Saturday, January 1, 2022


Today, Max Benjamin, you are turning fourteen.

A second teenage pandemic birthday. You started asking me months ago about what we could do for your birthday, almost like the countdowns you used to enjoy when you were younger. I definitely offered up taking a few friends out to dinner as an option. It's so disheartening that it's not one anymore. 

That hasn't stopped you from making the best you could out of this year. You shined on your bar mitzvah day and raised over $2000 for charity: water. You play guitar almost constantly and you've started writing your own musical arrangements to Jewish prayers, and complete songs as well -  I found myself humming along to the one about elliptical orbits while washing dishes the other day. You explored some of your analytical tendencies in a Speech club last year. You had a fabulous summer at camp on your own, and one perfect day with me and Hannah in NYC.

You prefer savory to sweet, wolfing down spicy tuna rolls and whatever my leftovers are. You are part of the library task force and the GSA, and love being a Madrich (teacher's aide) in the first grade at religious school and with the children's choir. You're now the tallest person in the family, which means you want your arms to go on top when you give me one of your famous hugs, and I'm trying to get used to that. You were a great support to Hannah during the crazy college process and I think you've grown even closer over the past year. You give me regular "pupdates" on Shira, who you still can't get enough of.

As you've gotten older, these annual letters can't actually contain all of the things that you are, and that you are to me. I love you because you're my son, but I also love you because of who you are as a person. You give me something to be proud of every day, and I'm very lucky to be your mom. Happy birthday, buddy. 

(You can also see letters for ages threefourfivesixseveneightnineteneleventwelve and thirteen.)

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