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Dear Emery at 9,


Today, you turn nine years old! No, of course, I did not forget. Everyone who knows you knows it's your special day.

Like previous years, you have told anyone willing to listen that your birthday is in May. This year I witnessed you tell my coworkers, the vet, and the grocery store cashier. I am sure that your classmates and teachers know that we will celebrate with you this weekend.

Well, today is the day you look forward to every year. Let me be the first person to wish you a Happy Birthday in writing. You can read the card from your grandparents after this letter.

This year, you wanted headphones, a bike, or a trick scooter. By now, you know which one you received. Your mother and I hope you will enjoy this gift for many days to come and not just for today.

You and your siblings tend to ask for something repeatedly until mom or I decide about the purchase. If we buy the thing you must-have, often, you will play with it for a day and then move on.

Let’s not allow that to happen this year!

With each May that you turn older, you step closer to manhood. Taking responsibility for your actions is one of the many things you must learn before becoming a man.

When you remember to bring your textbooks home from school, you are practicing responsibility.

I also need you to practice being honest at your age. Honesty means that when your mom or I ask, "Did you do your homework?" you tell us the truth. Whether you complete everything or most of it, let us know.

I give you these two examples related to school because you have struggled in this area since the arrival of the coronavirus or coronaviry, as your sister likes to say. School is important in preparing you for your future role as a car dealership owner or brilliant scientist who discovers a cure for allergies.

Keep reading, buddy. You can play with your friend in a few minutes.

I need you to step up as a calm and competent leader.

About two weeks ago, we went skating in a parking lot. As soon as we got out of the car, a kitten came up to your little brother. You, Zuri, and Kazo asked me to keep it. I said no because we just got a dog.

We left the parking lot and the cat behind.

Moments later, we returned. I made a deal with you, Zu, and Kaz. I said, “If in three minutes you find the cat, we will take it home.” The timer was set for about 30 seconds when Zuri spotted the cat.

Oreo, the cat, has now been with us for a little over a week. He passed his health exam, and the dog is beginning to warm up to him. Remember to wash your hands after petting the cat to prevent an allergic reaction.

As I model for you with our family and now pets, I want you to do your best in treating people and animals with love, care, and respect.

On this day, I want to remind you that I will always love you, support you, and demand the very best from you in everything that you do in life.

I look forward to celebrating with you later. Your mom is making a special vegan cake that will not interfere with your food allergies!

I love you,



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Happy birthday Emery!

Replying to

Thank you Sharon! He had a great day

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