Mark Zuckerberg may be hyper-focused on creating the next big thing in social networking, but all his kids have to focus on is being kids.
On Monday, the Facebook founder announced the birth of August, his second daughter with Priscilla Chan, by posting a sweet family photo and heartfelt open letter addressed to August on Facebook (where else?). The photo shows the family of four sitting close together on a couch while 21-month-old Maxima plays with her new baby sister's toes. In the accompanying letter, Zuckerberg and Chan not only welcome August to their family and describe "the world we hope she grows up in," but also share their hopes that she "doesn't grow up too fast."
"When your sister was born, we wrote a letter about the world we hoped she and now you will grow up in — a world with better education, fewer diseases, stronger communities, and greater equality. We wrote that with all the advances in science and technology, your generation should live dramatically better lives than ours, and we have a responsibility to do our part to make that happen. Even though headlines often focus on what's wrong, we still believe these positive trends will win out. We're optimists about your generation and the future," the parents of two wrote. "But rather than write about growing up, we want to talk about childhood. The world can be a serious place. That's why it's important to make time to go outside and play."
Zuckerberg, 33, and Chan, 32, advise August to take advantage of the next few years to focus only on taking in the world around her. "You will be busy when you're older, so I hope you take time to smell all the flowers and put all the leaves you want in your bucket now. I hope you read your favorite Dr. Seuss books so many times you start inventing your own stories about the Vipper of Vipp. I hope you ride the carousel with Max until you've tamed every color horse. I hope you run as many laps around our living room and yard as you want. And then I hope you take a lot of naps. I hope you're a great sleeper. And I hope even in your dreams you can feel how much we love you," the letter reads. "Childhood is magical. You only get to be a child once, so don't spend it worrying too much about the future. You've got us for that, and we'll do everything we possibly can to make sure the world is a better place for you and all children in your generation."
The sweet note ends with Zuckerberg and Chan wishing August "a life of joy, love and the same hope you give us," and is signed "Love, Mom and Dad." The pair, who were married in an intimate backyard wedding in May 2012, announced that they were expecting their second child in March. "Priscilla and I are happy to share we're expecting another baby girl! After our difficult experience having Max, we weren't sure what to expect or whether we'd be able to have another child. When Priscilla and I first found out she was pregnant again, our first hope was that the child would be healthy. My next hope was that it would be a girl. I cannot think of a greater gift than having a sister and I'm so happy Max and our new child will have each other," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post at the time.
Earlier this month, before August's birth, Zuckerberg shared his plans in yet another Facebook post to take two months of paternity leave in order to get to know the newest addition to his family, the same way he did after Max's birth, as well as to make a point about the importance of parental leave. "I'll take a month off to be with Priscilla and the girls at the beginning, and then we'll spend the whole month of December together as well. I'm looking forward to bonding with our new little one and taking Max on adventures. At Facebook, we offer four months of maternity and paternity leave because studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it's good for the entire family. And I'm pretty sure the office will still be standing when I get back," he wrote.