It’s my sister-in-law’s birthday today so I wanted to write about her.

Sadly, I think she’s used to people underestimating her–she’s a literal rocket scientist, a small blonde woman in a male dominated field. She’s uncomplaining about that (and everything else) but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel it.

It’s made her a fighter, and she’s so driven. She is extraordinarily strong, mentally and physically (my late grandmother called her “a hard worker”–there was no higher praise) and she is relentlessly focused on her goals.

She’s also extremely sensitive–to truth, to people doing the right thing, to what makes a good life, to beauty.

She’s the family breadwinner and has had to put up with a bad work environment for the sake of everyone else. (I’ve done that with only myself to win bread for, and it’s no fun.)

She can sew a Halloween costume, bake a cake, teach her son manners, train for a marathon, and plan how to get to Mars. Her name is the name of a star, and that mix of etherealness and the raw cosmic power that is also a star  pretty much sums her up.

Happy birthday, Altair!