For his 6th birthday party, Chase decided to have a Toy Swap. He made up his own invitations and sent them to his friends. His invitation said:
Look in your toy box, and find a toy that you think I would like and that you would like to give to me. I will do the same for you.
The idea was simple enough. Each child would bring a used toy for Chase and Chase would give away one of his toys to each guest. But Chase’s mom, Jennifer, wondered: will children resist giving away their own toys? Will parents resist taking used toys to a party? Will her son-and the other children– give away only the toys they don’t like?
She could have spared herself the worry.
Each time someone called to say they were coming to the party, Chase would run to his toy box in search of the gift that he thought would be perfect for this particular friend. Sometimes it took hours to choose. Sometimes it took days.
For Nicholas, Chase chose a rubber snake which he had bought when his family visited the museum a few days before his party. He chose the big marble he cherished which he had bought with his own money for Austin. He gave Gracy a lego pirate ship he had made.
Andy’s mom called Jennifer several days before the party. “Andy is so excited about Chase’s birthday party.” she said. “He has spent days in his room looking for just the right gift! Usually,” she continued, “when he gets a birthday invitation, I ask Andy, ‘What do you want me to buy for your friend?’ He always shrugs and says, ‘I don’t know.’ But this time, he’s spending hours deciding on just the right thing!”
Braydon brought a toy he got for Christmas to Chase’s party. “I might miss it a little bit,” he said, “but I want you to have it, Chase. I think you’ll really like it.”
Jimmy gave Chase his ball with spider man on it that he had bought weeks earlier at the grocery store with his allowance.
When it came time to open gifts, Chase was so excited about the gifts he had chosen for his friends that rather than open his own gifts, he would beg his friend to open the gift he had given him. ‘You’re gonna love this!” he’d grin.
Submitted by Terry Cortes-Vega