My youngest son just celebrated his 9th birthday and I’m a little melancholy about it. He is coming to the end of pure childhood and, being my youngest child, I am coming to the end sharing in the wonder of his world. 

He still believes in Santa Claus, and puts on costumes pretending he is a superhero.  

He loves dancing to music, and enjoys performing in front of people, creating shows with music and light and masks.

His favorite food is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, his favorite cookie an Oreo, his favorite ice cream flavor chocolate.

His favorite cartoon characters include Spongebob and Popeye.

Without prodding, he is not embarrassed to give big hugs to those he loves.

His eyes light up every time he goes to Disneyland no matter how often he visits.

He’d rather put together a Lego set than play a video game.

He also likes to read and go to the library and bookstores.

And just the other day in school (which he still looks forward to), he wrote a heartfelt letter to his week-old second cousin that would make the reader cry.

I know that such an imagination is nearing its end. But it’s such a thrill to observe the remaining sparks of his free-flowing mind before the real world consumes his fantasy world.

BRIAN CROSBY is a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District and the author of "Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher." He can be reached at brian-crosby.com.