Thursday, January 10, 2008

But only when she hasn't pooped

I've come to grips (somewhat) with the fact that K is indeed growing up, and faster than I ever thought possible. This revelation might have something to do with the fact that K's crawling has quickly progressed to pulling herself up and standing. As a result, I have begun cataloguing her baby-ness in my head, trying to hold on to every little bit, and one thing that stands out is the way a baby smells.

It's not just her head, which has that completely unidentifiable baby scent that I think is generated as a protection method--you know, I can scream all I want to because this particular scent is coded to make my mommy go soft around the middle. Her feet have this sweet-sour baby stink of innocent odor, as though they smell but are smiling while they do so, presuming that feet can smile, which I know they can't. Her hands smell of fresh bread, yeasty and moist. Her breath is of fresh milk, now tucked behind the tang of strained fruit. All of these scents are unique, pure, and wholly baby-esque.

I used to appreciate them for memory's sake, but now when I sit with her alone, nursing and cuddling and sniffing all these little spots, I think it's something more than that. For me, they smell of the place from whence she came, of creation and purity. Babies retain these smells for only a little while before they wear off like a new car will always, inevitably, smell like your old car all over again. She comes from somewhere so unattainable that now I breathe her in as a way to travel there myself, momentarily. It makes me excited to think that heaven might smell just like that, and sad that soon, my little baby girl will smell just like everyone else.

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