Timothy’s 2nd Birthday Letter

Well, this post is a day late, but I’m glad you enjoyed your birthday yesterday. You got to eat Trophy cupcakes, get balloons, and have the birthday song sung to you numerous times at your request. It’s fun to see you understand a bit more about birthdays now. =)

You couldn't wait to dig in!
You couldn’t wait to dig in!

Happy 2nd birthday to you, Timothy! What a year it’s been for you and our family! You’ve become such a big boy and bring so many smiles to people everywhere we go together. Papa and Mama are so encouraged by how much you’ve grown and we’re excited to continue to discover more about how God made you.

Some of this year’s development in review: you starting walking consistenly at about 15 1/2 months, recounting memories to us at 17 months, playing imaginatively at 19 months, and speaking consistently with short sentences at about 22 months. In between was so much vocabulary development and signs to us that you’re just growing up and becoming more independent. You’ve definitely entered an age of deep persistence and it’s forcing Mama to grow in patience, that’s for sure!

You met your baby sister Grace at 20 months and have taken well to being her big brother. Your smiles and giggles with her are such a joy to witness and we love how you are always looking for opportunities to hold hands with and hug her. You often give her toys, stuffed animals, books and instruments to play with even though she can’t quite fully engage in those activities yet. It’s special to see your affection and care grow for Grace everyday as she becomes more aware of our home and family. You two are becoming cute playmates for each other.

You speak mostly Cantonese right now and appear to show a fairly good understanding of differences between English and Chinese and even switch languages in the appropriate contexts. I love hearing you string together sentences with all the words you’ve learned. Although that’s bound to change as you get older and master English, it’s so cool right now to watch you think and process the world in Cantonese. I’m already nearing my limit with how much more I can teach you, but I hope you’re able to retain a lot of it in the years to come. You already use a lot of English for words like dump truck, digger, bulldozer, backhoe loader, hummingbird, ladybug and numerous other vocabulary that Mama just doesn’t have in Chinese. 😉 Loud noises and some strangers scare you, but you’ve been brave and don’t usually cry when you’re scared. You’ve also been letting us know when you’re happy or sad, like something, and love pointing out that Grace is happy when she’s smiling.

In addition to your interest in all vehicles , you love basketball so much right now. You often excitedly point out squirrels, bunnies, birds, dogs, planes, helicopters, WM trucks, construction vehicles and other automobiles on the road. I treasure so many of the sweet things you do like dance and clap in the morning when you see me, blow kisses at the end of video calls with family, sing silly tunes, give me lots of big hugs and kisses, snuggle with Grace, and pet my hair. I’m sorry I don’t sit and play with you nearly as often as you ask me, but no chores or meals would get done if I did! It’s nice to see you discovering the world and play independently so well. I love hearing your little voice ask me to sit on the carpet and read with you, play instruments, sing to you, and play toys with you. We like to see you jam with the guitars and enjoy music so much right now. I love that you ask for specific songs and encourage us to play music more and sing as a family. Some of your current favorite songs are the “ABC song”, “Isn’t He Wonderful” (in English and Cantonese), I’m a Little Teapot (in Cantonese), “The Wonderful Cross”, and a song I made up to go with a bedtime book. It’s exciting that you’re starting to sing along more and do motions, too! You’re at such an adorable age (though Papa and I have said that almost all your life now!) and we enjoy you so much.

You quietly observe when outside our home, and it appears as shyness sometimes, but I’m not quite sure if you’re truly shy yet. It’s taken you most of the year to warm up and be more outgoing at Toddler Group, but you really enjoy it now. You’re no longer as bold with dogs, but you still love to see and pet them when they’re calm. Animals are kind of a mixed bag; you enjoy seeing them and being near them, but want to move on pretty quickly and don’t like when they make loud noises. You’ve also been pointing out animals and objects on your and Grace’s clothes, even telling us often which clothes you want to wear because of your affinity for fire trucks, construction vehicles, all kinds of bears. After being introduced to some new sweets this year, your favorite foods now include cookies, cake, baklava, muffins, pies and brownies. You still love fruits of all kinds and I’m especially looking forward to this year’s farmers market bounty with you!

Your relationship with Papa has evolved and I’ve enjoyed seeing you understand more about how he loves and cares for you. It’s so cute how you’ve been so eager for him to come home nowadays. It’s been touching to watch you grow in your affection for your father recently. It’ll be neat to see you two have more adventures together this year. I love that you have grown to look even more like your Papa, and I look forward to more matching outfits in the years to come. 😉

What - I don't get to eat the whole cake?!
What – I don’t get to eat the whole cake?!

I’m encouraged by your soft heart to receive instruction as we work through discipline so far. Papa and I are learning as we try to guide your heart towards obedience and understanding of our authority over and love for you. You help me see how much I need Jesus’ perfection and forgiveness as well when I see how sensitive and observant you are. I’m so thankful I get to read and teach the Bible to you because I’m learning more about the gospel and God’s great love for us as I grow in motherhood. It’s neat to hear you start to communicate your feelings and concerns to me, and I look forward to learning more about what goes on in your head this year. It’s sweet that when we pray, you like to mention so much of what and whom you’re thankful for recently. We pray that you continue to love books and grow to love reading, especially the Bible, and that you would grow in wisdom even at this young age.

We’re excited to see what this year holds for you, and are so blessed God gave you to us to care for as our firstborn son. Thank you for being such a wonderful part of our family, Timothy. We love you so much, little guy!