What is the smell of a boy? It’s like a thick field of lush green grass just cut on a summer day, the smell of warm yellow sunshine, the scent of dark fertile soil freshly ploughed. The smell of joy and hope and kisses and love, that welling in my throat when I’m suddenly surprised – again – by just how wonderful life can be and all I can do is weep with gratitude.
There’s a little bit of clean sweat, that whisper of damp that small boys wear so much of the time because they believe that the only way to get from one place to another is by running or skipping or dancing. A whiff of the leaves he’s been carrying in his pocket all day, a fistful of tiny flowers a foolish person might call weeds – flowers he brought me with a passionate “These are for you, Mommy, because they are brootiful and you are brootiful too.”
He smells sort of like leather soccer balls and rubber basketballs and tiny plastic bricks of Lego and fist sized metal racing cars, bike wheels and bread with butter and just a hint of the chocolate he sneaked from the stash by climbing on the kitchen stool to reach into the top of the cupboard.
As he lays sleeping, my smallest boy still smells like the soft pure skin of a baby’s neck, and I know the day is so quickly approaching when he will be bigger than me and that scent won’t linger in his room while he sleeps and all I’ll be able to do is remember…