There will come a day when I probably won’t get away with calling you “Noonie.” Thankfully, it won’t be too soon. It’s such a dear nickname, though I can’t take credit for it. Your sister, the Official Nicknaming Authority of our house, dubbed you “Noonie” based on…well, we don’t rightly know. But we have picked it up and we use it just as surely as she does. You are our “Noonie.”
You’re in the other room cooing and playing (probably with your feet) as I write this. Though you still get up in the middle of the night, I find myself cherishing the short time we have left together in the still of those quiet hours. You have grown so much, so fast! I know that is the way of babies, and I capture it as best I can with pictures and words and memories burned into my mind.
This is your first spring, and as the days lengthen and I dress you in the little outfits I once put on your older sister, smiling as I note subtle signs of wear and sometimes tiny hard-water stains, I wonder just how amazing it is through your eyes. We take you outside, slathered with sunscreen and clad in that denim hat that I was shoving on your sister’s head long after she had pretty much outgrown it, and you laugh and smile – you express so openly just exactly what I feel this time of year.
What kind of delight do you feel when your sister brings you an entire fistful of yellow tulips? What kind of amusement does your baby mind register when I dive in to keep Babby from actually giving them to you (because, my dear Noonie, right now EVERYTHING goes in your mouth, and I haven’t quite let go of my inhibitions about those flowers in your digestive tract)? What kind of joy do you feel in your toes when we swing you, and swing you, and swing you?
How does the fresh air feel on your face, little Noonie? And the birds – do you hear them calling to each other from the trees and see them swooping from the barn? How does the grass feel when I put you down in it?
We have the whole summer ahead of us, Noonie, and I’m excited. I haven’t tired of you yet (not that I thought I would), and I find that I do not, in fact, EXPECT any of the miraculous “firsts” that you pull out, even though I have been through them once before. It was a different season and a different child before. You are so totally your own person, so completely unique, so wonderfully YOU. There is no expecting the smiles and giggles; there is no enough of the wonder and discovery; there is no ceasing in my thanking God for the gift of you in our family.