I awoke this morning to the sensation of gentle little hands silently stroking my face. I opened my eyes just a crack, still half asleep. My glance was met with a gleeful little smile. I had planned to wake up a bit earlier on this last morning of our vacation, in order to go for a run and see the sunrise over the beautiful tropical landscape. My plans had changed when the alarm rang. Either it was my laziness or the difficulty of parting with my 9 month old daughter who was sleeping soundly next to me. Probably a bit of both. I silenced the alarm, buried my nose in her warm little cheek, and went back to sleep. Waking up two ours later to the touch of her little hands, I decide that this is better than 10,000 tropical sunrises.

Life has its certain mundane aspects which cause us to plod on, giving in to the routine. Life also has parts that will knock us straight out of that routine and cause us to, all of a sudden, be very much aware of the details. The birth of our little Gracie earlier this year has been a most profound example of the latter. Since the moment she came into this world, little Gracie has been a constant presence of wonder, joy and magic that completely knocks me off my feet every time I lay eyes on her or hear her excited little voice from down the hall.

Her constant fascination with every detail that surrounds her is a daily reminder to me of the magic of this thing we call life. She is always on the lookout, always on a mission to see more, touch more, taste more. She is always discovering new details, grabbing at things and examining them carefully in her chubby little hands.

She rejoices in the same little things everyday. No matter how many times you jump out from behind the corner, she will love it and keep asking for more. The truly beautiful things stay beautiful everyday and she knows it. No matter how many times the morning sun shines in though the shades, she finds it exhilarating. No matter how many kisses, hugs or airplane-zooms across the room she gets, she is ready for more.

She has changed me forever. As I share with her my knowledge and insights on life, she reminds me of their glory. As I walk her down the path, I myself am reminded of its inherent wonder. She keeps me on the edge of my seat, not allowing me to sink into routine. Everyday, her love and joy is fresh and spry. Everyday she reminds me that there is powerful magic at work in this world, that I must soak in the details, cherish the moments and savor the flavors.