Wednesday, January 1, 2020


Today, Max Benjamin, you are turning twelve.

This is my tenth annual birthday letter to you, and as we discussed, you are *so* fucking old (you think it’s hilarious when I swear). How can this have happened to my baby? I don’t remember agreeing to this getting older thing. Of course, you’ve never been one to seek anyone’s approval for just being who you are.

This year saw elementary school left in the dust (“Congratulations!”) and the start of a much-needed step up to middle school and greater independence. You were a shtetl innkeeper, a king of the lions, and a crime boss in love. You’ve kept up with guitar and still enjoy being a Guy in a Tie and a Treble Singer. You had seven full weeks at camp, and your camp friends are becoming more important to you. You traveled to  NYC multiple times this year, and to Little Rock, and to Cleveland with just Hannah by your side.

You talk endlessly, and despite having straight A’s, two of your teachers actually noted your talking habit on your report card. You are still the best hugger I know, and always seem to know when I need one (you may think those hugs are mostly for you, but I know better). You binge watch “Glee” and far too much YouTube. You grew your hair long, and then too long, and ended the year with something in between. Your Chai necklace brings you luck. Middle school has given you a whole new crop of friends, but your sister is still your favorite person to harmonize with, and Shira is your favorite dog to impersonate.

Over the next year, we’ll prep for your bar mitzvah and continue to watch you on stage. I think you’ll soon have a social calendar that rivals Hannah’s (Lord help us). Whatever challenges the next year brings, I know you’re going to be served well by your easy-going personality and (often sarcastic) sense of humor about it all. Happy birthday, my buddy - I love you very much. 

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

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