10 January 2011

The power of memory...

Kayla, my firstborn, is an amazing child. She gets that from her dad. Her mother, however, has genetically bestowed upon the child the horror that is sensitive skin. And yes, while those of us with sensitive skin do tend to have lovely complexions, we are also cursed with the propensity to break out any time a foreign substance comes in contact with our gorgeous epidermis. We also tend to have dry skin - which can result in keratosis pilaris (in my case) and eczema (in Kayla's case).

And I give you all of that hideous background information so that I may move forward with this:

Kayla has very dry skin, especially during the winter months. So I let her use my moisturizer on her face.

The first time she ever applied it, she smiled warmly, sighed deeply and cooed affectionately, "Mmmmmm...smells like Mommy." During each subsequent application, she happily mumbles, "Mommy's lotion" as we apply it to her face. I get that. I really deeply understand that sense of contentment and well being associated with certain smells.

The phenomenon of an emotion/person-attached-to-a-smell resonates so strongly with me. The thing I miss the most about my own mother is her scent. It was so unique to her. When she inhabited a room, an amalgamation of Windsong, Oil of Olay, and White Rain hairspray subtly permeated the air. And it would linger long after she left, leaving me with an overwhelming feeling of comfort and happiness. Even during the rockiest times of our relationship (which there were many in my teenage and young adult years), her scent brought comfort and calm to my insanity.

I miss that. I miss her.

Susan Gail Hatton
January 15, 1958 - January 10, 2009

Note: While attempting to pinpoint the various scents that made up my mom's particular smell, I realized that that my moisturizer, as "old lady" as it may be is Oil of Olay (don't judge - it works on my sensitive skin! Everything else makes me break out!). And I'm currently in the process of finishing up a bottle of White Rain hairspray. Funny how these things become ingrained in us.

1 comment:

L0r@ said...

I just recently bought an Oil of Olay moisturizer (I may not be related by blood, but I'm definitely related by dry, sensitive skin) and it made me think of your mom. Not a day goes by that I don't put on some piece of her jewelry and remember her.

And, by the way, Kayla gets a lot of her amazingness from you. Give yourself some credit... you're an amazing mom, sister-in-law, daughter, and friend.

P.s. Today's Captcha word is: armanati. Sounds like something from a Dan Brown novel. )