No More Tears

I’ve been thinking about the past, lately, reviewing things in my mind, reliving our early days, from that shocking phone call from the pediatric cardiologist with the words, “Good news!  You won’t be life-flighted to Seattle for emergency surgery!” (Tom’s reply:  My God, I didn’t even know that was an option) to the way the smell of the NICU used to seep into my clothes, my hair, my skin.  Especially, the babies.  They didn’t smell like milk, or diapers, or lotion, or even Tom, me.  They smelled like the hospital.

One of the first things I did when they got home was to give them baths.  They were so tiny, still, and fragile looking (to me), but it was my way of connecting with them, my way of doing for them what I’d done for their brother–all the ordinary, tiring, beautiful chores of new motherhood.  It was a beginning.

I washed them with Johnson’s Baby Wash, and just one whiff of that long-ago smell from Carter’s babyhood (maybe even my babyhood, stored somewhere, subliminally) transported me away from my worry, and fear, to the present moment:  I was a mother, these were my babies.

Such is the power of scent.

When Mom Central asked if I’d review the new Johnson’s products, I said yes, because I wanted to smell those new baby smells one more time, one last time.  It’s made me hopelessly nostalgic.  There’s a new product out now, for a new generation of moms (the scent is pleasant, but it’s not my scent, the one from my memories).  And the baby wash I loved so well now comes in a pump-bottle, which would have been so handy, all those years ago.

This year Johnson is celebrating their 50th Anniversary, and I can’t help but wonder how many childhoods include the image of that golden bottle on the edge of the bathtub.  Mine, certainly, and my three boys.

Thanks for taking this walk down memory lane with me.



4 thoughts on “No More Tears

  1. I’m a weirdo that actually liked the smell of the foaming hand disinfectant in the NICU. I didn’t realize what the smell was until we were back in the hospital for his first heart surgery. I just knew that when I smelled it I was going to get to hold him soon. Mind you, he was in the NICU for a total of 3 days, so I wasn’t tortured as long as some moms are. But each time we were back for heart stuff (total of 4 stays) that smell actually helped me connect with the good holding-him feeling. Like I said, I’m weird.

    I started a bathing routine that included Johnson’s lavender wash and lotion every night. I still use it on his hair and call it mama-aromatherapy.

  2. Funny! I love that smell and I still wash Noah at 7 years old with the soap and use the lotion. Eveyone loves to smell him. Who knows when I will stop using it but for now I love him smelling good!

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