Monday, April 28, 2008

Down By One

Tonight we are a family of five. We have gone to a missionary hosted Family Home Evening lesson with neighbors and friends from the ward. We have played outside with neighbors. We are now tucked in and ready for bed. But something is missing. The crazy bright energy that is Ann Marie is noticeably absent from our family tonight.

Ann Marie is living large at a sleepover at Nana's house. They have had a tea party, made a book for each sister, had hot cocoa with lots of whip cream, and a bath with crayons to use in the tub. Now she is going to bed in the bedroom her mama used to sleep in when she was a little girl. Her voice oozed with excitement as she gushed to Sabrina about all her adventures tonight on the phone.

So tonight I want to tell everyone about my incredible little Ann Marie. She is an avid, self taught reader and is almost finished with the Magic Tree House series of chapter books. She is a perfectionist and loves to be in charge. She loves her sisters. She thinks of others and is always wanting to get presents for her family and friends.

She has a special love for her sister Camille. You can see in this photo how her hand is so gently holding Camille and her mouth is pursed ever so slightly in the "love her so much I have to grit" fashion that is common to her.

Annie makes me laugh. She loves "relaxing" baths and sliding down the stairs banister. She is a bit of a dare devil, jumping off anything she can climb. However, once in a while she just gets freaked out by something and she can't be convinced she is safe.

One example of this was our last trip to the beach. My sister-in-law Elizabeth is an amazing photographer and was able to snap these shots of Annie that day. These shots are miraculous considering how terrified Ann was of the waves and how she screamed and cried every time one came in regardless of her distance from the water. There was no telling her that the wave wouldn't come up and get her. She was terrified for her sisters playing near the water. Eventually we had to leave to calm her down.

Annie is my night owl pal. She is her most pleasant self when she should be asleep but can't sleep and is allowed occasionally to keep me company when everyone else is asleep. We read books together and tell stories. She is ready to help or please in anyway she can. Anything to stay with me in her wakeful night hours. I empathize with her genetically acquired insomnia. I miss my Ann Marie tonight and appreciate her in our family. She brings lots of "LIFE" to our little crew. So, tonight I hope you enjoy these photos of my little Ann.