Some of my favorite smells, in no particular order.

Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Family Life, From My Perspective | 0 comments

1.) The warm, cuddly smell of the kids when they’re sleeping. They smell like heaven. I wonder if they’ll ever get tired of me sniffing them awake?

2.) The way a man smells in a suit after a long day at work. Craig smells just like my Dad used to when he came home from teaching. He smells familiar and safe.

3.) Freshly mowed grass. It’s like a whiff of contentment.

4.) Burning leaves. The smell makes me feel warm and full inside on an otherwise cool night.

5.) Beautiful, by Estee Lauder. My Mom has worn that perfume for years. Ironically, I never like it when I smell it from the bottle. But when she’s wearing it, it smells feminine and comforting.

6.) Freshly baked brownies. It’s the smell of breaking the rules and feeling good about it.

7.) Spaghetti and meatballs. Not just any recipe….OUR recipe. The aroma fills the house with generations of love, laughter, and tradition.

8.) Cooked garlic. The smell literally makes my stomach growl.

9.) Babies. They have a most perfect smell of purity and innocense. Every time I smell one, I want one.

10.) Lilacs. My Mom fusses over them every Spring. They always remind me of her and make me smile.

11.) COH. It’s the name of the big-girl perfume that we bought for the girls this past Christmas. They wear it every day, and it smells so clean and soft. Every time I smell it, I smile. It smells like little girls who want to be like their Mommy.

12.) The kids’ nasty blankets. Only a parent can love this smell. It’s the smell of unconditional love.

13.) Craig…when he’s not wearing cologne. He’s got the best natural scent of a man.

14.) Puppy breath. It smells like giggles. Love it!

15.) My doggies, Tucker and Bella. They smell like loyalty.

16.) Clean sheets, fresh from the linen closet. They smell like serenity.

17.) Anything cooking on the grill. After a long cold winter, it smells like liberation.

18.) Gasoline that has dripped on my hand at the pump. Every time it happens, I take a whiff and then look around to make sure no one was looking! It’s the smell of the forbidden!

19.) Bleach. It smells clean and fresh. And, most often, it’s a smell of accomplishment.

20.) Wool-lite laundry detergent. It smells like my Grandma. That’s the reason I use it.

21.) Apple jack & peel candles. While it’s not necessarily the scent I would pick, it’s Craig’s very favorite smell. Whenever we have them lit in the house, he is instantly in a festive mood. He is so affected by aromatherapy. He notices and appreciates it every time he walks into the house and I have a candle burning for him. It’s the smell of a simple act of kindness.

22.) Hot coffee. It smells like time set aside to spoil yourself.

23.) The smell of our house after we’ve been away for an extended period of time. Simply put, it smells like home.

24.) The halls of the kids’ elementary school. It’s the smell of wishes, hopes and dreams. It reminds me that anything is possible.

25.) A Perfect World, by Origins. When I was pregnant with the girls, Gabe would rub it on my big belly every night. I still use it every day and it always makes me smile when I picture those chubby little baby hands of his. It’s the smell of time flying when you’re having fun.

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Thinking Back…

Posted by on May 4, 2010 in From My Perspective, Raising Great Kids | 1 comment

I am sitting in the lobby of Gabe’s music school with Sydney and Taylor. Gabe has piano for an hour (30 minutes of lab and 30 minutes of lessons) every Monday evening. We only live 5 minutes away so, usually, the girls and I drop him off at 5, and come back to pick him up at 6. But, today, he asked if I would wait inside for him. When I started to object, he looked disappointed.

I asked, “Why do you want me to wait today, Honey?”

“Because, sometimes when I’m there I feel lonely,” he answered honestly.

And, even though the idea of entertaining the girls for an entire hour in the teeny-tiny lobby seemed like a headache, my mind flashed back to some 20 years ago. As a kid, I remember being dropped off at the gym every night. Most nights it wasn’t a big deal that my Mom didn’t stay and watch practice. I got it. I knew 3 hours was an unreasonable amount of time to expect her to sit there and watch me. I knew she had other things to do, like run my big brother to his activities, clean the house, cook dinner, etc. I understood that a three hour practice, each and every night, was just plain boring to sit through.

But, I also remember loving it when she did stay to watch me, even if it was only for 20 or 30 minutes. I remember how excited I got when she happened to get there early before practice let out. I always felt more secure when she was there. Being at gymnastics didn’t seem like such a chore when she was there to support me.

As a result of my own childhood, when Gabe told me he felt lonely at practice, I could relate. Therefore, I loaded up the girls, packed their DS’s, and we all attended piano together.

So, that’s one of my goals as a Mom: to never forget what it felt like to be a kid. Whether it’s sitting through piano, finding a failed test in a backpack, respecting their first crush, understanding the impact of that first kiss (among other things,) finding out they took their first drink, nursing that first hang-over, consoling their first heart-break, or enduring public humiliation for a poor, spontaneous choice…I hope to be able to do what I did tonight: Pause long enough to remember what it felt like some 20 years ago, take that into consideration, and then react accordingly and fairly.

I’m not looking to be their best friend. My hope is that if I make a conscious effort to find empathy during their most serious and important moments, rather than dismissing their feelings because “they’re just kids,” I might have a shot at having an open, honest and trusting relationship with them. And when the big situations arise, I hope to have demonstrated enough compassion along the way for them to seek my guidance and learn to trust my experience.

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