The athlete, the rule follower, the good student, the one who did everything right and nothing wrong, the firstborn...the perfect one. That's how Lucas and Claire refer to their big brother. "Zach is the perfect one,"they say.
So I'm here to set the record straight...
Zach is not perfect. No one is. No one can be. Zach has done a wonderful job of growing into one helluva role model for you and for that I'm forever grateful.
But what I want each of you to understand is that it's not some unrealistic ideal of perfection that makes you appear perfect. It's the character inside you, the character of your heart and soul. It's what you give to the world.
I want to give each of you a gift. It's the gift of seeing yourselves the way I see you.
Zach, my sweet man-child, you started life off by screaming into the world and making your presence known. When you were little, you were loud and shy all at the same time - loud when you were with your family and "safe," but shy out in the world. The "man-child" nickname I bestowed upon you so many years ago fits you through and through, a goofy, silly, ginormous man-sized kid who loves nothing more than to laugh and have others laugh with him. Your soft brown eyes show others who you truly are...a sweet teddy bear who loves with his whole heart and lives with passion. You have had the opportunity to make mistakes but you have learned from each and every one of them and moved forward with grace. I couldn't be more proud of you and the path you have set for yourself. Success will be yours.
Lucas, you my darling blond boy, who isn't quite so blond anymore, have given our family so many reasons to laugh. Your dry sense of humor and quick wit never fails to put a smile on my face. The fact that you live your life for yourself, not worrying what others think of you, is nothing less than extraordinary. You are brave enough to not follow a trend, and smart enough to not lead others astray. Your sense of loyalty never fails to impress me. You stand up for your friends with a ferocity I've rarely seen in others. A heart of gold beats within your chest. Your kindness and generosity never fail to impress me. You have a vision for your life, and I can't wait to see what golden opportunities will be yours.
Ah sweet, baby Claire. Like your oldest brother, you came screaming into this world and never stopped. People know and love you for the sunshine you emit with your beaming smile and love of life. Never shy with a hug, a loving word, or a smile, you make sure the world sees a young woman who embraces life with a self-assurance some grown women will never possess. Drama gets kicked to the curb by you on a daily basis. You don't have time for teenage turmoil, or for others to bring you down. You are too busy making sure the world hears you roar, in the most positive way. The trail you are blazing for yourself is nothing short of amazing.
I am beyond blessed to have other darlings in my life, and I want you to know I see the perfection that lies within you too, the character of your soul shines bright for all the world. I see your future success, your drive, your determination. You all are nothing short of amazing, and I love it when you share your stories with me. I love cheering you on. I love being here for you when you need someone to listen. You all are perfect, even though you might not see it yet. I can tell you that I see it.
My pride sometimes threatens to swallow me when I think about you all. You are an amazing bunch. It's been nothing short of breathtaking to watch you grow and become who you are today. You will go forth and set the world on fire ~ each and everyone of you. Your perfection will demand nothing less of you. The gifts you have to give the world are awe-inspiring.
Oh for the love of all of my children...