He was always thoughtful and curious. Two qualities I observed early on that were echoed throughout his childhood in the questions he asked, the friends he made, the conversations we had. I remember swimming with him in the ocean, off the coast of Belize, chatting away as if I were talking to a friend, he was all of 9. Six years later we spend hours in the car talking about relationships, the creative process, gratitude, challenges (both his and mine), global politics, race issues and what inspires us. He doesn’t like conflict, doesn’t like to be scolded or reprimanded and therefore will use his humor and charm to calm an upset friend or an angry parent. In the past three years he’s grown tremendously in size, strength and ability. I look at this boy that is taller than me and bigger than me and I see the young man he is becoming. But at times I’ll catch an expression, a fleeting glimpse, and suddenly I see my 9 year old staring back at me and am reminded no matter how tall he grows he will never outsize that thoughtful, gentle heart.

“Need you for the old me
Need you for my sanity
Need you to remind me where I come from
Can you remind me of my gravity?
Ground me when I’m tumbling, spiraling, plummeting down to Earth
You keep me down to Earth”
– Garden by Sza