The public didn't see much of Michael Jackson's children during their formative years.
Often masked in public in the early 2000s, the King of Pop's elder children—Prince Jackson, 21, and Paris Jackson, 19—have stepped into the spotlight in recent years. Meanwhile, his son Blanket "Bigi" Jackson, 15, has kept a low-profile under his uncle's guardianship. (The teen's grandmother, Katherine Jackson, filed paperwork to resign as his co-guardian in October 2017.)
Early Tuesday morning—in honor of her big brother's birthday—Paris gave fans a rare glimpse into her happy childhood by sharing never-before-seen home movie footage with her Instagram followers. Writing to Prince, she said, "my dearest brother. i could fly to the moon and back a thousand times and the distance still wouldn't amount to how much i adore you. i've always looked up to you, and to this day you're still the greatest role model i could ever hope for. i miss these days where we could wrestle and i'd still have a chance at winning, though. i miss playing hot wheels and my little pony with you, i miss fighting like pirates and trying to cast spells with our harry potter wands. i miss the saturdays where we would sleep in and eat porridge and OJ and watch gargoyles and transformers (and sometimes cartoons in arabic?), and staying up late listening to you tell us wild bed time stories that always had a crazy twist at the end. you've always been my best friend in the whole wide universe and i'm so lucky to have you in my life."
The video showed the siblings dancing, giggling and—to their father's credit—living a "normal" life. "i couldn't have wished for our friendship to turn out any better. we may not have our water guns and crash bandicoot, but we have so much more. you're the most fun, genuine, determined and hilarious person i know. and it makes ma soul happy to know dat i can always count on you, and no matter where we are in the world and in life, my home is with you and the little guy. i love you so much, gooko. i'm so proud of you," Paris added. "happy birthday."
Up until Michael's death in 2009, Paris and her brothers were home-schooled.
"When you're at home, your dad, who you love more than anything, will occasionally come in, in the middle of class, and it's like, 'Cool, no more class for the day. We're gonna go hang out with Dad,'" Paris told Rolling Stone last year. "We were like, 'We don't need friends. We've got you and Disney Channel!'" But, as she later told Harper's Bazaar, "The only interactions I'd ever had were with family members or other adults. As a result, she said, "I didn't have social skills."
Though it had its drawbacks, it also had its perks. "I wasn't around a lot of other girls. When I was a kid, I was with my dad and my two brothers. Growing up, I was treated as the favorite because I was the only girl," Paris recalled. "I was the princess; I was perfect in my dad's eyes."