Letters To My Sons | February

Dear Cash,

While a student in Anna’s 5/6’s class, in the depths of your shark obsession, you created your first book “Super Sharks” about three shark friends — Xenacanthus, Stethacanthus and Orthocanthus — who go on an underwater adventure in search of super powers. Since then you’ve written and illustrated DOZENS of stories involving wild animals, sea creatures, Santa and his helpers (during the holidays), Emma and Grey as crime fighters working against evil robots (which evolved into a 12 book series), magically powered jetpacks, “proton lasers” and “electrisadee swords”. Your creativity is first-rate with illustrations so splendid in their perspective; perfectly crafted angry eyebrows and upward gazes of shock and awe. Where did you learn to draw like that I often wonder? But then I think of Picasso who said it took a lifetime to paint like a child. It’s magical how you draw what you see — how your creative mind works in overdrive.

Paper regularly disappears from my office printer, staples collect on the floor underneath your desk and markers litter your bedcovers after a night of writing by the light of your flameless candle — signs of your creative aftermath. Then every morning you can’t wait for me to read the latest chapters: “Please Mommy, if we get a seat on the subway, can you read to me and Grey?”

What was your favorite part Mommy?

What was your second favorite part?

Did you see the evil robot’s hypnotized eyes?

And the part where Grey and Emma save Theo?

This writer’s life of yours is beyond awesome. But what makes me smile most is when you collaborate with Grey: “Look Mommy! Grey tells me what he wants to happen and I do the writing. Then we work together on the drawings.”


Just yesterday you guys created “Grey’s Book of Drawings”. Cash as writer, Grey as illustrator. The items vary from musical toys to Nintendo controllers, favorite stuffed animals to furniture, and remind me of contemporary artists who transform an object’s mundanity into something complex and beautiful. The images are colorful and whimsical — perfectly enticing to my art trained eye — but for you guys it was simply fun to draw Grey’s favorite “stuff”. And the infectious laughter was proof of this.

Just a sampling of the many books you’ve made

Your teachers shared with me that you love to do your creative writing in school too. It’s your first choice for free play and during snack or lunch time the teachers will often read aloud your latest chapter or installment. “The class is absolutely riveted,” teacher Max said, “and Cash LOVES it!”

When you are enthralled Cash, especially with something that involves imagination and creativity, it’s awe-inspiring; there are times when you work on your books for hours on end.

But as I said before, when you and Grey collaborate on a book, I feel tremendous joy. I love the sound of you two laughing at the characters’ facial expressions and wacky villains you’ve conjured up. Grey’s laughter especially reminds me of an old video in our family archives — Grey as a baby and you just three years old Cash. You were blowing a musical toy from your mouth onto the floor over and over again and Grey COULD NOT STOP laughing. Every time it was the same hysteria. And to this day Cash, nobody can make him laugh harder than you.

May you continue to spin that creative mind of yours, churning out one idea after the next; finding ways to entertain us at home and your friends at school. And most importantly your little brother.

I love that wild imagination of yours Cash. And I love you.

Always and forever, Mom