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Monday, February 13, 2012

The Experience

Some familiar smells captured my nose’s attention one afternoon and I went to scope it out. Like any practiced detective, it didn’t take me long to find my missing bone. The bathroom door was closed and locked, with the “child-proof” doorknob cover on the floor…so, I knew I must be getting “warmer” in my search. I knocked on the door.

“Hey! Who’s in there?” I inquire.

“No one,” she replies.

“What is “no one” doing in there and what do I smell?” I ask.

“Nothing,” she responds.

I convinced “no one” to open up so I could see what type of nothingness was going on. “No one” (the new name of my 4 year old) was standing there without her shirt on, greasy hair, with her hands behind her back looking, well, very guilty-ish.

After some interrogation (she does not give in easily), I pieced together the clues and found that she had slathered her pits with Daddy’s deodorant (loves that daddy!), painted her fingers (fingers, not fingernails) with an assortment of my polish (had a fun time at the mother-daughter-mani-pedi, I’m guessin’), and used WAAAY too much Biosilk to tame the tangles (loves to do what Mommy does). So, this Detective Momma got a “Gotcha” badge and “no one” immediately got out of the bathroom. I was very careful not to let her see the grin behind my scowl.

A few days later, I was putting my 2 year old to bed and sniffed an array of fruity flavors – hairspray and starfruit-strawberry-mango, maybe? My sniffer also told me that it was coming from my little girl’s curls. Yep, and I’m certain that “no one” had something to do with it. So, I just closed my eyes, imagined I was savoring some mouth-watering fruit on a beach somewhere and rocked her for a few more minutes.

Sometimes, a smell is something we have to experience ourselves. It would be difficult for someone to describe it to us, unless we’ve smelled it once before. Smells can also take us back to a specific memory.

My mom said that you might remember “High Karate” or “English Leather” cologne if you were a teen in the 60’s. That smell takes her back to the good ole days of two-steppin’ the night away. My Aunt Edie said that the smell of magnolias is simply intoxicating to her. I love the smell of dryer sheets (especially if it’s someone else doing the laundry – hee hee) and baby lotion. My husband loves the smell of freshly cut grass and my son, well, he said…(wait for it, wait for it)…he likes the smell of fish guts (LOVES to fish, that boy!). My daughter, on the other hand, prefers the smell of pink bubble gum. Each smell is so different, yet the experience tied to it is oftentimes enjoyable.

Our family is fond of smelling an evening breeze, so we enjoy taking walks together. We usually laugh or learn something along the way. My 4 year old told us on one walk that when she’s a mom, she will have her kids eat two carrots before they have candy, leave the light on all night and teach them to share. We then asked her if she’d share a few of her fruit snacks with her sister and she informed us that she wasn’t a mom yet.

We also share jokes. “Knock, knock. Who’s there? Olive. Olive who? Olive you!” Awwww. “How do you make a tissue dance? Put a little boogie in it!” Why in the world do we always laugh at booger jokes? I have no idea. Anyway.

We like to wrap up our walks with the Popsicle mystery game. Sitting in lawn chairs in the driveway, the kids close their eyes and try to guess the flavor after their first lick. So, for us, the smell of evening air will forever be associated with a memorable experience.

Similar to a smell that we have to experience to appreciate…each time someone says, “Oh, I just can’t explain them to you…you’ll just have to meet them…” - they’re talking about the “experience” of you! What will “the experience” be?

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