My Miss Mustard Seed or Babbling Brooke as she sometimes is called turned 18. Eighteen Autumns have wound their way around. Eighteen times the tale of my friend bringing three flavors of milkshakes to the hospital when she visited, because she didn't know which flavor I preferred, has been told. Eighteen times I have wondered at how rapidly another year has flown by, and How? How is this my third child this age already? Why does this child seem to grow so much more quickly than the others? Why does my time with her fly so much faster than the years with her siblings?

This girl hasn't ever been like any of her brothers and sisters, ever. Her own person, she has always, and I do mean always, lived life her own way, marched to the beat of her own drum, and fought ferociously to be her own, unique self. And I love her for it. Truly I do. Yes, it has made discipline and life lessons more challenging, but I don't care. I love her for being her. Of course, being mama, I love her no matter what. That's the best part of being mama, this loving always and forever no. matter. what.

As I sit here with my fingers poised motionless over the keyboard the words remain aloof. How does a mother put her heart into words? How do you share those innermost inner lovings with the clicking of keys? Some words, some thoughts, some feelings, they go too deep, are too strong, they just can't be said right out loud. Others, however, flow swiftly, almost as swiftly as the passing years have flown. Those words though. Those words aren't for here. They aren't for a blog read by anyone in the entire world. Those are for us, for her and I to share. Mamas and daughters need each other just like the flowers need the rain and the rain needs the clouds.

Who else but a daughter would know her mama who writes so much about meeting at a bench needed a bench in her garden? And who else but a daughter would know that an antique coffee pot filled with wildflowers would look just perfect on said bench? Somethings only a daughter knows, and somethings only a certain daughter knows. God has given me a daughter for every season, for every quirk, for every part of me. There isn't any part of me that one of my daughters doesn't "get". This Babbling Brooke of mine is no exception.

Of course there are also some buttons that only certain daughters know how to push so perfectly. Some parts of ugly that each one best brings to the surface. We believe in letting love cover over those parts. Love is the best cover up of all. And love, love is what caused this little girl following birth to cry until the other babies in the hospital nursery were being woken. This little girl she wanted her mama right from the start. Being baby number three for me when most of the other mamas were having their first, Babbling Brooke was sent back to me. "Could we please bring her back? She's waking all of the other babies, and the other mothers are all first-timers. Would you mind if we brought her back to the room? We're so sorry, but we can't get her to settle down, no matter what we do." I didn't mind at all and welcomed having my newest little one in the room with me. Of course she may come. She just needs her mama after all, and that is exactly what she wanted, me.

Odd how the baby who wanted mama from the first was also the one who was the first child to tell this same mama that she could find her own way to children's church and no, she did not want mama to walk her to her first Sunday in a new Sunday School class. Independent? Yes sir. Yes ma'am. Most definitely. She is, after all, the child of My Beloved and I. She is also the child who loves rough rides, wants to go mudding, and any number of other rough and rowdy ventures called fun. Paintballing, hunting, yes, yes, yes to it all. But don't mistake the love of the wild for a lack of femininity. Pearls and lace are among her very most favorites, and the favorite clothing of choice right now is a tutu skirt. Well rounded is the self-description she provides. Indeed Babbling Brooke, indeed. May you always be complete, whole, and full in Jesus the Author, Finisher, and Perfector of your faith. Oh! And may you also always be generous and share your Highland Grogg coffee with your mama too:)

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