Letters To My Sons | February

Dear Cash,

The 10th and 17th were special days for you this month, however, waiting for them to arrive wasn't so easy. At least at first. You see, it was the end of December when, after delving back into your shark fanaticism, you mentioned that you wanted to get a Megalodon tooth. I agreed as long as you earned your own money for it. We searched for fossils on eBay until we found one that you could afford. Though it wasn't the most expensive Megalodon tooth (very rare ones over 7" long can run into the hundreds), we found a 5 1/2 " one that with dedication and patience, would be yours by February 10th. 

At first you didn't like the idea of having to wait almost two months for your Megalodon tooth. Not surprisingly, you wanted it right away. Especially since this all coincided with a notice from your teacher that your class would be doing "shares" through February 17th, with yours scheduled for mid-January. You knew you wouldn't have your tooth by then and were crushed. 

While walking to the subway after school, through your quiet tears, I suggested we ask your teacher if we could move yours to February 17th, which would give you the extra time needed. We talked about how grownups do this all the time; they work for things they really want even though it can feel like forever to save up enough. But how satisfying it feels when you finally earn something so precious. You managed to come around to the idea, recognizing that it actually could be good thing to talk about with your friends, and wiped away your tears in true Cash commitment.


That evening Anna emailed back saying that your share was officially moved to the 17th, and the first thing you did was make a calendar of the days you had left. You wanted something you could cross off each night before bed, most importantly I presume, to help pass the time. 

Every morning you eagerly asked what your jobs were for the day -- such things as carrying the grocery bags, drying the dishes, cleaning windows, sweeping the floor, making your bed, reading books to Grey, cleaning the bathroom (sink and toilet!), lugging the laundry bag, putting away folded clothes and emptying the waste baskets. You would do around 3 jobs per day, collecting $1.00 to put in your "CASH BOX". 


You kept a sketchbook filled with drawings and descriptions of all of your jobs, and each night religiously put on "X" on your calendar. The Megalodon tooth remained in the office closet (following a contentious ebay win) until you had finally earned enough. As I watched you hold the tooth with such care and elation, turning it over and over in your hands, it was clear that your new possession meant more to you because of the wait. Because you worked for it.

When the day of your school share arrived, you brought your Megalodon tooth along with a list of facts about where it was found. You shared details about the shark itself (three times bigger than a Great White) and used a measuring tape to show your friends the difference in size between the Megalodon tooth and that of its Great White relative. You told me that you were a little shy at the beginning of your share, but once you started reading to your friends, you felt better. "I worked through it Mommy." And your teacher said that she didn't notice any nervousness whatsoever. So Bravo "Cash the Shark" (a nickname your classmates have appropriately given you) for a job well done! 

This February was kind of like "Shark Month" in our house; one snowy day you worked on your "100 days of school" project - painting a Great White portrait, while another day we spent making frosted shark cookies. 

However, I will remember most the lessons you learned and the patience you garnered in working toward your goal. You're already talking about earning more teeth for your collection, though the next one might very well be your own since you officially have your first wiggly tooth! And who knows, the tooth fairy just might put a $1.00 in your "CASH BOX". 

I love you Cashew!  Always & forever, Mom

Letters To My Sons | January

Grey Grey ~ such a big boy now at the barbershop! 

It has taken awhile for us to get to this point. Over a year ago we tried to coax you into Henry's chair, hoping that by first watching your big brother you would summon the necessary courage. But nope. You cried and hid under my arm, totally refusing to go near him or his chair. Thankfully Henry was wise enough to tell us it wasn't time yet. He didn't want to force you. And so we waited.

Then just like that, one day you said, "Mommy, I'm a big boy now. I'm going to the barber like Cash." 

In these photos you look like a deer caught in headlights, but actually you weren't afraid at all. You were so proud, sitting high up on the booster seat in your absolute stillness as the clippers moved across your head. I think your bravery even surprised you a bit. 

After trying out a few barbers over the years with Cash, we were grateful to have found Henry at THE ONE 48 Barbershop right up the block from us. Henry is Dominican and knows just how to work with your mixed race hair. There's always a wait to get in his chair so we do just that. With Latin music blasting, you and Cash pass the time shaking your booties and cracking up the other barbers. Henry has a propensity for showing up late - "Too much tequila anoche Henry??" we'll tease. But we've grown accustomed to this lateness and don't mind since he is master of the clippers.  

You always let us know when your time is right. That's one of your special gifts Grey Bear. You ended up letting us know you were ready and thankfully you only had to endure one dreadful haircut from Daddy. He attempted to give you a fade with a regular clipper, before learning later that you actually need a fade clipper to do that. Your hair looked like a topographical map of varying lengths, and was so bad that Daddy ran you over to Henry for some damage control. Henry felt sorry enough for Daddy that he let him go ahead of two people so he wouldn't be late for work. It was then that Henry turned with a smile and said, "So I guess now I'm officially his barber?"

Yup, Henry, you're not just Cash's barber anymore. Your newest client is named Grey. He is resolutely patient, brave and loves a good barbershop fiesta.

And to our little big boy ~ Grey Grey ~ we wish you many more fades in your new barber's chair and many more moments where you teach us all about good timing.  

I love you.

Always & forever, 


Letters To My Sons | December

It's that time of year again! Time to visit Santa - the very best Santa in New York City with a real beard and cherub cheeks at ABC Carpet. This now our third year we've really got the hang of it. We even have some friends we've come to know over the years who have the same game plan as us: Go the first Sunday after Thanksgiving when most New Yorkers are still out of town, park for free right in front of the building so kids can stay warm inside the car and most importantly, arrive 90 minutes early to beat the line that quickly wraps around the block. Last year we were actually the first, but this year I'll admit, it was better to be third. More time to take off coats, fiddle with my camera settings and capture those excited looks just before the big moment. 

As opposed to last year when Grey sat next to Santa on Daddy's lap, apprehensively leaning as far away as possible, this year he assured me he was going to sit on Santa's lap.  

"I not afraid mommy!" 

"Really?! That's great Grey! What are you going to tell Santa you'd like for Christmas?"

"Trucks and cars!"

"Cash, what about you? What are you going to ask Santa to bring?"

"Big Robots"

"What are those?!" 

"Big fighting robots Mommy! That have remote controls!"

After visiting with Father Christmas he gave you guys a special treat. Every year it's something different and this time it was a strawberry and creme pinwheel lollipop that you couldn't wait to eat. As we walked out of ABC Carpet we bid farewell to our friends. "See you guys next year!" 

It's been a month full of magical chaos in our little home in Harlem. George the Elf made his return from the North Pole and has been spotted each morning in a new place. The first thing you guys do when you wake up is go on a search for George. Of course I've woken up in a cold sweat a couple of nights wondering if I remembered to move him. 

Cash, you wrote a couple of letters to Santa this season and the day we opened the mailbox to find a letter back from him, you ran toward the apartment door screaming, "Daddy! Daddy!! Santa wrote back! He wrote me back!"

But there was one morning that touched my heart most of all. During breakfast you said, "Mommy, I'm going to write a letter to Mrs. Claus today because nobody really talks about her and how much work she does at Christmas time." 

How true Cash! And what a nice and thoughtful thing to do! It might even make up some for the naughty things you've done like pick on your little brother. 

As I've told you many times, once you stop believing Santa stops coming. So just keep believing, and I'm sure George, Santa (and definitely Mrs. Claus!) will work hard to make your Christmas a Merry one.

I love you sons!  

Always & forever, Mom

Letters To My Sons | November

My little rockstars,

No, these candids have nothing to do with Halloween, even though that's in the very recent past. It's just you guys doing what you do best, led mostly of course by big brother.  Cash, you'll style Grey similar to yourself in whatever you might be rockin at the time, and then Grey falls right into character, syncing with your every move. As we made our way home from school this particular day you guys were donning your "cool rockstar" bling. There was a point where I just said, "Ok, go for it guys! Give me your best moves!" and started firing away with my camera. Those shots are always my favorite, where I capture your personalities at play, more often than not laughing behind the camera.   

I was telling Grandma the other day that whenever I meet another mother of only boys, it's like meeting a kindred spirit. No, we don't have a secret handshake or anything like that. We'll just kind of nod our heads and grin, skipping ahead several chapters in the get-to-know-you routine. The boy moms I've met are laid back, fine tuned in the art of mediation, able to maintain extraordinarily high energy and accustomed to incessantly loud noise. They're not fussy about property damage, have learned quickly to always check the toilet seat first, and aren't rattled by risky behavior or gross bathroom talk. It's not hard then to understand why I find instant connection with other boy moms. And since I always wanted be one, there isn't a day that I'm not thankful to be a member of this group. 

You two have your own distinct personalities, but when you come together it's a molotov cocktail of energy. How fun to capture you guys in various swagger! Just brothers being silly, totally vogueing out in the streets of your neighborhood.

I love being a mom to only boys and yet, in the back of my mind I'm always thinking about the great task at hand. To raise kind, conscious and strong young men who will one day be someone's loving spouse, someone's good neighbor, co-worker and most importantly someone's trusting best friend. All the while still holding on to the "littleness" of you, those tiny (dirty!) hands reaching out for mine and the hugs and kisses that turn my heart into confetti. And then of course those moments when you throw down and TURN. IT. OUT. with the coolest of moves. Like true rockstars.

I love being your Mom -- a steadfast boys mom.

Always & forever.

Letters To My Sons | October

Hey Hey Hey...

What's up strong and tall little boy! The three year old wearing 5T clothing (Cash's clothes from just last year!). The fearless one who chases after the ball for his older brother after it's rolled into the dark room at the end of the hallway. And the tough cookie who bangs his head on concrete and bounces back quicker than you can say, "What happened?". Although you may not be all that interested in looking at books or being read to, are quite likely to leave an activity unfinished and are known to walk out of a movie before it's over, you are boundless in your physicality. You, G Money, are our bruiser for sure. 

You are also lavish with opinions. Such strong likes and dislikes you aren't afraid to share with us. Who cares about that yellow caution line? I wanna look for the oncoming train!! And oh yeah, I want to sit with my face in the seat and my butt in the air while I plow my weight against you. You and Cash are squishing the stranger next to you? Oh well, it's fun for me. No doubt you've got an entertainer streak and will do just about anything to get a laugh. Every day you manage to create nonsensical rap songs with accompanying booty dances to crack us up. Then if you are trying to smooth things over, you've got that down too. You bat your eyes, tilt your head and open up your arms for a hug. "I luh you mommy," you say with the execution of a skilled manipulator. A sweet college girl actually told me the other day that with those green eyes of yours, you're gonna get your way a lot. Mmm-hmmm.... 

She said this as she walked by us taking pictures. Not really one for posing, you decided that on THIS day you were going to do so and meticulously scouted each location along our walk to Cash's school. There is a little doorway you like to stand against and I have to say, it does create some dreamy open shade. I was able to capture those eyes that young lady was talking about. 

Next you wanted to sit on the bench in front of the crepería where I caught you mid-laugh. That's the mischief we know. The big personality who loves dancing and pretending to be shot down in combat with your brother. Your dramatics are just that. Dramatic. And your independence is thriving. Each morning on our way to school you ask Cash and I to meet you at the bottom of the stairs while you take the elevator by yourself. Oh yeah, that "By Yourself" bit is huuuuge these days.  

Sheesh. You even potty trained yourself this past month. One day you just decided you were done with diapers (much to my delight since I was really lagging on this). Second child syndrome? It's quite possible. I was just hoping that either Cash would show you how or you would just figure it out on your own. Which you did! And have managed to only have two accidents since then. The first was when you went number two at the same time I was. There we were in the bathroom, both of us pants down trying to clean up the mess that was all over you and the floor while Cash stood by hysterically laughing. 


And the other time was at the playground when you soaked through your sweatpants. You seemed totally cool with it and wanted to keep playing but we decided it was best for us to leave in order to avoid the gasps and eye rolls from other parents - and any possible chafing. We walked home the ten blocks rather than wet some cabbie's backseat and as Daddy said, "It was good to air you out!"  Again, you didn't seem to mind at all. It was just another example of your "Don't Give A  ----" personality, which of course, drives me crazy a great deal of the time, but I know will serve you well in life. And yes, I STILL want to eat that cute face of yours. Those cheeks so irresistible, those McDonald's arch eyebrows and that pipsqueak voice.

My little Harlem boy ~ I want to thank you for finding this perfect doorway. We got some of your best portraits here. May you continue to be that warrior whose greatest superpower will ALWAYS be those devilish green eyes. 

I love you Grey Bear.

Always & forever, Mom

Letters To My Sons | September

Dearest sons,

This September was a busy month. It was back to school for both of you, a 6th birthday for one of you and the beginning of my fourth year of "Letters". Throw in all the emotions and preparations for those things and you've got yourself quite the whirly rig. 

Grey, this fall you returned to Columbus Preschool in the 3's program five mornings a week, while Cash, you made the big move to Manhattan Country School as a kindergartener. It's all new for you this year after being at Columbus for four years, so lots of anticipation. Below are the snapshots I took outside of our apartment on your respective "first days".     

Grey, yours involved a short morning circle followed by an activity with half your class and since Daddy was able to come you were extra happy. To get to know everyone's names, the teachers started singing, "Bumblebee Bumblebee, Won't you say your name for me?"  and when it was your turn to say your name you went silent, curling shyly against Daddy's chest. Rather adorable for us grownups watching. Then the next day you made sure to tell me that you said your name in front of all your "new friends". 

Cash, your first "meet-and-greet" at Manhattan Country School went really well. I think it was because I was with you those 30 minutes you saw your classroom and met your new teacher and a couple of classmates. The photo above was taken around the block from the school and your smile is dazzling. It was the next morning that was an emotional wrecking ball. Parents were told to make drop off as brief as possible - in other words, cut the cord - and you not only knew this but felt it deeply, burying yourself under my bedcovers pleading to not have to go. Through the most gut wrenching sobs you kept telling me how scared you were and that your stomach was hurting. You cried on the subway and during our walk to the school, pulling your shirt up over your face so nobody could see. There was no amount of assurance or explaining that was any comfort to you. You were completely terrified and though I didn't let on, my heart was in a million pieces. 

All I could do was give you a tool to help you cope. I told you that when you felt really sad you could pull your teacher aside and let her know. That she would be understanding and surely has dealt with other children who have felt like you. You reluctantly agreed. When I picked you up at the end of the day, I asked if you talked with your teacher and you told me you didn't have to. "As the morning went along I wasn't sad anymore Mommy. I mean, I was a tiny bit sad when you first left but then I was okay."  And there you have it my love. You made it through your first terrifying transition with the bravery of a thousand soldiers.

Later that evening I received a touching email from your teacher Anna. She told me she that a few of you were sitting at the playdough table talking about having more than one feeling at a time (namely nervousness and excitement). She said that you shared how you'd been crying so much that morning and were scared to come to a new school but that you were no longer worried. I was so happy to learn you were one of the first to self-reflect and share your feelings with the group, which I find to be quite brave - especially since during our walk to school you didn't want anyone to see that you were upset. 


Grey, you love Cash's school so much I think you'd rather be going there. And hopefully you will be next year. Every day you get so excited to go pick up Cash, peeking inside his classroom and doing the happy dance until they open the door for the parents. I doubt you will have any fears going there next year since by then you will be so familiar with the place.

We are in our third week of school now and I have to say you both have done a wonderful job transitioning into your new classrooms. There was the second day Cash, when you said, "I'm going to be sad because I have to go a full day without you Mommy." You really got me with that one. I swear, it's amazing how much love and gratitude is within that little heart of yours.

In fact, just the other day we stayed out past your bedtime for a sundowner with friends which you were so excited about. As the sun was setting you ran over to make sure I saw it, pointing toward the horizon. "Isn't it beautiful Mommy?! This is the best night ever!" A fellow Mom overheard this and said, "Awww, I wish my kids said things like that! Instead of always complaining and saying, 'I'm bored.'


There was also the time recently when I was watching some movie while you were coloring and a sentimental song started playing. Without looking up from coloring you said, "Mommy, I think I'm going to cry."  "Why?" I asked. "Because the music is making me feel something. It's making me sad."  Your heart felt the sadness in the song; the music quite literally moved you to tears. Though I guess I shouldn't be surprised since you have always been of the empathic, romantic sort. You observe the beautiful and the sad; you see it and you feel it. And I pray you always will.

We just celebrated your sixth birthday and one of the first things you said to me was, "I know you might be a little sad Mom, because I'm six now, but don't worry, even when I'm older and if I'm mean to you, it doesn't mean I don't love you. I'll always love you."

And I'll always love you son. Welcome to SIX. You'd better rock it!

Grey & Cash - you boys are the chambers of my heart and I am so proud of the fortitude with which you tackled your new beginnings this month.

I love you both to the galaxy and back.

Always & forever,



Letters To My Sons | July

Dear Cash,

Well, your team did it again! No longer a rookie, you finished a second undefeated season with the Harlem Bulldogs. I guess it's suffice to say you avoided the sophomore slump. I've told friends that even though you aren't one of the power hitters (and your team has a fair share), you are consistent. To this day you have never struck out and can always be relied on to bring in runs.

Baseball isn't necessarily your favorite sport you've told me honestly. You much prefer basketball and swimming. When there is no action and you're just waiting in the outfield, baseball gets a little boring for you which I completely understand. A couple of times you asked your coach if you could be the umpire and I figured out why. First, you like putting on all that equipment (you feel a bit like a warrior!) and secondly, there is far more activity. Retrieving the ball, throwing it back to the pitcher and trying to get runners out at home plate keeps your attention and your body busy. I often think, however, that even with those long innings in the outfield you consider boring or the tiresome weeknight practices, you are learning far more than you know - especially with David as your coach.

We campaigned to get David again this year and I really believe these two undefeated seasons are because of him. He made the Bulldogs a better team made up of better players. I can't tell you the number of times we overheard opposing team parents comment on his ability as a little league coach. They'd point out his patience, how he'd take the time to come to the plate to help with feet and arm placement, and his proven ways of getting the team to focus and work together which, is not all that easy when you're dealing with four and five year-olds. Believe me, there are a number of coaches who don't have this skill. Plus, his dedication was unparalleled. He worked tirelessly to teach you Bulldogs the fundamentals: Focus on the ball, follow through with your swing and always be in your "ready position". As a result you guys racked up hit after hit and run after run. So many in fact that we parents would kind of feel bad for the other team. Kind of.

Heard from the sidelines:

"Hey! How old are these kids? We wanna see birth certificates! 

We want drug tests! [laughing] Are you sure they aren't on PED's?

This orange team is really good! They've got a great coach. And they can hit, catch AND throw!" 

Though you say baseball isn't your favorite sport, you'd sure get excited when you'd make the connection. There was that time you ran to home plate, after your first coach-pitched hit, when you looked up to see if I was watching and of course I was. I saw the whole thing from beginning to end. And the grin on your face was priceless.

Dad was also there watching you run those bases and stop the occasional grounder, while Grey, your biggest fan, was cheering through the fence, "Go fast Cash! Run!! Run fast Cash! Goooooo!!!!! Go fast!!!"  I think you've got him excited for next year when he'll finally be old enough to play. We're not sure yet, but you two may even be on the same team for one year.

Son, although you don't realize it now - because the picture is just too big - playing little league is helping prepare you for life. Of course it helps you learn to be a team player and work with people of different backgrounds, but you're also learning to deal with the pressures of both failure and success. You're learning to push yourself and not give up when you feel tired and unmotivated. You are starting to build a strong work ethic and deeper yet, within yourself you are honing your drive to improve and succeed. Fortunately, with a coach like David, you are also learning resilience, patience, how to keep your cool and most importantly, how to build your teammates up when they are feeling discouraged.

As a boy growing into a young man, it's important for you to learn these things so that one day you can become an example in our community. And what better place to do this than out on the ball field, representing the next generation of Harlem.

My love, may you continue to be a constant force on whatever team you play in life even if it's not necessarily your favorite. May you rally through the difficulties and challenges you will inevitably face and may you always be "Ride-Or-Die" for those by your side.

I love you son.

Always & forever,


Letters To My Sons | June

Dear Cash,

You are now one of 60 children from 37 New York City schools, from 28 zip codes, who speak over 10 different languages, that will be new students this fall at Manhattan Country School. Your orange t-shirt, with the words "Peace, Family, Sustainability, Community and Love" written on it, couldn't sum it up any better. Recently returning from our first MCS Farm Outing Day, our hearts couldn't be more excited about this next phase in your life.

I'd never even heard about MCS until my friend Fredi mentioned it to me when I was just beginning to look at schools. She couldn't say enough positive things about it, so I decided to go on a tour just for the helluvit, not thinking I'd ever consider it because of the commute. But when I learned the school would be moving to the Upper West Side the following year, well, the game totally changed. I called Dad at work (which I NEVER do) to tell him there was something special about this school. And I felt it the second I walked in the building. 

Right away I noticed that classroom after classroom is full of children who look like you. Inspired by the educational dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr., MCS has become a role model of cultural diversity for other independent schools. The vibrant mix is unlike any school I have ever experienced. And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I learned about the working farm upstate in the Catskills. Are you kidding me?! Is this place for real?

When that acceptance email from MCS arrived last winter, I literally danced in the streets. Dancing for joy because of where you were heading, dancing for happiness because of the new families we would come to know and dancing for God with a grateful heart over how this all unfolded. God is love and as cliché as it sounds, Dad and I both agreed that for us, the school feels like heaven on earth. Its community, made up of of dozens of mixed families like ours, is absent any hint of racism. It is alive with "Peace, Family, Sustainability, Community and Love" - just like your t-shirt says!

As soon as we arrived at the farm, we saw the colorful "quilt" with the names of the new students arriving this fall. Finding yours brought a smile to your face, especially since you were "a bit shy" when we arrived. You didn't even want to get out of the car. For several months, you've been asking questions about Kindergarten and the making of new friends so I know the transition is heavy on your mind. This is your first rodeo with this type of change, so I have tried my best to help you process your feelings about it. As you spent time walking along the creek, feeding farm animals, hay jumping, dancing to the live band and making new friends chasing bubbles - as predicted, you didn't want to leave when the time came.    

[Click each image to view full scale]

You weren't the only one having a good time. Our whole family enjoyed the food, drink, games, and live music beneath a blue sky with cotton candy clouds. Perfection. 

We recently connected with another couple who live in Harlem with their two boys, the same ages as you and Grey, and already have a few plans with them in place for later this summer. Their oldest son will be in the same class as you so right there you have made a new friend.  


[Click each image to view full scale]

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and enjoy the dance." ~ Alan Watts

My love, when it comes to your life journey, you will go through a multitude of transitions; new schools, new homes, new friends and losses of all those as well. Your heart will break a little each time and in different ways. But with God by your side, and the fact that each of those events will make you stronger, you'll come to learn it's a part of life. The most amazing result, if you let it, will be the making new friends. That never changes as you grow older. Even Dad and I are thrilled to have made new friends at MCS and think how old we are!

Remain open to the possibility of friendship and love, embrace the sameness and difference between you and others and always remember how it feels to be the newcomer. You'll be able to reach out with kindness when you see someone who may be feeling a bit shy. It will be one of the most wonderful gifts you give the world.

Who knows, maybe these new friendships you will make at Manhattan Country School will be for a lifetime. 

This, my love, is just the beginning.

Always & forever,


Letters To My Sons | May

Dear Grey Grey,

Today is your birthday. A mighty three year old with so many emerging traits, but what I love most (still!) are those eyes, followed closely by your rosebud lips. And I can't get enough of those little hugs you give everyone in the family when we aren't asking for them -- doled out on your own terms and as a result, much more precious. I fall to pieces whenever you say, "Mommy, I go wit you?" before running off to grab your shoes and socks. Whether heading to the subway to pick Cash up from school or driving in the car somewhere with Daddy, it doesn't matter to you, just as long as we are on the move. So there's no doubt that within you resides a true adventurist spirit. 

By the way, "adventurist" in the dictionary is described as "defiance or disregard of accepted standard of behavior". Yup, that's about right. Besides the fact that some of your favorite things to say are "No", "Mine" and "Grey do it", you love to instill panic in your the hearts of your parents. First you check to see if we are looking (giving the side eye if we are), before taking off running and then laughing as you force us to chase after you. When a package was delivered to our door the other day, you galloped out of the kitchen holding a paring knife, saying, "Daddy, open it!"  With your fair share of spills off the sofa and chairs and most recently down a flight of subway steps, it's a miracle we haven't made any trips to the emergency room this year. You're tough though, really tough with an obviously strong and resilient head. I just pray the same holds true on your next birthday.

Your favorite color these days is "Boo" (Blue) and your favorite things to eat are macaroni and cheese, powdered donuts, peanut butter and potato chips. Basically anything salty or sweet. You love Pringles and Muchos like Daddy. And you even eat those SUPER spicy peanuts that I can't tolerate, and I love spicy food. It's quite amazing. I imagine one day you will be a seeker of good Mexican food who carries a Frank's hot sauce around in your backpack. 

Two of your favorite things to do are play baseball and scootering with your brother, whom you follow around day and night. He's the first person you look for in the morning, and the one you need in the room with you at night in order to fall asleep. "Cash go to bed too?". He is your first friend, your best friend - the one who you play with every day and can't wait to see whenever you're apart. But being brothers you love hard, play hard and fight hard. Lately though, we've noticed you standing your ground more often. You no longer take any crap from Cash if he tries to pimp you out. No more shoddy, busted hand-me-down toys or raw deals for you. And there's even the possibility that you may one day outgrow your brother. You're that kid that total strangers make comments about -- "That's a big boy"...."He's only two?!!"  -- towering over your peers in preschool like the giant baby in "Honey I Blew Up The Kid".  Even Cash's little league coach did a double take the other day, "Whoah! Grey's gonna be 6'6"!"  

Now that you are 3, you're definitely coming into your boyhood -- leaning out, growing taller and losing those last remnants of babyness.  Little changes in your smile, your voice, your gait and how you scale staircases are all signs that our last baby is growing up, and I won't lie, as your mother it is at times bittersweet. 

All month long you've been saying, "Grey birthday coming!", looking forward to our ride on the double decker bus -- your "birthday party" as you call it. But a party it most certainly is - a moveable celebration - with a family that loves you, riding high through the streets of New York City.

Happy Birthday boo! My darling Grey Bear. 

Always and forever,



Letters To My Sons | April

The dictionary definition of a MUSE is "a person who is a source of artistic inspiration". And you Cash, are most definitely that for me. You were just over a year old when I picked up photography again and as my first child, quickly became my ultimate inspiration and favorite subject to capture. Not only that, you were really good at it. So good in fact that we had you modeling before you were walking. You scored a couple of jobs with Joe Fresh and Macy's and it was cool seeing your first paycheck when you were just 13 months old (less cool was the money we owed the IRS at the end of the year!) -- but I soon realized I'm not cut out to be a modeling mom. Too much schlepping around the city (with a stroller and bottles and diapers and a bag packed for any type of emergency), followed by too much waiting around, and ultimately too much commitment. I just couldn't do it. And that was before Grey came along. I definitely couldn't drag both of you to a daylong go-see. Instead of mugging for an agency or kids clothing catalog, you looked into my lens over the years and as I delved deeper into my photography -- taking classes online and forming a photography network of women and fellow mothers -- you grew alongside me. Looking back now, I see the awesomeness of how it all transpired and have you to thank. What's most awesome though, is that even now, five years later, you remain my consummate model.

Once you got a little older, not only did you take my direction but you gave back what I like to call "good game face". While we were shooting these photos somewhere in midtown, a photographer noticed your "game face" and crossed the street to observe us. He quietly watched for a bit before saying, "Wow - your mother is very lucky. A good model, a great smile, and clothes that match the background..." And he's right. I couldn't ask for anything more. You have always been there to inspire me, and this seems especially so whenever I'm in a creative rut. In fact, I was in a bit of a doldrum before this very shoot. I hadn't been motivated to pick up my camera in awhile (winter tends to do that) until suddenly spring's warm weather arrived. "Cash, let's do a photo shoot on our walk to swim class. It's supposed to be a beautiful day." You were totally up for it, and just like that, as you so often do, you lit a fire to my creativity and left me with a gallery of bold, cosmic and totally boss street-style pictures.   

Having lived in New York for almost twenty years, it's no secret I'm drawn to the city's energy, and now, raising you and Grey here, I love capturing you guys within it. A close friend once described me as our family's "Documenter of LOVE" which I think pretty accurately sums it up. You have been such a joy to photograph over these years, changing your looks and expressions to suit your age and present mood. Nowadays you like to show off your "cool dude" side, putting your hat backwards and making a grill face. I laugh at the foreshadowing of "teenager Cash" - at times thinking you are one already - and hope that when that time does roll around, we'll still hit the streets to take some cool photos. 


Daddy can't believe I let you hold my mamma-jamma camera, but I do. You've shown more than a playful interest in photography and I'm thrilled to be able to share it with you. This day, we talked a bit about shooting in open shade versus direct sunlight and about finding interesting textures and colors which led us to these bold graffiti walls. Always careful not too overwhelm you or bore you -- my hope is that tidbits of knowledge will sink in and who knows, might influence the way in which you visualize the world around you.

Whenever we stumble upon interesting pockets of light, you'll often point them out to me, confirming that you are learning the first rule of photography. You do that a lot, especially when we see the sun rising up early in the morning over Harlem. "Mom, look at that light! You should take a picture!" 

If we're not taking photos, we're probably somewhere listening to music. On the subway, we share headphones; one earbud for you, one for me, sitting closely so they don't fall out. 

When we walk down the street we usually play music at full volume from my phone. Our current playlist has a heavy rotation of Prince and here you are dancing to "Let's Go Crazy" (your favorite of his songs!) -- wearing purple no less. I'm fairly certain The Purple One, may he rest in peace, would be proud.

My son Cash, my consummate model and muse, thank you for your endless inspiration. May you always seek the interesting, the unique, the bold and the colorful. May you be inspired by pockets of light and golden sunrises and may your soul be moved by music in ways that make you get up and dance wherever you are. 

I love you son,

Always & forever,


Letters To My Sons | March

Sweet little Grey Grey,

My friend Fredi says that I'm in the midst of a total "love fest" with you lately. "I've never seen you this way with Grey," she recently said and I suppose she's right. Of course, it goes without saying that I have always loved you, but there is something bona fide and heartfelt happening these days.

The simple truth is...we are bonding.

Another simple truth is that wasn't always easy. There was a long period where your meltdowns and the frequency of them made mothering a very real challenge. Met with confusion and repeated guesses as to what you were saying, you'd get verrry upset, and I mean, who wouldn't?! You'd have tantrums at home, in public, and remained quiet and isolated in school. Your confidence in the classroom was greatly hindered and while I can empathize with this now, at the time it was really hard for me. I often felt so exhausted from trying to translate before you had a chance to spin out of control, that there were many days I would call Grandma or Aunt Gail for support only to break down in tears. Suffice it to say, none of this was because I loved you any less, it was just a bit more work to get where we are now. The journey has been real, but it's made the bond we've cultivated that much sweeter. You've been going to see a speech therapist since October and now that your communication has greatly improved, I clearly see the root cause of our growing pains. All along you just wanted to be understood. We both did.        

There is no shortage of cuteness coming from you these days and of course you know it. You know just how to melt our hearts to get what you want. With the saddest puppy dog eyes, holding your finger up like the number one, you'll say, "Peas Mommy, Peas Daddy, just one." You love to make us laugh with your silly faces and cheering fists that remind me of Kristen Wiig's Target Lady from SNL, or by pretending to sleep (and snore!) when we ask you to do something. Sometimes you just take off on your scooter ("cooter") through the apartment - "Look Mommy, VROOOOOM!" as you squat down low and extend one leg. It's an honest struggle not to crack up laughing.

When you're not scootering or playing comedian, you're dancing like a Fly Boy and rapping into your karaoke microphone. A song will come on (it doesn't matter which one) and you'll say, "I like that song", busting out your own style of breakdancing. I've caught you practicing your backspin and Robot moves and in fact, just the other day while Cash was rapping, you climbed up onto a chair to dance. I warned you that it wasn't safe to be up on the chair, but you didn't care and it wasn't long before you fell over backwards and hurt your arm. I guess that's something you and I have in common -- fearless arrogance mixed in with an overwhelming passion to get up and dance! Whether on that chair (or speaker!) you want to shine like the brightest star in the galaxy and Dance. Your. Butt. Off. 

I must mention one other thing about our little LOVE fest - your sweet kisses! Sometimes you'll offer one up right away and spontaneously, while other times I have to work really hard using little bribes. But I've got no shame. And like a lot of things in life, it's absolutely worth it in the end. 'Cause when you pucker your lips out SUPER DUPER far, squeeze your eyes really tight and make a big "MWAH" sound, I literally keel over and die from endorphins.



Those five words strung together to make up one of your first full sentences are the sweetest sounds to my ears. There are even times when it's too much and I'm overwhelmed by emotion. You've come so far in the past six months Grey Grey and I'm so proud of you. Maybe it is a "love fest" like Fredi said, but whatever you call it, it's ours and it's special.

I love you boo.

Always and forever.


Letters To My Sons | February

Dear Cash,

We recently went to Milani's "Sweet 16" and had so much fun at the party, dancing to the DJ and raiding the dessert table. While we were clearing up our plates, a woman who was working for the catering hall came up to me and said something that really struck me. Nodding in your direction, she whispered, "He's a Mommy's boy and the little one is Daddy's boy."  Shocked and a teensy bit flattered, I asked her how she knew this. "Cause I've been watching you guys all night," she said, "I can just tell."  The way she answered, with an assured grin, I have no doubt she is a mother herself -- probably even a grandmother -- with boys of her own she's raised and loved. Right then and there, in the middle of a teenage party in the middle of one of the biggest blizzards in history somewhere in the middle of Brooklyn, she bore witness to our bond. 

Another person who noticed this wasn't a stranger. It was my sister, your Aunt Gail, and because of this, I think it may have been even more special. While we were out to dinner as a family she said, "Cash doesn't take his eyes off you! Look at how he ADORES you." That was last summer. And you are still this way, always wanting to sit on my lap, asking to hold my hand while we're walking down the street, and to cuddle first thing in the morning before anything else. It's hard to imagine there was ever a time when you weren't a Momma's boy -- but there was! -- when you were around two years old. The same age as Grey is now. You wanted Daddy for everything back then and you recently explained it to me in a way that only you can. You said, "Daddy is the starting line and Mommy, you are the finish line. So, maybe when Grey is three he'll love you?"  

Oh Cash, I never tire of your matter of factness!

Nowadays you refuse any help from Daddy. From tying your shoelaces to brushing your teeth, to pitching baseballs - "No, I want Mommy to do it!"  You'd rather have me pitch baseballs!! My friend Judy asked me the other day if I do all those things and I said, "Of course!", because I know there will soon be a time when you don't want my help at all, when you'll be too embarrassed to hold my hand or hug me in public, and I'll long for the days when you wore your love for me on your sleeve. 

Recently you came home from school with a necklace that spelled out "Mom And Cash". You made it during choice time with the classroom lacing project and Teacher Mia let you keep it for one night (the pieces are part of a set that had to be returned). She told me it was really important for you to show me. Even though I only had it for a brief time, it was far more precious than any of my jewelry with a sentiment everlasting.

The other night when I went out to dinner with Ahna, you wrote me a little note on a tissue to "keep in my pocket in case I got lonely". It read, "Love You Mom. Love, Cash". As I was walking out the door you ran over and said, "Just one more hug before you go Mom, because I'm going to miss you." My heart melted.

Then because today was a rather warm February day, we went to the playground where you found a couple of boys, a little bit older than you, to run around with. You and your "crew" climbed atop a formation of rocks that overlooked the playground and when I walked over to you, you got so excited. "Hi Mommy!!" Then looking toward these new buddies, first to your left and then your right, you waved with great pride and exclaimed, "That's my Mommy!!" While I'm not sure how impressed these older boys were with the news, it definitely tugged on my heartstrings. I will forever hold onto that excitement of yours. That sweet little boy who loves his mommy and isn't yet embarrassed to show it. 

Some very big news this month is your acceptance into Manhattan Country School. It was our first choice for you and we couldn't be happier that you'll be going there this fall. The morning I found out, while we were riding the subway, I witnessed a couple of older boys ignoring their Dad, dismissing him with an overt attitude. It reminded me of a conversation with Pow Pow, once had with me while riding a ski lift when I was 12 years-old. He said, "Rini, do you promise that when you become a teenager, you're still going to be nice to your Mom and me?"  I guess that is every parent's fear. The fear that your child will grow older and turn against you. So, inevitably, at the same time I was over the moon about your acceptance into kindergarden, I was also apprehensive and a little sad about you turning another year older. For a second there, riding along on the C train during rush hour, I was on the verge of tears. 

"Mom, do you not want me to grow older because I'll look different? ... I'll still love you, you know, but birthdays don't stop."

No, they don't son. Yet again, your matter of factness prevails. But there's one more thing that won't stop and will keep growing right along with you ... and that is my love for you.  

That, my son, is always and forever.


Letters To My Sons | January

First off boys, I want to wish you a Happy New Year! You both have grown so much this past year, connecting in a deeper brotherly way, which, I honestly believe is largely in part to Grey's language explosion. It's obvious to everyone - family, friends, teachers - that your personality and confidence has blossomed Grey, since you started speech therapy last fall. Hands down, it's one of the things I'm most grateful for. Now, instead of getting frustrated that you aren't being understood and throwing yourself into a state, you use your words more clearly. Though there are some things I wouldn't mind remaining adorably incorrect: "Mommy, plum" (Mommy, come), "Doo Doo" (thank you), "Blanny" (blankie) and "Kews-Mee" (excuse me), my heart is overjoyed that you are able to communicate your feelings...wants...needs...and most importantly, your love for your brother, with infectious enthusiasm. Your confidence has skyrocketed and your smile - well, it's like a million stars in the sky! 

I usually take a break from shooting in December and January to enjoy all the holiday hoopla, though we did manage to come away with a couple photos of you two looking rather dapper. I mean, let's be real, I couldn't let that moment slip by - plus you are holding hands!  Be still my heart.  


Daddy surprisingly grabbed my camera and snapped one of us on the red bench at Grandma and Pow Pow's. It's now one of my favorite photos with you guys. Whenever I look at it I'm reminded of how much I wanted to be a mother of sons. Cash, you always ask me, "Mommy, why did you want two sons?" and my answer is always the same: "Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to have boys. I wanted them to be brothers. I wanted you and Grey."

Boys, my wish for your new year is simple: Continue to feed your playful spirits! May the memories you create this coming year bring you much joy and much closer. May you continue to laugh, dance, and wrestle each other like little lion cubs. And most importantly, may you continue to LOVE.

Always & forever,


Letters To My Sons | Christmas Edition

Rookies no more! This was our second year going to see Santa at ABC Carpet & Home and we made no mistakes this time. The key is to go the first weekend Santa arrives to the fancy furnishings store, also the first weekend after Thanksgiving. It's quite simple: more people out of town = less line. We chose Sunday because not only can you can park right in front, but it's also free.  And so, with our vast experience to draw on my boys, this year the Davis family was first in line! 

Parked right outside the entrance with an hour and 15 minutes to kill, we played music and I-Spy, took turns going for coffee, and ate lots of goldfish crackers. Grey's car seat held our place in line which, I have to say, is much better than standing in the cold ourselves (I think it was the one cold day this month!). 

When Santa finally arrived and the doors opened, I didn't have time to fiddle with my camera settings - perhaps the only downside to being first. I scrambled to capture your moment with Santa, to capture anything for that matter in that dimly lit room. And then, there you were on his lap....and it was magic.

Grey, you were up next and immediately started crying and clutched onto Daddy. We just assumed since you do everything your brother does, mimicking his every move, that you'd do the same in this case. Boy were we wrong! Daddy had to sit next to Santa and hold you while you craned your neck as far away as possible from the guy in the red suit. But it was still priceless. 

Maybe next year you'll cozy up and share your Christmas wish with him? That is, if Santa hasn't retired. Word on the street is this may be his last year at ABC Carpet, having been the realest Santa (go ahead, tug his beard!) in NYC for 25 years. Oh how I hope he decides to stay through the rest of your believing years.

Well boys, in this last letter of the year 2015, I would just like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a new year filled with many magical pursuits!

Always & forever, Mom  

Letters To My Sons | December

Dear Grey,

Cash was about your age when he first became obsessed with trains so you are following right behind, or should I say, right on track. I know, an eye-rolling pun, but I couldn't help myself and in any case, it's true. You get excited each day when it's time to ride the subway and spend most of your play time in your room, cheek to the floor and butt in the air, rolling train cars along wooden tracks. It only made sense then, that Pow Pow should take you to see the freight trains during our recent visit.    

There is an old abandoned bridge near Grandma and Pow Pow's house, open only to pedestrians, where if you wait long enough you're sure to see train lights in the distance. I don't think you really knew where we were going or what we were looking for. But once that first train came down the tracks - right underneath where we were standing! - you knew exactly. And then could hardly wait for the next one to come.

Trains don't run that often on holidays so we were thankful to catch two of them barreling down the tracks. I, for one, was amazed at Pow Pow's endurance. I know just how heavy you are (a thirty-eight pound future nose tackle for the New York Giants!) and he didn't flinch, holding you for a good couple minutes each time while you counted train cars. Your great-grandfather (Pow Pow's dad) lived to be 100 years old and Pow Pow is a fit 82, so you come from good stock boy. Strong-Like-Bull stock!  

Pow Pow said that they are planning to tear down this old bridge sometime next year, so I'm grateful you had the chance to go trainspotting before this trusty lookout is no more. A lifelong train fanatic himself, Pow Pow discovered the perfect place where you and your brother could get up close and "feel" the freight's awesome power beneath you. "Go ahead and wave," Pow Pow always says as the train is just about to reach the bridge and it's never long before you hear the whistle blow.

I often imagine what the train engineer is thinking when he sees us standing there on the bridge. Does it remind him of when he was a boy? Of days spent watching trains with his own father or grandfather. Did he always dream of becoming a train engineer? I don't know the answers, but one thing is for sure. He most certainly sees tremendous joy and love looking down from above.

My dear son, throughout your life many trains will come and go and maybe a couple of old bridges will be abandoned and torn down. But you'll always have memories like these to remind you of how you are loved. Especially how much Pow Pow loved you and wanted to see you smile. 

Like the awesome power of the freight trains you so admire, may your wildest dreams carry you to the farthest reaches of this world and may your heart and will remain strong. Strong. Like. Bull. 

Always & forever,


Letters To My Sons | November

The idea of bunk beds came up over a year ago when Cash asked for them. We decided to wait until Grey was old enough to move from the crib to a big boy bed, allowing me plenty of time with my trusty measuring tape. Weeks followed with various deliveries while entire days were devoted to breaking down old furniture and putting together new pieces. I did the interior decorating and Daddy did the back breaking work - poor guy!  But Cash, you helped out a great deal, hammering nails and using the drill for the first time -- so proud to be building alongside your Daddy. 

It was a given who would sleep in which bed. That's the blessing of having you guys two and a half years apart; there's no fighting over the top bunk. Grey was just happy for the upgrade. Once the mattresses arrived and the magic bumpers to keep Grey from rolling out of the bed, you guys jumped right in. "My bed," Grey said, pulling the covers up to his chin and squeezing his eyes tight as if he were sleeping. Crib life was officially over. Bunk Life was happening NOW.

I had always imagined your room would be FULL of color - a happy place for you guys to spend your time. In fact, it's kind of become the room where we all want to spend time. It just makes you feel good. I can't tell you the number of times Daddy has walked in and said, "If I had had a room like this when I was growing up...This is amazing." 

So one "Pizza Bunk Friday" I took photos of you two in your element, which I feel tell a greater story than any words I could ever write. Plus it will be cool for you guys to have them when you take a trip down memory lane -- "Remember when we lived in Harlem and had bunk beds?" -- sharing memories and secrets I'll never know.

[Click on each image to view in full scale]

My ear to the door has heard Cash reading a story to Grey and scurrying feet to the toys bins followed by whispers and giggles. We're still in a stage of practice, so those nights when you guys keep each other up far too late, Grey is sent back to his old room. And then, if Daddy is snoring a bit too loudly, I quietly slip into Grey's bottom bunk (which, by the way, Cash thought was hysterical the first time it happened). Like I said, the room that brings everyone joy.  

Stars are a bit of a theme in this family, so the star string lights we recently hung over your bunks added that final touch of magic. The only thing left now my sons, is a wish for countless sweet dreams and late night secrets in your little man cave. And always...always..."Pizza Bunk Friday".

I love you to the stars and back, Mom 

Letters To My Sons | October



Hey there Grey Grey,

Well, we stumbled upon this year's costume during one of our strolls through Party City. We like to pop in there on our way to pick up Cash from school, mainly to ride the escalator with the green disco lights. But because Halloween was fast approaching, there were aisles and aisles of costumes for us to wander. The batman mask was the one you obviously chose and in my opinion, suits you perfectly - especially with nothing else on but a diaper. I'm sorry boo, but the diaper just adds to the adorableness of it all. It's a shame you can't just wear that trick or treating! 

When I showed Cash this black and white photo of you he said, "Wow Mommy, that's a really nice smile from Grey." It sure is. You may not look like the meanest batman in town, but at least you're not confused about it. You're just happy to be fighting crime alongside big brother, the mighty Power Ranger.

Last year for Halloween you were a lobster. A lobster who couldn't walk and had to be transported everywhere. Originally Daddy and I had wanted to put you in steampot that we carried around wearing chef hats, but you were too heavy and a stroller was far easier on our backs. This year though, you can walk on your own up to each house for a trick or treat, filling your very own bag of candy. After Dad steals the Mr. Goodbars and I sneak the Skittles, you'll whittle your stash down three pieces a night, so I guess it's a good thing you just went to the dentist for the first time.

In fact, lately there've been couple of firsts: your first year of preschool, your first night in a big boy bed and your first 90 minute movie in the theatre. While watching cartoons, your giggles are most enjoyable, but even more so is where you find the humor. You love running down the sidewalk ahead of me and jumping off every brownstone step along the way with your older brother. Riding the subway is one of your favorite things to do so you'll run and grab your shoes whenever I say it's time to go to the train. You make it a point to show me every bus, doggy and acorn that crosses our path. And you say, "Hi Daddy" to every man that walks by which always makes for an interesting exchange. So it goes without saying Grey Grey, that life is never boring with you.    



I've been thinking that the face you make - where you scrunch your nose and squint your eyes - might be a little too adorable for the dark knight. And the way you say, "Mommy I LUH YOU" may not necessarily be the voice of Gotham's caped crusader. But I swear, I could listen to it over and over. And I do. The diaper? Well, as Batman himself says, "It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me." 

So Lil G, I hope you have a ghoulishly Happy Halloween with Red Power Ranger by your side. May you always fight for what is good and right, and know that without a doubt, you are already MY SUPERHERO.


Always & Forever, Mom  




* Update: It took you a little while to get the hang of trick or treating. The first couple of brownstones, you did the reverse: you actually gave the person a piece of candy from your bag instead of receiving one and the grown-ups had a good laugh over this. Then you would ask Daddy to open it up as soon as you got it. You must have had a dozen mini chocolate bars, half of which remained on your face. But you had a blast with your buddies, proudly marching on to the next house for the next treat.

Letters To My Sons | September

Happy birthday my love. Five years ago today you came into this world and changed our lives for the better. What a cliché thing to say, but it's entirely true. The enthusiasm you have for life and for sharing it is beyond compare, that sometimes all I can do is look into those twinkly brown eyes and thank God for you.

The other night I sat at the edge of your bed and we talked about what you wanted to do on your birthday, what you hoped you'd be getting. Of course it was ALL about Power Rangers - Megazords, Vivixes, Sledge and anything Dino Charge -- complete crazy talk to me. But it's what you're into right now, and you're always so excited to describe the different characters and fighting scenarios. Just to let you know though, I secretly recorded our talk. I had to preserve that sweet little voice of yours -- what you'd call a "sound snapshot" -- from a year so great I often wish I could freeze time. 

A couple of days ago while we were walking home from school, I realized that I almost never ask you to hold my hand. You do it automatically and all the time. But in my heart I know these days are numbered and it makes me a teensy bit sad. When I asked you later if you'll still hold my hand when you're Five, you laughed and said, "Yes, Mommy!", then pinky promised to hold my hand when you when you are 10, 18, 25 and even 50 years old!  "FIFTY!!??" I said, "That means I'll be 86! How awesome will that be??!!"  

I know I've said this before, but you have grown into a loving, caring and confident older brother. Grey absolutely adores you and follows you everywhere. Even when he's in preschool (which he just started this year), he'll point to the door and say "Cash" to let his teachers know he wants to go to your classroom. The other day both of your classes were outside at the same time and you guys ran over to hug each other through the fence. Every grownup watching had a hand on their heart because it was so sweet, while one of the teachers ran to open the gate so you guys could give each other a real embrace.   


First steps


Sweet Cash, I know it's inevitable that each year you will add another number to your age. You'll grow taller and bigger, until one day you're looking down at me, forearm resting on my shoulder. You'll be a grown man with so much going on in your life that it will be hard to remember a time when you were so small and in need of guidance. But for now, I love that I can pick you up and tickle you silly, that your small hand is still cocooned in mine and that you pinky promised to hold it even when you are fifty years old.

So my love, I joyfully wish you happy birthday and pray for a fantabulous year ahead. Just so you know though, I'm going to hold you to that pinky promise we made the other night. Cause I've got it all on tape. :)

I love you son.

Always & forever,


Letters To My Sons | August

Dear boys,

As summer comes to a close, I could talk about how fun it was going to the beach, or the Saturdays mornings we got up early with Daddy to play basketball or the day at the farm when you guys rode in the wooden firetruck. But that's not what I loved most. What I loved most of all was watching your brotherhood grow. You see, this time last year Grey wasn't walking and of course wasn't talking, and I remember looking ahead to the time when you boys could run around together, when we could ditch the stroller and go have some fun. And, well, this summer was it! 

[Click each image to view full scale]

When talking about your brotherhood I'm including all of the hi's and the lo's, all of the growing pains involved with such a bond. One of the sweeter moments this past month was when I peeked around the bedroom door to find Cash reading one of Grey's animal picture books to him, and Grey trying to repeat the words back. Everyone in the house can't help but laugh when Grey says things like, "Doo Doo" (thank you) or "Boons" (balloons) or "Mo Mo" (Elmo) or when he says "Hi Dash!" (Cash).

That's all pretty darn cute and balances out those other moments when you guys mush against each other like feral rams fighting for my attention, or a certain toy or the window seat on the subway. Or the times when you guys chase each other around the house until someone inevitably falls on the floor, off the bed or couch, then cries and points a finger at the other one. Today it happened on the trampoline and Grey ended up with a bloody nose. It was the first bloody nose of this brotherhood so good for you Grey, you won that one! 

That's life and often times I'll just let you guys work it out yourselves, knowing that part of what bonds you now and forevermore will be these experiences. But I would like to thank you for those contagious fits of laughter, those squeals of joy during our "nae nae" dance parties and games of hide and seek, the tears of pain and frustration and the many smiles that brightened my summer. And most of all, I am thankful for zero trips to the emergency room.

Always & forever,


Letters To My Sons | July

Dear sons,

I must say we've been busy this summer doing all sorts of things, going all sorts of places, and yet there is one recent morning that stands out. We were getting ready to hit the playground early before it got too hot or crowded when Cash, you came out of your room to show me you had on your red rain boots and had dressed Grey in your favorite hat and sunglasses. I couldn't help but laugh because many times in the past I had tried (unsuccessfully!) to get Grey to wear them - but since he loves YOU so much, he was happy to put on whatever you picked out. I was dying too because you guys looked like the Blues Brothers. You're too young to know who they are, so just google it and you'll see. 

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Most of the time you spent going down the big slide over and over again. Grey, you were so happy to chase behind and up the steps to the top and Cash, you were so sweet with him, giving an extra boost of encouragement, a gentle push or a playful idea: "Put your hands up Grey! Close your eyes this time!" Sometimes he'd just sit in between your legs while you slid down with your arms wrapped tightly around him. 

We left with one of you riding piggy back to the nearest Duane Reade for band-aids - yes, those rain boots made for some gnarly blisters. Heading home, well Grey, that's when you managed to throw yourself into a state. It started from something small - I think some lady had bumped you accidentally when she walked past - and within moments you were inconsolable. But it was nothing Cash and I aren't used to. Actually it was fun for us to watch all the people walk by and try to get you to stop crying. We'd just look at each other like, "Yeah okay, nice try but we know how this goes." We patiently let you wail, wait for the next bus to go by and then shout, "Grey, Look! There's a bus!!"  Bingo. 

The other day I ran into the girl who works at the liquor store who saw this all go down. And you know what she said to me?  She said we did everything right, and most of all, what a great big brother.  

You Davis Brothers who look like the Blues Brothers, who play hard and love hard and cry hard, are growing up before my eyes. 

Cash, this past year especially, I have watched you become such a helper with Grey. Whether or not he is willing to receive the help, that's another story. But one day he will discover with great certainty that you always have his back. Even nowadays when he's having a tantrum on the street you'll say to me, "I'm not leaving my brother." 

Daddy tells you guys to "look out for each other no matter what." His mother said that to him and his brothers all the time when they were growing up and you know what, they did. They held each other up in the best and worst of times. And I have no doubt you will too.

Always & forever, 

Mom, Mama, Ma-mee