You only want animal themed/animal print jammies and Graves loves footies still. And Sallie wears- yay!!!!- whatever pleases her momma. (I am still trying to work toward Wardrobe Autonomy and they do have some things that are definitely not my favorites). 

It's so much fun to watch you grow up and develop more and more into your own person!


Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your black leggings are a size 6 and your neon hoodie (another Minnie find which you love because it's so soft) is also a 7. 

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