Monday, September 03, 2007

Her scent

Though I’ve not always valued the sense of smell, becoming a mother increased my awareness and appreciation of this unique gift from God. As most people, I’ve long enjoyed the smell of flowers, a good meal, my favorite store, and even a cup of coffee, though I don’t drink it. I’ve understood from discussions with a friend whose sense of smell was very limited that it plays a critical role in our enjoyment of food. I’ve appreciated the way my nose warns me when I forget bread in the oven or am about to pour myself a glass of past-due milk. However, I had never really loved a scent until I came to know the scents of my children. As newborns Alyssa and Parker’s mouths smelled like sweetened milk, their bodies of Johnson and Johnson’s timeless lotion. As they grew, each took on their own unique scent, each uniquely precious to me. Alyssa is all girl, and her scent reflects it. No matter how rough her play gets, she rarely seems to require a scrubbing. Parker, however, will smell like a boy within hours of bathing – even if all he’s done is sleep! But each night when I bury my nose in their necks, I’m reminded of the overwhelming affection I have for each of them. There’s just something about the way they smell!
Which brings me to Reagan. I’ve loved my baby girl since we first started planning for her two years ago. My love intensified when we first saw her photograph and heard her name last December. I was overwhelmed when I finally held her in my arms on Mother’s Day. My affection for her has grown daily since then. However, it still doesn’t quite match that which I have for Alyssa and Parker. I think there are a lot of reasons for that – maybe I’ll go into them in another post someday – but my point today is this: I know I’m on the right track because I’m beginning to love Reagan’s scent. It is decidedly different from both Alyssa and Parker, though they are subjected to the same baths, shampoo and lotion treatments. I don’t think it is objectively much different than the way she smelled those first few weeks. All of a sudden, however, it is incredibly sweet to me. When I kiss her, I inhale a little deeper. Though her neck is almost non-existent, I’m starting to bury my nose in hers too. It seems a strange step in the bonding process, but to me a very real one, and presents yet another reason to praise God for the amazing little gifts He continues to bring into my life!

3 comments:

Christina said...

I do that same thing - just sort of breathe in the scent of my children. And I remember thinking the same thing... that there was a point when I knew Zeeb's scent and it made me feel more like his mom when I just wanted to breathe it in. You know in Cambodia they don't kiss (at least moms to children) - they sniff. Just like you describe, they put their face near their child and just breathe them in. I thought it was weird at first but then I realized I do that too - funny how universal being a mom is. :-)

rachel said...

What a sweet post. And it is so neat you posted about this because I was just thinking about this exact same thing a few weeks ago. I could be blindfolded and pick out Ava from a hundred other kids by scent alone. I couldn't do that with Sera just yet, but I'm getting there. I think scent is something most of us take for granted, yet it's so very powerful.

Lori said...

Ooooh, I remember doing that, especially after naps. I'm not sure I'd like the slightly sweaty neck of other people's kids, but my own....I almost would have bottled it and used it for perfume!!! A mother's love...