I miss your scent. I miss burying my nose in your hair and inhaling the intoxicating smell of...you. I miss that distinct mix of maple syrup, goldfish crackers, Dreft laundry detergent and lavender sleepytime bath wash and lotion. Add to that a hefty dash of Peanut, and there it was...the essence of you. L'Eau de Peanut.
After you passed, I searched for your scent throughout the house. I vowed to capture it, remember it, never lose it. But, as the months passed, the recognition that I could not preserve your scent was another heartbreaking reality. Scent is a powerful, tricky thing, however. The nose and the brain - they remember and remind in a way that truly turns back the hands of time.
Today we gave your brother his first bath in The Big Bathtub. Momma brought out the GIANT, barely opened, bottles of sleepytime bubble bath and lotion...the ones I kept...the ones I wasn't sure I could ever use or smell again. The instant I added the bubble bath to the water - WHAM! Hundreds of memories, moments, emotions washed over me. In vivid detail Momma relived one of your final baths, when Dadda gave you that "big boy" haircut. The one that rendered you unrecognizable to my heart in the hospital. I remembered what a beaming, glorious smile I would see on your face when you splashed around in the tub. The giggles. The toys, bubbles and laughter.
Oh, Peanut...I felt joy. And heartbreak.
Then I got to watch The Pickle experience his first real bath. A bath tub bath. His eyes, round as saucers, filled with wonder, amazement. A little fear. But, always trusting Momma and Dadda. And for the rest of the day I got to breathe in his new smell. His own, specific sleepytime lotion smell. Similar to yours, but very much his own. Delightful. Familiar.
My nose is still tingling. In a way, I got to feel you again today. Thank you, sleepytime lotion. Thank you, Peanut.
Guess how much I love you. To the moon - and back!