Saturday, January 5, 2019


At the Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco
Today, Hannah Ruth, you are turning fifteen.

And seriously? That's enough for me. Just stay right here, as you are, right now. I'd be perfectly happy to keep you here forever. You, on the other hand, have bigger plans.

You started high school after delivering an amazing speech at eighth grade graduation. You were a brainiac (#HSMforever), an astronaut and a sky diver. You continued to sing all over with the Troubadours and HaZamir. You produced "Emotional Baggage" to cap off your Oak Hill Drama experience, and we saw many shows together. You traveled to New York City and Israel without your parents, but camp remains your home, and your friends there are your family.   

You cried tears of happiness when we finally got a dog, and after Zimriyah, and at the Kotel, and tears of stress in honors math and after theater auditions. You rock a double French braid and are always up for new clothes. You've made so many new friends in high school, and it's amazing to me how you just collect people who love you. Not as much as your brother loves you though, and I appreciate how you go out of your way to show your love for him.

You have so much coming ahead for you, and I know you're going to rock all of it. We talk just the tiniest bit about driving and college on the horizon, but I know you'll be ready for all of it when the time comes. For now, I hope you enjoy something in each day, even if it's just belting out show tunes in the shower. I love you, Hannie. Happy birthday.

(You can also see letters for ages seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen and fourteen.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


On the glass floor at the top of Willis Tower in Chicago
Today, Max Benjamin, you are turning eleven.

And you're kind of "meh" about the whole getting older thing. You realize that you're having a pretty amazing childhood, and that adulthood isn't all it's cracked up to be. But you also can't wait to get your birthday present, so getting older will have to come.

This year you started your last year of elementary school. You were Prince Charming and a Guy in Tie, and will soon be a barkeep and a Lion King. You were a singing, two types of guitar, flute-playing wonder. We marched for our lives together. You had another epic summer at camp, and we all know Gurim was robbed at Zim. You finally made it to Mount Rushmore and the world's biggest ball of twine, driving 5800 miles with Dad. You got an iPhone and used it to text your grandparents.

You are all things YouTube and film-making (be sure to like and subscribe!), and “did you know” political facts and conspiracy theories and, as of this past week, a taxi-driving alter ego, Daniel Dingleschwaber. You have your own sense of style, lately favoring jeans and accessorizing with bracelets, and of course, your long hair. You want to know everything, and you want to share what you know even more. Your sister’s support means everything to you, and she’s still your best friend, followed closely by our new puppy, Shira.

So much lies ahead for you. Fifth grade graduation and starting middle school, a full seven weeks at camp, and so many more videos to be made. I'm so proud of you, and grateful that I get to be on this journey with you. Happy birthday - I love you, buddy.

(You can also see letters for ages three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten.)