Just a year ago, Chase was a baby who’s wholly dependent on us. Today he’s a bona fide toddler who wants to do almost everything for himself. And day by day he’s been demonstrating his growing intelligence and creativity. The other day we were kicking balls around the house. Chase placed two balls at his feet and jumped up and kicked both balls at once using each of his legs. I was amazed.
Nowadays, when I read biographies, I pay a lot of attention to the part when people describe their early childhood. This is because early childhood, particularly age 0 to 5 years old, is the most important period of one’s life in forming the person you’ll become. One book compares life to a file cabinet, saying that early childhood is the time when all the filing categories are determined, and then the rest of life is just putting things in those categories. So it is important to form the right mental/emotional/spiritual categories early in life, because later in life it would be hard to change.
One day I was having lunch at a Chinese restaurant and I saw a 2-year-old being scolded by his grandmother. Tears welled up in the 2-year-old kid’s eyes, but he held back his tears and did not cry. Immediately, I thought that this must be an emtionally unhealthy kid. A 2-year-old is not supposed to hold back tears, but to freely express emotions. When Chase cries, or when Chase expresses fear aftering seeing someone wearing a strange hat, a part of me feels happy that Chase is not afraid to show his emotions. As a baby, he was a bundle of joy; as a “terrible two” toddler, he’s a bundle of emotions, and rightfully so.
Wendy and I do not plan to make a big deal out of a 2-year-old’s birthday, so we won’t have a big birthday party nor any special gifts for Chase. We’d just have a quiet celebration about how God has entrusted this lovely kid to our care for 2 years. The best I can give to Chase won’t be what money can buy, but it’ll be to help him develop godly character and to not run away from difficulties but to face problems and struggles as a way to grow up.
Happy Birthday Chase!