Our sense of scent is a powerful thing. I am always intrigued by the way a scent can trigger a memory. This morning as I was getting dressed I contemplated for a just a moment over the 3 or 4 perfumes I have. And, as I do many mornings, I chose to spritz on Aeromatics Elixir by Clinique because it reminds me of my mom.

Our son Adam was born on a Friday night at 8:30 and my husband stayed overnight with me in the hospital that first night. The next day he went home about 4pm and planned to come back the following morning to take us home. Saturday night was a little hard for me, alone in a hospital room, hormones raging. I missed my husband. I was overwhelmed at the blessing of a healthy baby and all that faced me in the days, weeks and years ahead. The nurses convinced me to let Adam stay in the nursery for about 6 hours Saturday night so I could get some much-needed rest and so he could get some supplemental formula. I agreed, and proceeded to try to sleep. Instead, I began to cry....and I could not stop.

So, about 1am when the nurse came in to check on me, there I was, in a full-blown cry. She was a very motherly nurse; she'd been working there 36 years. She got me a cold wash-cloth for my face and then sat with me on the edge of the bed and patted my hand. She told me how coveted my particular room once was, before the current construction began. It was a corner room with a wonderful view of Peachtree Street and the Atlanta skyline. She asked me if my tears were tears of pain or depression and I explained that they were tears of joy. She told me that there were lots of other tears being shed in the rooms up and down the hallway at that very moment. I did manage to ask her, in her years of being a labor and delivery nurse, what was the one thing she told new mothers that she felt really made a difference to them. And she said, "I always tell them that the two things a brand new baby learns almost immediately is the sound of your voice and the smell of your skin. So hold your baby close and talk to him a lot."

The smell of our skin.... I'll bet all of us could pick out our mothers (and probably our fathers) that way.

As the years pass other smells remind us of our mothers, too. Onions cooking in a skillet, fresh- mown grass, chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, hairspray, mint chewing gum, Pinesol used to scrub the floors.

What reminds you of your mom?

Until next time,


Almoverton :

My mom wears obsession and has for years. It is always strange when she lets one of my girls wear it, or if she holds the baby for a long time, my kids come home smelling like her -

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