I don't know why I have been thinking so much lately about the passage of time, and how quickly my little ones seem to be growing. I have just been oddly nostalgic lately. Not over some sweet memory, but wanting desperately to hold on to the small, normal things which all come together to make my life complete. I just want to live in this moment for a long. long time. I get the feeling that THIS is the best time of my life, right now. We're all healthy and relatively happy, and our children are all still gathered around us. I want to try to take mental snapshots of everything so that I will be able to call these precious moments back when I am sitting in my rocker on the porch and reminiscing about when they were young.
One of these sweet memories is the way that our children smell when they are little. Not just the sweet aroma of a baby's head, but the tangy smell of little boys who have spent the whole day outside. My eldest son, for example, has the definite smell of tomato sauce. He has always smelled of tomato sauce and sunshine even as a very tiny baby. I don't know where the smell comes from. It must just be his body chemistry as he doesn't eat any more tomato than anyone else. I just know that's his scent.
I admit to breathing it in deeply whenever I hug him, and a pot of sauce on the stove makes me think of him and smile whenever he's not around. Some day he will be a man. I don't know if his saucy good smell will still linger even after it takes on the changes of puberty. Somehow I think it is one of those fleeting childhood oddities that I will tell his children about, "When your daddy was a little, little boy, he smelled exactly like tomato sauce and sunshine" and they will smile at the thought of their dad as a little boy with a smell all his own.
So, I sit and I try to take mental snapshots of all the things I will tell my grandchildren. The kinds of things they hear a hundred times but never tire of hearing. And I think of my son who smells of tomatoes and hope that somewhere in the world there's a nice girl who smells of basil.....