My goddaughter Nora is now 2 years old and I am lucky enough to be her Mary Poppins two and a half days every week. Spending so much time with her and watching her grow is the great joy of my life. But, there was a point in my life not many years ago where everything seemed to stop, became routine, desperate and full of anguish and then suddenly a new story begins and a little girl comes into the world and hope emerges where before there was little. I thank god everyday for her; she saved my life.
When she was born, she had a birthmark on her head underneath her hair and this mark started me thinking that she was somehow very special. So, with this thought in mind, I wanted to create something for her that demonstrated how important she was to me and something that she would have for the rest of her life.
So, I wrote a story about her and about me becoming her nanny(with some good input and editing from my dear friend DS). Nora Noodle of New York City is the title. I found a wonderful artist named Chris Ams who brought the book alive with fantastic illustrations. And he handmade a book for her. I cannot thank him enough. Go to his website. Hire him! He is also a very talented jazz/soul singer as well.
Once upon a time, millions of years ago, there lived a little angel in Heaven. Her name was Nora Noodle. She had sparkly silver butterfly wings with edges of brilliant pink.
Time had no meaning in Heaven, and Nora Noodle could do whatever her heart desired. She spent never ending sunny days playing hide ‘n’ seek in the fields and woods with the other cherubs, swimming in the sparkling blue waters trying to catch golden frogs, listening to the older angels playing beautiful music on their lutes and eating sweet cakes filled with raspberry jam. Life was full of timeless wonderment and fun.
One day as she was gathering flowers, she suddenly heard the Great Voice speaking to her. "Nora Noodle, it is time for you to go to Earth to begin your life as a mortal child." Now, Nora Noodle had overheard hushed whispers about earth from the older angels, but she was not quite sure what it was. However, when the Great Voice asked you to do something, you did it and didn't ask any questions. To prepare her for her adventure on Earth, The Great Voice kissed her head leaving a mark that glittered silver and gold in the moonlight of Earth.
Suddenly, everything was quiet. Nora could no longer hear the singing birds or feel the gentle breeze of Heaven.
THEN WHOOSH! WET! UNDER WATER!
Nora Noodle heard voices, but they did not sound like the singing voices of angels. They were deeper and sharper, but also sweet. And then she heard another sound. A sound she had never heard before. Someone was crying, someone was screaming...and suddenly Nora Noodle realized that this sound was coming from her own mouth.
She looked up and saw her new family: a tall gentle daddy with red hair, a beautiful mommy with dark hair and eyes, a caring older sister with long golden hair and an older brother with a quick warm smile and devilish freckles. When the family saw the glittering mark on Nora Noodle's head, they knew she was special.
As days passed, Nora Noodle realized she could not walk, run or play as she once had, but could merely lie about or be held by her new family. They were kind and comforted her when she was upset. The beautiful mommy gave her the sweetest, warmest milk that Nora Noodle had ever tasted. It was better than anything she had ever eaten in Heaven. She liked her new life, even though she was just a little bit scared.
One day the beautiful mommy with the dark hair and eyes got a new job. Someone would have to watch Nora Noodle when the beautiful mommy was at work. For many years the family had known a gentlemen named The Flâneur. He lived alone with many beautiful, old things. He coveted his collections, and spent many hours alone searching for the finest art. Its beauty intrigued him, as did its history. He also was known to stroll throughout New York City. And in this activity, too, he was an observer, looking for beauty as others played, shopped for groceries, walked their dogs, and went about their daily lives. Although he was content he was sometimes sad and felt alone. One day, it occurred to him that perhaps he could take care of Nora Noodle!
The family agreed! On sunny days The Flâneur would take Nora Noodle out in her carriage and the two would stroll together throughout New York City. Nora Noodle loved to stroll through the city. So many sights and sounds that she had never seen or heard in Heaven fascinated her. Together they were The Flâneur and The Petite Flâneuse.
On some days it was difficult for The Flâneur to get Nora Noodle to take her naps. Sleep annoyed Nora Noodle. She had never slept in Heaven. Why should she have to sleep now?! And besides, she might miss something when she was asleep, something important.
But The Flâneur understood these things about Nora Noodle. He could sense her curiosity and emerging passion for life. So, even with the fussing and crying, The Flâneur loved to be with her and felt great happiness. Sometimes, he was even able to get Nora Noodle to sleep, if only for a short while.
And as the days passed, The Flâneur smiled more and was happier. He realized that Nora Noodle was sent from Heaven by The Great Voice as a special gift to her family and The Flâneur for all of them to love and cherish. To be sharing so much love and happiness was a wonderful feeling, and Nora realized that living on earth was even better than being in Heaven.
And they all lived happily ever after… and Nora Noodle even learned to love going to sleep.