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.