feeling like brooke




Brooke has a new thing lately. More accurately, she has a LOT of new things lately. The past couple of weeks have seen huge developmental upswings. It has felt like one of those watershed moments in time where a lot of hard work seems to be coming together all at once. Where small, slow baby steps suddenly give way to quantum leaps.

Maybe I’m just seeing her progress differently. Maybe it simply looks different from where I’m standing ~ here at home, closer to the action. Perhaps these are no more than the same old miracles that happen every day, but I’m recognizing them for what they are. Either way, it’s a wonder to behold.


She’s been exercising her will.

“Brooke, it’s time to put away the markers and wash up for dinner.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes, sweetheart, it’s time to start finishing up.”

“No it’s not. I’m doing what I’m doing.”

I’m doing what I’m doing. How I love that!

“Brooke, baby, Mama’s going to count down now.”

“No, you’re not. Not yet!”


She’s been adding colloquialisms to her speech, coloring it in with detail.

“Oh no! I hurted my foot!”

“Oh, what happened, honey?”

Her usual answer would be “I hurted it.”

“I banged it really hard.”

Not just “I banged it” but “I banged it really hard.”


She tried out a ‘why’ question!

One night last week, Katie wasn’t feeling well and she headed off to bed early. As Brooke showered and got ready for bed, I reminded her to keep her voice down so that Katie could get some much needed sleep. She has a habit, when asked to be quiet, of SHOUTING, “We have to be quiet!” but we’re working on it. I nudged again, using the language she knows from school, “We have to remember to use our #1 voice, OK?”

As I dried her off, she asked, “Why are we being quiet again?”

The ‘why?’ Oh, I don’t need to tell you, do I? The ‘why’!!! But even the ‘again’ ~ a superfluous word, really. Simply there to round out her question, to make it more conversational than simply purposeful. It was just so different than her usual speech.

“Because Katie’s sleeping.”

“Oh yeah.”

She uses ‘oh yeah’ all the time, but it is a scripted response to yes or no questions. The intonation is always exactly the same and it is ALWAYS used to mean ‘yes’. But this ~ this was entirely different. This was ‘Oh yeah, I forgot.’ Like “Gee, I coulda had a V-8.” It was natural, expected.


But my favorite ~ my absolute, hands-down favorite new development is becoming a pretty regular thing.

Out of the blue, Brooke stops what she’s doing and comes over to me. Sometimes she looks at me, more often she doesn’t. But no matter what she’s doing, she stops to declare, in a loud, earnest voice, “I feel like Brooke.” I have no idea what she really means by it, but it makes my heart soar.

In and of itself, the statement is blissfully devoid of judgement. It begs no comparison to anyone or anything else. It honors of her very being – her Brooke-ness. It is intrinsically accepting and celebratory. I find it breathtakingly beautiful.

I tell her she is the Brookiest Brooke there ever was. And that I can’t think of a better thing to be.

24 thoughts on “feeling like brooke

  1. “I tell her she is the Brookiest Brooke there ever was”

    She is! I did the math. She is 30 percent more Brooky than the average Brooke. And one-hundred percent more unique, funny, interesting. Nothing against all of those Other Brookes. But, math is math. It can’t be argued with. Your Brooke: irrefutably the best one.

  2. “I feel like Brooke” – now there’s a profound statement of “I am”!

    I also love the expression “Brookiest Brooke” Look how it comes out when I apply it at home — the Joy-full-est Joy! 🙂

  3. M ~ sounds like some fuzzy math to me, but i’ll take it!!

    joymama ~ what a fabulous generalization!!! love it!

  4. “I feel like Brooke”

    so existentially DEEP.

    I still work on “feeling like Karla” once in a while.

    you have a poet and sage on your hands, Jess.

  5. I love the pic.

    I hope she always feels like Brooke. Fantastic progress. Thrilling, uplifting, inspiring Brookiest Brooke.

  6. Yes! I love all of it – the “I’m doing what I’m doing,” the “I feel like Brooke.” Just fantastic! My personal favorite though is the “oh yeah.” It reminds me of when Nigel first started saying it, and how I treasured its nonchalance, a little “typical” thrown in. I still love when he says it, and I love that Brooke says it too!

  7. I remember the first “why” question, I was stunned!🙂 Thank you for sharing the small steps and giant leaps. Isn’t is awesome to see?

  8. those are all SO wonderful! i am singing over here! kvelling, i tell you!

    and the feeling like kendall? it seems that she’s saying she feels good, herself, home, yes? wow and wow again!

  9. First, wow on the why. What a totally approporate conversation!

    Second, and the question I’ve been wanting to ask but never had an appropirate post to do so…love that she’s feeling like Brooke, but I’m itching to know how you get her looking like Brooke! She’s got some great clothes, but I can’t figure out what they are. They kind of look Oilily, but with a twist. Especially lovin’ the Critters party outfit. Can you share any of her fashion secrets?

  10. Jo ~ you’ve caught me. i have a (not so secret) passion for children’s clothes and i take very guilty pleasure in finding fun and unique things for the girls.

    the critter party outfit was a crew cuts (jcrew’s kids line) shirt and mish mish pants. you know your clothes, as they both wear a fair amount of oilily too (they run huge sales in their own stores). there’s also a ton of old navy lest we break the bank!

    my favorite fashion ‘secret’ is pairing outgrown dresses with jeans. i think it’s adorable and it gets them at least another year (if not two) out of their dresses. i’m all about layering. you can take a summer dress or tunic and layer it over a long sleeved t-shirt or under a jacket or cardigan (or all of the above!) and take it all through winter.

    people often ask how brooke tolerates her clothes. i have a lot of sensitivity to tags and rough fabrics, so i’m extremely aware of what touches her skin. whatever layer is closest to her is almost always soft and simple. i always feel for uncomfortable seams and tags before buying anything.

    hmm, was that what you were looking for? let me know what else you’d like to know. if you live around boston, i’d be happy to send you links to particular stores.

  11. Great, great advice. Thank you! I was actually going to give a stack of dresses away, and now I’m going to have to go back and reconsider what’s in the pile…

    Although I did indeed live in Boston for 5 years, I now live in NYC where you’d think I’d be a little more in the know, clothes wise, but I’m not! Love crew cuts, although the Obamas have let the cat out of the bag there (I fear that’s the end of their good sales), and I have a small Catimini obsession. Adore the more tame stuff from Oilily. I hear they have a crazy good sample sale every year, but I’ve always missed it. If I can figure out when it is, I’m happy to pick some stuff up for you.

  12. omg, i would LOVE to hit the catimini sale .. i hear the madison ave store (85th, i think) basically gives stuff away a couple of times a year. if you ever hear about it, please, please let me know!!!!! heck, i’d use it as an excuse to come to ny!

  13. Do you have my e-mail address? I can’t tell if you get it when I post a comment. If not, Drama Mama has it. E-mail me directly. I can just text you photos from the store!

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