Posts Tagged ‘nose’

The Aroma Of New Life

April 20, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

Just a few weeks before my first baby was born, my mom surprised and intrigued me with a rather odd tip.  She said, “When you’re with the baby for the first time, smell it.”  I asked why, probably joking that all newborns probably smell like baby powder and pee.   She told me that, in fact, every newborn has its own unique smell.

With Garrett, I don’t remember exactly when I got the chance to do this, but I did remember to try it.  No baby powder or natural functions could be detected on my infant son.  Garrett smelled like . . . sugar cookies!  In fact, for the first few days of his life on Earth, I called him “Sugarboy,” but this quickly evolved into “Honeyboy,” which stuck for the first six or nine months.

Four years later, when I actually got to be alone with newborn John Christian for a couple of hours, one of the things I did – along with tell him about his family, sing to him and thank God for his safe delivery – was to breathe in deep near the soft skin at the top of his head.  Whereas Garrett smelled of something specific, with Johnny it was an overall smell of spices, like I was in a baker’s closet.

Again, I was surprised.  Not because I didn’t believe my mother, but simply because I had never heard of such an individual element in babies.  Maybe it’s just because I’m a guy, and we don’t hear or retain such information.  Most men might not even care, but I think my generation – and now the one after me, which is old enough to be creating another – is peopled by men who allow themselves to show love.   Who kiss their kids in public, who say “I love you” into the phone, and who are not embarrassed to carry stuffed animals or be invited to their daughters’ tea parties.  This is a wonderful thing.

To those who may not have heard of this mystical bonding trick, give it a try.  If you don’t have a newborn of your own, or one on the way soon, remember to smell the forehead of your sister’s baby, or another in your family.  It really is a wonder of Nature!

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