There is another child in my life, I'll call her Princess Jasmine, who fills my heart with love and laughter. She is Max's older sister and I've known her since she was three weeks old. She and my eldest daughter were each other's first playmates and they could not be more different. Despite that, their mutual adoration is clear and constant.
Where my oldest was a very serious child with dark hair and olive skin, determined to size up every situation observing it quietly until she is sure she has it figured out, Princess Jasmine is the poster child for adventure and openness. Her white-blond hair and fair skin invite light and experience. She was the one who tasted all manner of playthings - sculpting dough and crayons. Every time she was presented with a bucket of beads to string, her first act was to stick a chubby hand in, fill it to overflowing and promptly pack the bright colors into her mouth. Art classes were more about painting herself and mixing colors than putting anything to paper.
Running full tilt in to every new situation, Princess Jasmine fully immerses herself in her surroundings, smelling, touching, listening, taking her shoes off in the wet grass, smiling with a fullness I didn't realize was possible. She truly eschews all "impossibilities", preferring instead to find a creative way to get around obstacles in her path. Her mother recognizes Jasmine's need to spread her imagination into every corner of life and has allowed her to grow in every direction, blossoming like a rose.
Over the years, my daughter has come to appreciate Jasmine's perspective on life. When they are together they laugh hysterically and concoct outlandish spy scenarios, put on elaborate performances, and build "nests" for themselves. Jasmine's infectious spirit has spread to both of my daughters, prompting them to test their own boundaries and imaginations, and her honest and complete affections are lavished on our family without end. She truly illuminates any room she enters and I am terrifically grateful for the light she has shone into my life.
I know it's not your birthday, Princess, but I wanted to make sure you know how much we love you, too.