I have so many pictures of my first child, portraits and snapshots that show her looking like a tiny angel or a little doll, every hair in place. That’s why this one, taken by a photographer who didn’t show up until after recess, might be my favorite:
It’s hard to believe how long it’s been since that beautiful baby girl arrived. She was six weeks earlier than expected, probably the last time she was early for anything until a few short years ago, when she made peace with the process of evolving into a "mature woman."
Don't let the maturity fool you. She's still youthful in appearance, young at heart and free of spirit, preferring to beat her own trail through the tall grasses of life rather than follow the trampled path of those who came before her. On the wings of her artistic temperament, she has soared to heights the astronauts may never reach and plummeted into the earth's deepest chasms, all in the interest of whatever she's passionate about, and she's brought back souvenirs for the rest of us.
She's a dreamer, an artist, a writer of infinite skill, a loving daughter/sister/aunt. She’s an intensely private person who thrives on quiet, yet it wouldn’t even occur to her to tiptoe through this world.
Happy birthday, Sweetie. I'd never have imagined I could love you as a grown woman even more than as the precious infant you used to be, but I do.