Sunday, June 18, 2017

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

Dear Ann Peyton,

Papa's going to write you eight year old letter soon and after that maybe I can catch up. But back to a couple of months ago!

Minnie took you to see Madagascar at New Stage. Y'all both had the best time. You told me the Zebra (who was y'alls  favorite) asked during the play if he was black with white stripes or white with black stripes and at the after party you told him what you thought based on your reading. You  came home and read the program cover to cover and brought it to me because you read that one of the actors had been in Our Town and you remembered me and Minnie seeing it. I know the best part was special grandmother time, though.

School has been great this year. I've decided that we're pretty committed to Singapore. I doubt I'll ever sing its praises like I do Logic of English, but it's working and math isn't a strong suit for a lot of us. It's a much better fit for you than RightStart was- it's still developmentally appropriate enough and rigorous enough for me and isn't just rote memorization and worksheets but it's also not the burden that RightStart was (on the student or the teacher).

Back before it really got to be summer, we had quite a string of different (very not serious) sicknesses. The hardest part, I think, was missing church. I was so disappointed one week when we hadn't been in probably a month- I don't think our family had ever had a stretch of sickness that long. And while I was VERY grateful none of it has been anything serious, I was just kind of exhausted from it. It wasn't even a shred of guilt about missing this time (something I still fight), I just genuinely really wished I was- and y'all were- there. I felt a little sorry for myself to be honest. Missing Calvary every Sunday is hard enough and here I was missing Northside, too. Sweet Minnie came over and boosted everyone's spirits and that had us feeling better. 

Awhile back, I was mopping and you suggested I let Sallie be in the train (you and Graves like to line up the kitchen chairs and pretend they are a train when I mop) by strapping her in her high chair. You and Papa have both started to enjoy Sallie a lot more now that she's crawling and "can play with us" as you says. She still don't like your sister to touch you because she drools SO much and it's pretty comical the lengths you will go to so that she can engage her without any physical contact.

I had planned to make these little hearts and write affirmations for you and Graves and tape them to your door during February. But I'm the worst Pinterest Mom there ever was. Papa and I each wrote you and Graves exactly one heart. Whatever. You guys know love lives here. I just have to remind myself that y'all know sometimes.You told me "Let's make Sallie a heart too- because sometimes she does sweet things. Like sleeping extra when we're trying to do school" and I thought it was just the sweetest thing. 

You are predictably charmed when I put Sallie in the little seafoam bird outfit that I adored when you a baby and am slightly less smitten with now. Awhile back I overheard you, frustrated by pretend play with Graves, in that he wasn't choosing to be an animal in the habitat you had picked, say "you don't even live where we live. You live in the Amazon while we live in the woodlands of North America". This prompted me to tell you that the name of the pattern on the travel swing I bought for you seven years ago (I have no idea how it's still going strong?!?) was named "Woodland Creatures". It's so funny (and weirdly special) to me when I look at the whimsical stuff I was naturally drawn to (lots of "love birds" and "woodland creatures" and ladybug/caterpillar/bumble bee themed things) and realize how those things represent fabric of your days and dreams now seven years later. I'm not sure you care a whole lot, but it's fun sharing these things with you. When we read her first letter I wrote you, we also remembered Mickey calling her "Baby Bird". We thought it was so significant and Papa (who never theorizes like this) said he thought it may have even contributed to your fascination.

Recently, when we went for a family walk, we ran across this poor racoon just laying by the side of the pond in our neighborhood. He was clearly sick or injured because we walked RIGHT past him. Then these buzzards started honing in on him. I felt kind of sad/creepy, but you and Papa are so objective and were like "this is such a cool process to watch". Graves was just running his mouth ninety to nothing and totally giving a commentary on the whole thing and Sallie was cooing away in the carrier. I was like "um, y'all are FREAKS but I guess I can check a nature school box I wasn't expecting to today". I kept asking if we should call like an animal rescue service and then I told Papa that I felt like maybe this should be a private moment. We did end up leaving before he actually died/was eaten but it was so intense.
We love you so much and are so thankful for you, Annie.

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. The dress you are wearing is a 6T.



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