Thirteen years ago life had changed forever. I went to bed the night before, wondering when this little one would make their appearance. I awoke at 3am and knew the time had come. I remember those first few hours wondering if this was really it…waiting to wake Steve, then waiting to call our doctor. Picking up my parents from the hotel on our way up Oak Street in Vancouver to the Women’s Hospital; Mom greeting me with a cup of ice chips for the short drive.
Steve’s folks were flying across the country as we were in labor. We were all in anticipation of this first-born of ours. Everything changes with this first child. Everything is new.
Zachary was mature from the start. He came out aware and calm; even the nurses took notice of the calm nature he had. We never could have known how much delight parenthood would bring, and Zach, you have been the forerunner of our little clan.
Every birthday is special, but there is something unique about entering these teen years. Years ago, the church we attended in Vancouver had a very wise pastor. He taught a summer series one year answering questions from the congregation, and one was about parenting. We were brand new parents, but what he said has always stuck with me: he said to never say we were dreading the teen years. He talked about how it always bothered him to hear parents tell of how much they worried about, or dreaded the coming teen years, and how instead he told his children how much he looked forward to their teenage years. Steve and I both resonated deeply with that sentiment, and now we find ourselves with our teenage boy…we can confidently say we look forward to your teenage years.
Through the years you have surprised us and delighted us. You are smart, funny and compassionate. You amaze us with your memory and your ability to tackle new subjects and information with such ease. Ever since you were a toddler, you have been easy to talk to you and had a conversational style that was more like talking with an adult.
You are a great big brother, even if there are moments when your siblings drive you crazy…or you drive them crazy. You care for them and it is evident…and they look up to you.
Competitive and enthusiastic in your hockey; it has been so much fun to watch you develop over the last four years
We cannot wait to see what the future holds for you, especially to see the unique giftings that God has given you. These are the years when delight is heightened, and when heartbreak happens. Everything is bigger and brighter and deeper. Remind us how amazing it all is…sometimes we forget.
We know that you will do well, whatever you decide to pursue. You have matured before our eyes in the last few months, and we are so proud of the man you are becoming.
Happy Birthday, Zachary! Welcome to Teenage-hood!!