out loud


It’s bedtime. Brooke and I lie side by side on her bed. Daddy and Katie are gone, having already performed their roles in the elaborate evening dance. The fish tank gurgles its soothing lullaby. The sparkly lava lamp throws its soft light into the room – pink, then purple, then blue, then green. Brooke is overtaken by giggles; the joke hers alone.  I bathe in her laughter. It has the power to heal.

It’s time for me to say goodnight. I know it’s time. But I’m loathe to go.

I reach out a hand. “You ready to do our nines?” I ask.

“No,” she says. “You would stay and cuddle some more.”

Fair enough.

“Baby?” I say.

The only answer is a squeal – a last echo of her subsiding laughter.

“You are the most perfect little creature to ever walk this Earth.”

“I am?” she asks. Her eyes glisten in the pink light.

There’s something in those eyes. Always has been. Beautiful, raw energy. Life.* 

“Yup. Ya know why?” I ask, nuzzling her ear.

“Why?” she asks in return.

This give and take – this volley – this conversation – I will never, ever, ever take it for granted.

“Because God made you.”

“He did?”

“Yup. And I am so lucky that I get to be your Mama.”

“You are?”

“I am.”

I give her a squeeze. I’d love to stay, but we both need our sleep. “It’s time now, kiddo.”

I hold out my arm. She puts hers on top of mine and we count out nine taps, then one for good luck. Always one for good luck. 

“Good night my sweet baby,” I say.

She turns her face into the scrum of stuffed animals.

“Good night sweet baby Mama.”

I kiss her one last time and head out the door, my soul renewed.


Sometimes knowing what to say to our kids is hard. Sometimes it’s really, really hard.

But sometimes, the words are already there. It’s just a matter of remembering to say them out loud.


* We made this little video for my cousin last night. I’ve watched it twenty times since. I’m sharing it just in case you didn’t believe me when I said, “There’s something in those eyes. Always has been. Beautiful, raw energy. Life.”

See for yourself ..



23 thoughts on “out loud

  1. What a way to start Grammy’s morning. THANK YOU! I LOVED THE POST AND THE VIDEO. Yes, I know I was shouting!

    Love you,

  2. Beautiful!!!! Thank you SO much for sharing with us! I am waiting for the day I can revel in give and take conversation. I pray that day comes. Cymbie is 4 and a half. So far just a lot of echo, BUT she is really good at making requests, many spontaneous. She says “Goodbye! See ya later” when prompted.
    Brooke has come so far, and it’s so wonderful to hear her little voice. Thank you again, a thousand times over, for letting us share a part of her success.

    • I hope you get there too Barb, with your Cymbie. I find Brooke’s progress a real inspiration for our family. I’m sure you do too. Blessing to you.

  3. Brooke’s eyes are so much like my Maddie’s. I always go back to her eyes when I doubt if she will ever talk to us. I remind myself that she does talk to us through her eyes. I still hold in my heart the certainity that she is destined for greatness. I am not sure how I know but I just do.
    Maddie has the same unexplained laughter that pours out of her. Last night as she sat in the tub, the water draining away she exploded with a belly laugh that could cure the world of all that ails it. Thanks for sharing Katie and Brooke with all of us.

  4. I read a blog once (cant remember which sorry) and it said “no matter what else is going on I see magic in my child”. Thats how I feel about my son,and there is magic in those eyes.

  5. You are so right. Her eyes are full of LIFE and magic. I feel the same when I look into my son’s eyes. I treasure every word from his mouth and all the victories he experiences. Autism has helped me learn to appreciate every little victory. Each one is important.

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