“What’s the baby’s name?”

I recognize the words as a script, but the young mom with the ten-month old in the baby pool does not. Why would she? The question is appropriate. And wonderful.

From a few feet away on the pool deck, I try to contain my pride.

This is the child who has never been able to tolerate a baby in any form – their coos and cries an all out assault on her nervous system, they were simply too much to bear. Now here she is, wading her way over to a mom to ask her baby’s name. 

The mom looks at Brooke for just a split second too long before she answers.

Yes, ma’am, my eight year-old is in the baby pool. Yes, we did see the sign that says it’s for ages three and under, but she likes it here. Particularly when she has it all to herself as she did before you came in. You see, it’s quiet and there are toys here. She likes to ‘water the plants’ with the watering can. Really she just waters the pool deck, but there’s something soothing about watching the water darken the concrete. It calms her when the big pool gets chaotic. But all that doesn’t really matter does it? She’s asked you your baby’s name. 

“What’s the baby’s name?” my girl asks again.

Her voice is a little too loud and she’s standing just a little too close. Mom has her guard up, but she smiles.

“This is Lilly,” she says.

Brooke squats down to the baby. They are nearly nose to nose.

I stand up and slowly walk over to within reaching distance. I don’t say a word, but I smile at mom.

It’s OK; I’m here. But please know that I’m not going to intervene unless I have to. I know you don’t know this, ma’am, but my girl is leaping over a huge hurdle right  this very second as you and I watch. We’re witnessing something big. Something really big.

She’s ready for this. I’ll be here, but I’ll be here quietly as long as I can. 

Still on her haunches, barely six inches from little Lilly, Brooke buries her face in her hands. This is new. I wonder if she’s hiding.

She opens her hands in the baby’s face and shouts.


My heart is so full. I don’t have to tell you why, do I? You get this, right? I am grinning. I can barely contain myself.

She doesn’t get a satisfying reaction, so she tries another tact.

“Baby, smile!” she says. “Smile, baby!”

Lilly looks a little more confused than amused. She leans into her mom.

Brooke reaches out for her foot. “I will do Little Piggy to her,” she announces.

I stop her before she grabs Lilly’s toes to explain that we can’t touch a baby without asking mom if it’s ok.

Brooke looks at mom. “Is it ok?”

The mom very sweetly says, “Sure it is. Lilly loves ‘This Little Piggy!'” She coos at the baby. “You like that, don’t you, punkin?”

Brooke launches in, gently wiggling one little piggy at a time until she gets to “Wee Wee Wee, all the way home!” She pretends to tickle her and Lilly lets out an adorable baby giggle. Brooke laughs in response.

I smile at the mom – perhaps just a little too broadly – and tell Brooke that it’s time for us to leave Lilly and her mommy to play for a while.

We walk back to where she had been sitting before they arrived. I squat down and tell her how proud I am of her. I tell her she is an incredible kid.

“I am?” she says.

“Yes, baby, you are.”

Without another word, she finds her watering can and takes up her work on the pool deck.

My daughter played with a baby.

EVERYTHING is possible. 

51 thoughts on “possible

  1. Aaaand, now I am watering the imaginary plants on my keyboard with my tears. This is huge.H.U.G.E! Bigger than huge. So incredibly proud of Brooke. xo

  2. So excited for your moment. Nothing is more thrilling than watching your child do something that other parents take for granted.

  3. Thank you. I needed this incredible post to start my day. I’m smiling because I know how far Brooke has come. Thank you for this.

    I love you,

  4. My 2 favorite sayings, appropriate for this post, “Anything is possible”-Kevin Garnet and “IT happens”-Sheila Ring Reed. One love DOAM.

  5. I love inspiring stories. It is amazing to watch miracles and read miracles. It gives hope. Hurray for Brooke!

  6. Such a huge accomplishment!! So happy for all of you… just one at a time, they come… but when they do – ohhhhh, the joy you can feel!!

  7. Tears in my eyes! Not only did Brooke do something MAJOR and AWESOME, the mother of Lilly sounded sweet and patient. Anything is possible, everything is possible.
    Reading this post was the best way to start my day. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  8. yikes, that is terrific! at this very moment, she’s probably considering another hurdle, getting ready to leap right on over it. Super Brooke, doing her thing.

  9. Awesome!!!! I love when they just up and cross over that line in the sand that has always been there, limiting them, as if it were nothing. You go, Brooke!

    On the other hand … in the watch out what you wish for because you might just get it department… my son Jake (who is the opposite of Brooke in that he is mostly a sensory seeker) is currently so obsessed with babies that I have to be constantly vigilant, because he will run up to and put his hands all over any and every baby he sees in the blink of an eye.

    That explanation about not touching a baby unless its OK with the Mom? I give at least 4 times a day. Every day.

    But of course is all worth it for the sheer joy he gets playing with the babies. I am so glad Brooke has crossed over that line… and that anything and EVERYTHING is so clearly possible.

  10. Yes, I totally understand this! Such a beautiful story, I’m in tears. I just happened upon your blog and I usually wouldn’t comment, but this struck me in such a profound way. Thanks for sharing. Go Brooke!!

  11. Just what I needed to hear today. Sitting here thinking about all the questions I had to answer “no” to today during yet another evaluation for my boys – and remembering exactly why I kept adding “not yet” to every one of them. Someday … thank you for this!


  13. Those are the moments that make you think “all the sacrifices and tears and frustration are worth it.”
    Ben who is 4 just said hello to another child that he didn’t know.
    We were bowling for Father’s Day and the little girl was 2 lanes over. Ben started walking over to her and just like you, I cautiously followed to see what would happen, and then my sweet little man,got very close and said HI.
    My heart soared and my eyes welled up, my husband called me a sap, so be it. He is in there and he is amazing!

  14. Yeah and yeah!!!!! How amazing!! How wonderful!!!! I needed a pick me up today and I need to let you know that your little Brooke gave it to me!!! Doing the Happy Dance over here at our house!!! Arms in the air, “Go Brooke, Go Brooke, Go Brooke!!!!!”

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