Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Old body wash.

It is said that out of all the senses that scent has a greater capability of bringing up old memories. It ties us to our memories, both good and bad, more strongly than taste, feeling, or even looking at a photograph.

For most people, memorable scents are generally something like the smell of warm chocolate cookies baking making them remember their childhood, or the smell of pipe tobacco reminding them of their great grandfather.

Let me explain further.

When Ian was born, I packed my hospital bag with all of the things I would need; pajamas, camera, slippers, snacks, and bath products. Rather than pack all of my regular shower items, I went to the store and picked out a bunch of travel sized items. I picked up this body wash.

I'm a big fan of showers. After a long hard day I don't reach for a glass of wine or chocolate; I take a nice long shower. Even with a (nearly) two year old, this is one of the pleasures that I still indulge myself in. So naturally after Ian was born, I took several long hot showers in the hospital to sooth my aching body. This body was made my skin feel super soft, and the scent stayed for hours after I had dried off. It felt and smelled like everything that having a new baby should.

As I cuddled tiny Ian up to my bare chest I felt how soft he felt against my soft skin. I smelled the scent which paired perfectly with his tiny little baby smell. I swore that I was never going to buy another body wash in my entire life, because this one was just perfect.

And then we came home, and I couldn't bring myself to use it. It was special. It reminded me of those first precious days that we had spent together in the hospital. I couldn't ruin that memory by making it an everyday smell. I still have that bottle, half full of soap placed in Ian's memory box, because more than anything, the scent takes me back to those first days. There are times that I open up the bottle, take a quick smell, and my mind automatically floats back to those days. It's so real that I almost feel like I could reach out and hold my tiny newborn son again. Almost.

Last night Ian and I had a special "Ian and Mommy night out". Really, we just went to Target, went to Kroger and did some grocery shopping, and got the car washed. But we took our time, we laughed and giggled, and we enjoyed ourselves. In Target, I was working out some coupon deals in my head when I discovered that I could get an entire bottle of this wonderful body wash for free with my coupons. I looked at Ian. I looked at the bottle. I took a whiff.


I just couldn't do it.

Instead, I gave my big boy a kiss, whipped out my pen and wrote "Use both coupons to get for free" and placed it right under the bottle for someone else to find. I already have my memory, and it's too precious to make an everyday smell.

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