Happy Birthday Ben!

Ben and Nico

Dear Ben,

You turned five yesterday! An entire hand worth of digits! I love the unbridled glee you greeted me with yesterday morning, the beaminess of your face, the pride in which you said, “I’m five today! and I think I’m bigger now. Can we measure me?” (Even though we measured you a few days ago)

I am finally so aware of how fast this is all going. Songs like Puff the Magic Dragon make me weep… songs about little boys growing up and not wanting to play with their old toys anymore or that one about the cat in the cradle? Makes my heart ache. Those moments when I kiss you at school and you politely ask, “Can you leave now?” It all seems so fast suddenly.

And at the same time you are this tiny creature, a sort of gnome that moves about our house, that at times from a distance, doesn’t quite look real. Your daddy likes to say, “Is that thing real? or is it animatronic?”

The way you still need me to lay down next to you while you fall asleep, how you flush with pride when I tell you what a great paper airplane maker you are, how we still have to be sure you win at Go Fish and Candyland to keep the wailing at bay. You are still so small.

We bought you a little microphone gadget for your birthday so you can sing along to your favorite songs, which at the moment happen to both be by Katy Perry. Thank god you don’t know all the words! But it is the purest kind of joy to hear you sing –and you do all day long. I am praying you never stop.

You were singing at the grocery store one day and an old woman passed by and said, “Now that is a happy child…” and I think it’s true. It’s hard to be sad when you are singing your heart out.

I should add that the singing you do is usually “metal” and “hard rock and roll” and rarely beautiful. Although I love it when you say, “Mama, would you like to hear an angry song or a beautiful song?”

Ben, I hope you know that I love your angry songs and your beautiful ones. I love your jewish folk tunes and your Friday Nights. That whatever song is in your heart, I want to hear it. You are a beautiful boy with so much to share with the world. I love you more than words can say.

Your mama

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. elizabeth

    Andrea, your posting brought me to tears…..
    Happy Birthday Ben! May your life unfold like a beautiful flower…

  2. Susannah Conway

    *wipes tear from eye* that was so lovely, A. Happy birthday beautiful Ben! x

  3. LauraC

    Happy birthday Ben!
    5 has been so wonderful and magical! I know it will be for you too !

  4. Jill Salahub

    Happy Birthday, Ben!
    And oh how I loved this line, Andrea: “It’s hard to be sad when you are singing your heart out.” This is so true in a much bigger way.

  5. Melissa

    Happy 5th Birthday Ben! – wow, SO grown up!!

    When I saw the title of the post, and waited for the page to finish loading, I hoped so much that it would come with one of your birthday letters to Ben, Andrea, and I was so delighted when I saw ‘Dear Ben…’.

    And such a moving letter that made me cry. It’s been a real honour being able to watch Ben grow – your boys are magical and tremendous and such a credit to you and Matt and themselves. x

  6. Beth

    Happy Birthday Ben – Andrea – it gets better and better and better – more years to love and be proud… xoxo

  7. Jennifer Gandin Le

    Five! What a good number. And what beautiful boys, with a mom who sees them and loves them so well. Thank you for sharing these letters. Happy birthday, Ben! And happy birthing anniversary, Andrea!

  8. Yolanda

    Happy, happy birthday, Ben!

  9. jennifer

    Happy Birthday Ben!!!

  10. marilee pittman

    I think I first read your blog around (before) the time Ben arrived. He is so delightful and such a beuatiful little boy. Happy B(en) lated Birthday,Big Ben. Being five is pretty awesome!

  11. Spyros Heniadis

    Happy Birthday Ben! Never let the inner joy fade. <3

  12. Jennifer

    beautiful post. I love how you have document the beauty you see in ben. What a treasure for him to read when he is older.

  13. Tina

    I love how 5 year old boys see and move through the world. It is so delightful. Of course he might be bigger now that he’s 5.

  14. amanda

    Happy birthday sweet Ben!

  15. Michelle Shopped

    happy birthday to ben! 5! wow — it was so exciting reading his birth announcement a few short moons ago…and yes, puff the magic is killer — i avoid it at all costs — much too heartbreaking — i mean i know growing is life and to consider the alternative, i just as soon not, but oh to long for the sweet innocence of childhood to last just a teensy wee bit longer, you know?

  16. Kimba

    Goodness what a beauty of a post dear friend. Five IS so big and so small. Beautiful, amazing boy that one. Smooches galore.

  17. jill

    so lovely… you, him, all of it!! Thanks so much for sharing with us. (wiping tears also…!)

  18. Puanani Leal

    I will always remember watching your blog like a hawk, awaiting his arrival. And then, and then, that lovely sleeping face appeared. We still call him the “Cute Baby” in our house. Happy Birth Day, Mama!

  19. oprolevorter

    Really fantastic visual appeal on this internet site, I’d rate it 10 10.


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