Traces of Sugar

There is a spot on his neck.

It always smells the same.  Like sugar.

When I snuggle him each night before placing him in his crib, I bury my face in that spot attempting to burn the memory of that smell into my mind.

So that when he grows and that smell fades, I can easily recall it.

Smell triggers memory.

When he’s seven and smells of grass and baseball mitt leather, I want to recall this smell of sugar.

When he’s thirteen and smells of sweat and socks, I hope to smell his sweetness still.

When he’s sixteen and smells of rubber bands from braces and hints of a girl’s perfume, I hope to remember the sugary goodness of his nine-month self.

When he has left for college and I’m sitting on the edge of his bed, I pray that some part of my brain can remember this moment that smells sweet, like love.


  1. Marian

    aw! definitely. so bittersweet.

  2. Adrienne

    You will remember.

    Jacob smells like Axe and hormones now, but I remember his 9 months old smell. I remember the feel of his hair against my cheek and the weight of his body in my lap, too.

    Those things are imprinted on your memory.

  3. Nichole

    So incredibly bittersweet.

  4. Nichole

    Thank you, Adrienne.
    Because in this moment, I'm all blubbery and sad that he's already 9 months old. I want to rewind and push pause.

    I'd give anything for that.

  5. MamaOnDaGo

    If someone could bottle this scent so I can smell it always. The 3 year old now wakes up with morning breath. The 1 year old still has traces of baby’s breath. I’m trying to cherish it.

  6. I really want kids. *sigh*

  7. Nichole

    And when you do have them, you will appreciate them so very much.
    I was in my later 30s when Katie was born. You have plenty of time, I promise.

  8. ksluiter

    I love this. I do this with Eddie. I smell him. At first I thought it was weird. But when he is gone to the sitter or out? Sometimes I am picking up his things around the house and I realize his lovey lamb smells like him. and his blankie. and I want to keep them like that forever and ever. and then I get all crying and sentimental. Sigh…

    Did I mention I love this post? Because I do.

  9. TamingInsanity

    There is completely a spot on at the base of Alex's neck that makes me relate to this. I find myself snuggling into it unconciously. So lovely.

  10. I fear you might be bang on with the future of our children smells. Starts out sweet and lovely and goes downhill from there.

  11. Alli_n_Son

    Awww, so sweet. I love that you captured this, so years from now you can read it again as a gentle, happy reminder.

  12. CDG

    Must be something in the air today.

    I waxed poetic about the smell of my toddler today…

    And I love those baby smells. Especially, and I know this is weird.. their stale breath when they've just woken up.

  13. Natalie

    I just came over from CDG's place, and loved her post too! This post though Nichole…made me cry. Because I don't want him to grow up! I mean, I do, but I don't. I want him always to stay my little boy.

    It's been so hot here but he still keeps going out to play. And when he comes in, he smells like stinky little boy sweat. But I love that smell!

  14. Sherri

    Oh, this is so sweet…..came over from Natalie's tweet. My son is the 16 year old version of his little boy self, and I while I love him to death, I miss that little boy.

  15. Holly L

    You are going to make me cry woman! My son just started 4th grade and my daughter just started preschool…at the same preschool my son attended. How does that happen…in the blink of an eye they are big. I am recognizing this more with the little one. Until I has a second I felt like my son was little and then when I had my daughter it became all too real how quickly time passes. I hug them both and snuggle with them every chance I get so I can remember.

  16. Alexandra174

    They do smell like vanilla cupcakes….

  17. My baby will be 22 in September and I still remember how she smelled. I miss that so much. I don't know if I love that memory or hate it because it destroys me.

  18. kris

    Smell? Is my most powerful sense and brings up the strongest memories for me.

    The smell of my girls as babies?

    As toddlers?

    Is always with me.

    Right . . . there.

  19. Maryline

    I'm with you, I don't want him to grow up, well I do, but not so fast!
    I'd rather smell sugar on my little boy's sweaty feet after a day of playing outside :)

  20. Clare

    I. Love. This.

    Now that my boys are 10, 8, and 6, the smells aren't always so sweet. But I snuggle them anyway. Because I still can. Thanks for the reminder!

  21. Clare

    …and I must not forget my 3-year old daughter, who still smells very sweet, thanks to the Jergens lotion she loves to apply all over her legs at the same time I do, in order to be "just like mommy". Wonder when the day will come that she will say, "Blech. Jergens. I don't want to smell like that old hag, mommy." I hope that day never comes!

  22. my girls are 12.5 and nearly 16. When they are sleeping I love to go and just watch them. Sometimes I brush the hair off of their sweat filled brow just as I did when their were small babes. I love how they still have the same sighs and how they still keep their hands tucked underneath them just so, just like they did when they were little.

    I know you will remember the sugar, the sweetness will be embedded into your brain and no matter how big he becomes you will always recall it and always see glimpses of that baby you held in your arms not that long ago.

    (p.s. came here via a comment at the Bad Moms Club about camera apps, I needed to see this header..LOL. I look forward to coming back again and again)

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