all of me

‘Ah, music, he said, wiping his eyes. A magic beyond all we do here!’

– JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Last night …

We had been in space.

The rocket bed was headed to Mars.

The stuffed animal astronauts were all in their pajama space suits.

The room was completely dark, except for the Dora flashlight moon and the Barbie the Turtle stars.

Astronaut Katie tumbled out of the rocket bed, rolling through space and landing face down on a comet.

Commander Brooke and I tried to rescue her with chewing gum, but she wouldn’t hear of it – too sticky.

“You’re floating in space, “I said, “Take whatever you can get!”

Commander Brooke said, “We’ll throw a lasso rope!”

Astronaut Katie giggled from the carpet comet, “No, I’ll get rope burns!”

“Astronaut Katie, I’m throwing you a ladder,” said Commander Brooke.

“It’s wood and I could get a splinter!” Katie said from her comet.

I suggested we leave her in orbit, but Commander Brooke wouldn’t hear of leaving a fellow astronaut behind. She hurled herself into the atmosphere and ran to her sister, then dragged her by one arm across the rug galaxy and back to the safety of the bed ship.

We hadn’t played like this together in as long as I could remember. It had to be a year, maybe more. Brooke has been so afraid of Katie’s cough. It’s been … hard.

I tried to soak it all in – the creativity, the laughter, the love. I greedily devoured every last drop.

Eventually, we laid together in the quiet. Katie shined the flashlight moon onto the ceiling and we watched Dora and Boots ride a unicorn across the sky.

“Ooh,” Katie said, “let’s sing karaoke.”

She grabbed her phone and we sang. All of us. Together. Katie choosing song after song.


“Brooke is going to love this one, ” Katie said. “It has a bad word in it.”

Brooke giggled and giggled. I couldn’t help but laugh with her.

I drowned in gratitude.

And then Katie said, “Hey, can I sing one for you? I just started working on it, so I don’t really know it yet. Want to hear it?”

I told her that of course we did.

She said, “I’m going to stand up. I feel more comfortable that way.”

I told her she could stand on her head if it made her happy.

Brooke laughed at the idea of her sister upside down.

And then she sang.

And my God did she sing.

And the moment and the song and the darkness and the gratitude and the love and the pride and the awe and the Oh my God that’s my kid – it was magic.

And I asked her if she would do it again and let me video it, in part just because I wanted to hear it again. And again and again and again. And she said yes.

And well, this.

That’s my girl. Making magic.

40 thoughts on “all of me

  1. Katie is magnificent. I’m also thrilled that the three of you had such fun together. It’s been sometime since that has been able to happen. It sounds like all of you had a blast into space (pun intended)!

    Love you,

  2. Beautiful. Just beautiful. I have been following your FB page for awhile now. I stumbled on it on accident. I am so glad I did. Your insight, words, wisdom, your family… all of it… it’s just awesome. Thank you for sharing.

  3. She has a beautiful voice. Does she have any voice coaching? I think she would really enjoy the process and she could find a good control of the voice that is blossoming. Plus she has a good look and voice of a future Broadway star so starting now would lead to major success in the future

    • this comment will make her so happy as her dream is to sing on broadway. she had lessons for a short time and loved them, but it became difficult as the price was prohibitive and time is tough to find. 😦

  4. I dont know how you done it.

    Everyday i wonder if im leading my kids down the right road even though they are 5 and 2 im always scared they will go down the same roads i did. And i want more than anything to save them from that. I was abused and in return i turned to drugs and self harm at a young age. Even though they definitely do not go through abuse i wonder if they will break from peer pressure at some point and turn to those things. While i got clean and turned ti God before i ever became pregnant with my son the thought scare me. But i see Brooke in all her likeness begging so confident in who she is no matter what. I see Katie even though she is at the age that most succumb to peer pressure stand tall in who she is and is able to make the right decisions for herself. You have raised and are raising the most respectful children i have ever seen. Especially for today’s society and generation. I am amazed at how you have managed to teach them self worth and value at such a young age. Its breathtaking to see her Stand there and sing not caring what others think of her. She is my hope for my children. They both are examples of the values and morals i embrace and hope to be able to teach my children. You’ve done and are still doing an amazing job.

    • I am amazed at how you have managed to teach them self worth and value at such a young age.

      you will too. you know how? because you model it every day that you stay clean. and they will see that.


  5. Oh my gosh!!!! Amazing!!! All of it amazing!!! From the trip to outer space and Brooke having the awesome idea to save her sister with a piece of gum to Katie’s amazing voice!!! Her voices touched my soul this morning. Please tell her thank you for sharing her gift with the world! I see from the comments that her dream is to sing on Broadway. I wonder if they have an equivalent of “The Voice” for Broadway…..well maybe not exactly like The Voice but something like it where young singers can compete and are mentored. Again, beautiful just beautiful!!

  6. You give your babies a wonderful place to grow and explore, but within soft arms that hold them on the best course. I love their confidence and their joy for life because of how and where they live and how their parents love them..
    Love you all,

  7. Im sitting here on the public bus balling my eyes out. I.cant even hoe hard of the day Iam having. A year my best.Friend/sister passed away details are bot important but I will say is it was a huge shock and ive never fully recovered from it. I needed rhis today. The love between your daughters is so real and so beautiful . Katies voice my God im just on awe. The.second video with them.hugging had me.crying even more. I.could eatch.and listen to.this everyday and cry each time!!!!!

  8. So beautiful! Their love and play together…Katie’s voice…and you for sharing this with us. Much needed today… Thank you!

  9. Oh my, that was incredible. So many tears flowing! And I could just feel the pride you must have in both of your girls. Way to go, Katie!

  10. That was BEAUTIFUL !!!One of my favorite songs. It brought happy tears ..such a talent (((( hugs )))) Thank you for sharing !!!

  11. Such a pretty voice! Maybe you could check to see if there are any vocal ed students who need practice teaching. Music stores also have lessons at lower prices than professionals. I needed a refresher in piano a few years ago and one of my accompanists wanted to charge $80 a lesson and the music store was $25. (I live in the middle of nowhere, Louisiana)

  12. You bear your soul to us, Jess, so much so that we’ve become emotionally invested in you and your beautiful family. Case in point, I was shopping for boys clothes in Kohl’s last evening. John Legend’s “All of Me” came on, a song I haven’t ever paid much attention to, for no particular reason, until I had watched this video of Katie’s rendition of it, her soul stirring rendition, that kind of stuck with me. So there I was in Kohl’s, tears streaming down my face, listening to John Legend but picturing Katie, singing the words to Brooke. I know that it’s a love song, and I’m not sure how Katie intended it, but that’s the way I interpreted Katie, singing her love for Brooke. And I was so moved. To tears. In Kohl’s.
    What a moment. Magic, indeed!

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