(Start at the beginning)
Nick and Noel set the table for dinner, vegetable beef soup being the perfect comfort food for the cold weather. Yes, Nick kept the house warm as he didn’t like the chill either, but the warm soup was gonna hit the spot. And along with the cheddar cheese biscuits, Noel’s tummy was about to be put in Heaven.
Nick had spent the day working from home, the lone positive that had come from this never-ending global virus problem. Their Christmas tree arrived at 9am and Noel spent the whole morning decorating it. It was indeed the right size for the living room and it fit with exactness in the corner. She was so happy about it and she used every single ornament to give it the “bling” it was due. Nick took a few breaks throughout the day and this gave them several opportunities to decorate the outside of the house with Christmas lights. He put them all over the house as she strung the bushes and trees. Needless to say, it had been a busy and productive day.
Putting the biscuits on the table, Noel took a seat – straightening out the Christmas bib he had put on her. It was one of 12 he bought her and she intended to use all 12 before Christmas Day. Plus, aside from the clothing she wore outside temporarily to string up the lights, that bib was the only other thing she had worn that day – aside from her diaper …… and this was another important reason for him to keep the heat cranked up indoors.
Nick screwed the cap on her sippy cup and put it next to her bowl, then taking a seat.
“You’ve been thinking about something all day,” he said, picking up her bowl of soup and dipping the spoon into it before feeding it to her. “Right after you finished decorating that tree this morning, you sat down and watched something on TV that put a thought in your head. And it’s a thought that has been swimming around in your mind ever since. What is it?”
Noel swallowed the first spoonful of soup and then opened her mouth again for the feeding of the second spoonful.
“Alright, alright!” she said with laughter, taking the spoon from him and beginning to feed herself.
They always gave everything a try … at least once.
“Yes, I have been thinking about something all day. And I never cease to wonder how you figure these things out without me telling you first,” she said with a smile. “I mean … I’m the girl. I’m supposed to be a total mystery to you.”
Nick smiled back but said nothing. He wasn’t going to take that bait.
“So what’s been on your mind, Princess?” he asked, redirecting the conversation back to the question she had yet to answer.
“I wanna volunteer somewhere this month,” she stated, just coming right out with it. “It was a commercial that touched me and got me thinking about how easy it would be for me to lend a hand.”
“That’s a wonderful idea, BabyGirl,” he stated. “We’ll both volunteer somewhere. What was the commercial you saw?”
“It was for a children’s hospital on the West Coast,” she replied, then eating a spoonful of soup before continuing. “But there’s gotta be something local that would welcome help.”
“What about the Water Street Rescue Mission?” he asked. “They always need help with their soup kitchen meals, particularly on the weekends.”
Noel smiled, shifting in her seat and crinkling with happiness.
“I like that idea,” she said with joy, then staring down at the table for a moment. “I used to volunteer at the nursing home where my grandparents were living. I wanted to volunteer so I could see them more often. But the experience was one that made me feel really good about myself … and plus – I was actually able to spend the remaining time with my grandparents before they passed away. They were really proud of me and they bragged to everyone that it was their granddaughter who was the dynamite volunteer.”
Getting choked up, she stopped talking for a moment – Nick picking her up and setting her on his lap, facing towards him. She wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly as she buried her face in his chest. She had uncovered another painful memory, the loss of her grandparents. And when these things happened to her, she became emotional. Nick would always hold her, rocking her back-n-forth and rubbing his hand up-n-down her naked back.
“Shh. Shh. Shhh,” he shushed her, gently patting her diapered bottom. “Daddy is very proud of you. You are a caring and loving person. You think of others and you always help when you can. So we’re gonna go volunteer at the soup kitchen. And your grandparents, watching you from Heaven, will be proud you once again.”
The rest of dinner returned to him spoon feeding her the soup and nursing her emotions back to healthiness. For as much as he understood that she may not have needed his assistance in overcoming an emotion, it felt good that he loved her enough to not only listen to what she was bothered about but also to take it upon himself to try to help.
Her husband died. Her grandparents died. People she loved kept dying. And it figuratively killed her too, every time. But the reality of life was that everybody died, at some point. And we learn to cherish the people we have lost in our hearts forever.
“You wanna see something amazing?” he asked with excitement in his voice, appealing to her nature to get excited by small things.
Noel nodded, though not sure what he was going to show her.
“Go over and turn off the kitchen light,” he instructed – Noel getting off his lap and crinkling her waddle over to the light switch, turning it off.
And when she did, her attention was redirected to what was now the brightest thing in the house … the living room front window. With the living room lights off as well, the living room front window was illuminated by the Christmas lights outside. Her eyes grew big-n-wide at the sight of the new snowflakes that had begun falling.
Crinkling a sprint over to the front window, she knelt on the couch and saw the thin coating of snow that now covered the sidewalk as well as the bushes and trees. But the Christmas lights still stuck out above the snowflakes. With a gaping jaw, she watched with the wonderment of a little heart. Cleaning up from dinner, Nick kept peeking his head into the living room to see her excitement grow and grow. She was practically bouncing up-n-down on her knees, her lingering modesty barely keeping her from doing so.
When he finished cleaning up, he walked into the living room and up behind her – as she was still kneeling on the couch and looking out the window. Removing the bib from around her neck, he placed a pacifier in her mouth and raised her lowered chin. Nursing on the pacifier, Noel kept watching the snow fall and seeing its coating on the ground begin to grow thicker. She tried to imagine what that coating was going to look like when it reached the six to eight inches that were predicted.
Silently, they both watched for a few minutes – Nick’s hand then going over to the underside of her diaper. Noel was too preoccupied with the snow to even have noticed that she had drenched her diaper from the excitement.
Nick moved the coffee table out of the way and then guided Noel down to the rug. Placing her on her back and positioning her so she could still see the front window, he unfastened her diaper tapes. Nursing on her pacifier as her legs and bottom were raised up in the air, Noel kept her eyes locked on the falling snowflakes outside – feeling like a baby, feeling loved and care for and safe … and being allowed to keep the distraction of those snowflakes at their first arrival.
Continue on to Saturday, December 4th