Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Max, with his own sense of style.
Today, Max Benjamin, you are turning six.

I looked back over the letters I’ve written you in other years, and it’s shocking how much of your personality has already been so fully formed. Not that much has changed between five and six—you still do flying karate kicks, still love Cinnamon Toast Crunch, still count down to almost everything—you are astonishingly you. Favorite blankets, old imaginary friends, and talks of space still factor into your life, but you’ve made room for more math facts, for sounding out words, for more and more complicated art projects.

Five was an awesome year. You learned the fundamentals of beat boxing and can often be heard muttering variations of “boots and cats” under your breath. You told me about life during the “back thens” when you were around to witness the Passover story firsthand. You were so proud at your preschool graduation ceremony. You explored new camps and played a bass in your group’s production of “Rainbow Fish.” You lost your first teeth. You started kindergarten and aftercare without a single worry, because you were big and you were ready. At the Kotel, you prayed for peace, health, safety and freedom for all.

Few things in life are better than your hugs, even if you don’t always want to give them. It’s hard when things don’t go your way, and it breaks my heart to have to say no sometimes, especially when you “pretty please” me with those blue eyes of yours. And while she might not want to admit it off the top of her head, I’m pretty sure your sister is still your very best friend.

In past years, I’ve been able to foresee so much in the coming year that you’d have to look forward to doing. But as we’re about to come home from this amazing adventure in Israel, I don’t really know what your next big experience will be. Whatever it is, I know you’ll dive into it headfirst, ready to soak up every possibility. You are a truly great kid, and I’m so lucky to be your Mommy (and sometimes, in the very quietest of moments, Mama). Happy birthday, buddy.

(You can also see letters for ages three, four and five.)

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