Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It Just Makes Scents

Most of what I learned in college has gone with the wind but one social studies course stuck. 
When we studied Pavlov and his reflex experiment I was impressed. 
If associating sensory impressions with memories was a tool for Pavlov imagine  how it  fit into my motherhood tool box?
When the boys were growing up and we were having an especially rich moment I would encourage them to "Quick.... breathe in deeply and always remember this moment."  I had learned that our sense of smell is the one most closely associated with our memory.
We hyper-ventilated our way through their childhood. 
One of my goals was to teach them to pray spontaneously and to know that God always has His ear bent toward them.  So each time we heard an ambulance's siren I would say "Who wants to pray for those people?"   And we would pray on the spot.
I knew that no matter where they were and all through their life they would hear that sound and someday when they were far from home it would nudge them in the right direction.  Motherhood is clandestine isn't it?
During the days I was able to be a stay at home mother I tried to have something freshly baking or a fire in the fireplace when they came in from their school day.  "This is the smell of being home" I would whisper in their ear as they entered.

When my youngest son went into a troubled teen period he didn't want to be hugged.  But I knew people need to be touched.  Babies die in orphanages from lack of touch because they loose the desire to thrive.  Sometimes late at night after he was sound asleep I would kneel by his bed and hold him and pray silent prayers for my hurting boy.
I believe an orderly home is a gift to all who enter.  It doesn't matter if it is outfitted from Neimans or the Goodwill.  The sight of things in their place allows people to come in and let their light shine.
And so add it all up -- our senses are powerful forces in the documenting and living of our lives.  So I try to remember to  "Take a deep breath" - of life.

1 comment:

  1. None of these things went unnoticed by me. You've always been my mentor in parenting and homemaking. ( I just missed a few lessons on the homemaking side!) I think your grandchildren are fortunate to have a mom who gets it too.