The Smell of Home

The baby is asleep on my chest, the 5-year-old is snuggled so close that she has my left elbow pinned to my side, and the 7-year-old is seated between my feet, leaning against my knees. Clearly these children of mine have no concept of the idea of personal space. I’ll be honest, it’s enough to make an extrovert feel pretty claustrophobic. Plus, I have to pee, and I don’t know how I can do that without waking the two girls up.

And then my 7-year-old son nonchalantly turned his head to the side and sniffed my leg.

He sniffed me!

“Did you just smell me?” I asked him.

He got this goofy shy smile he has, and said, “You smell like home and being safe.”

At that, his 5-year-old sister peeked open an eye and chimed in with “You smell good and safe.” And then she sniffed me too.

As I sat there trying very hard to not pay attention to my bladder, I distracted myself by thinking about what an amazing gift it is to be safety and home to these small-ish people. The trust that they have in my abilities to heal injuries and broken hearts and to keep the boogey-man at bay is humbling. I’m just an ordinary woman, but to them I’m so much more than that. I’m MOM.

I eventually slipped out from underneath their warm selves (Freedom!!!!) and came back again, settling myself on the opposite end of the couch. My husband gave me a knowing wink seeing that I’d managed to carve out a little elbow room for myself. It lasted just long enough for the dog to see that my lap was empty and take full advantage of that. I guess I smell like home to him too.

About Rebecca Frech

Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.
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