The Scent of a Boy

The sound of cicadas chirping at night, the smell of my smallest boy sleeping, the feel of his tiny hands touching my face…

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…

3 thoughts on “The Scent of a Boy

  1. Amen, amen, amen. It’s why even though I know I don’t really mean it and if it came true it would really be weird but I quietly whisper to him everyday, “please stop growing…”

    (and then last week he said back, “you do know I can’t really stop, right?”)

  2. Awww – does bring a tear to the eye to know ‘that’ time is passing… I had a moment of pride and sadness tonight when one of my 8 year old twins, the goof ball – did the most perfect dive into the pool at squad. All the other Mums looked at me and we shared similar looks of regret when he did not perform his characteristic little boy leap of joy from the blocks into the pool – 1/2 running 1/2 demented frog to dive in just like his more brave, ‘grown up’ peers.

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