April 18, 2017


Every twelve years, the Chinese zodiac animal comes back around.

Our firstborn son, Bright Eugene, was born in the year of the rooster. Guess what? It is the year of the rooster again. That means Gene is 12, and in China, that is very special. But 12 is an important number in other contexts, too. The tribes of Israel. The months of our calendar year. The optimal number of donuts.

And the last birthday a child has before becoming a teen.

Preteens are a crazy breed. They're a cuddly, prickly, weepy, laughing, silly, somber mess. No amount of Dr. Dobson or John Eldridge can fully prepare a parent for these transitional years. No longer a little boy, not quite a young man. Fuzz on the upper lip. Fuzzy stuffed animals still filling his bed. He's being tugged in both directions. And I feel like I'm being tugged in all directions, trying to help him through his ups and downs without going up and down with him. At the end of every day I hit the pillow completely exhausted, but happy, too, because it's going well. It really is.

And so it is with a full heart and a weary mind that I wish our Eugenious, our Gene Machine, a happy 12th birthday!

加油 Gene! Manhood, here he comes!