Letters To My Sons | October

Dearest Bear,

“Grey is my grind” has become the catchphrase this year since my daily mission is preventing a trip to the emergency room. Corralling your energy in order to keep you from walking into someone or something — a car, cyclist or simply a mucky puddle — is a must. So is the deescalation of wrestling matches that can quickly get out of control, stopping you from jumping and twirling with food in your mouth, tilting back in your chair or crouching on top of it, and getting you to look forward so you see the oncoming dog walker or crowd of teenagers. It entails telling you not to throw balls in the living room and to pay attention so you don’t fall down a sidewalk cellar door or a set of approaching stairs. And oh yeah, dog poop. “Watch out Grey! There’s poop!” I’ll say at least a half dozen times a day. Recently I was a tad late as you tripped over the raised part of the sidewalk tumbling forward. You suffered a couple of scrapes, but no broken skin so not such a big deal. The bigger injury was likely your bruised ego after we discovered a bit of dog poop along the side of your sweatshirt. Cackles from your older brother didn’t help much either as he brought up the fact that you were the first in the family to ever do THAT!

Always the consummate tough guy though, you shrugged it off and said your usual: “Well … it didn’t hurt.

You have so much energy Grey — much like a wind up toy! And forget about it, when you hear music it’s tenfold. You LOVE dancing to ALL types of music and with mature moves that leave Daddy and I falling into each other with laughter. Where did he learn THAT move!?

Also a prankster who loves oddly constructed jokes, some of your finest work involves burying your head in the sofa and sticking your tushie in the air: “Mommy can you find me?”. Or running up to ask me if you can give me a hug only to make a fart noise and take off giggling. And of course you love to act the fool when getting dressed —most typically when we’re running late for school — by trying to put your sweater on as pants, your pants on as a shirt or your underwear on backwards: “Is this the right way Mommy?!” The ultimate jokester with so much personality and excitement for life — it’s no wonder we try to get you on the court as much as possible!

Grey with his basketball, Cash with his Pokémon book

Whenever we can we like to go as a family to the local playground on Saturday mornings so you can shoot around and do practice drills with Daddy. This usually holds your interest briefly before you’re off to the next thing like the swings or climbing gym — but no matter what you’re burning energy which for us is the end goal. Even at bedtime lying amongst your dozens of “stuffies” you’ll find time for one more joke, calling out to anyone within ear shot, “Where’s Grey?!”, as you attempt to “hide” in the pile of plush before bursting into laughter.

There’s so many loveable things about you Grey. Of course I always talk about wanting to squeeze and devour your face, but there’s also the things you say. Like the other day when you called out “Girl Power!” as you chose Toadette in a game of Tennis Aces. “I don’t care if it’s a girl Cash — wight Mommy?! Girls are strong!”

Or how you say “Aminal” (animal), “cram-rah” (camera) and “eee-oat-mee-ul” (oatmeal).

And how excited you get for fall because that means it’s “acorn season!” For the past three years you’ve collected them on our walks to and from school, stuffing them inside a hole on the side of our building, which needless to say is now completely filled up. Cash and I wonder aloud if when we come back in thirty years to see where we used to live in Harlem we’ll find those acorns you hoarded years ago. Who knows, but what will definitely be around forever are these memories of you Grey Bear. Thank you for making them so colorful, for keeping us laughing and for always ALWAYS keeping me on my toes!

I love you for all seasons — especially ACORN SEASON!

Always and forever, Mom