Love the Home You Have Challenge | Days 5 & 6: Senses and Memories
Yesterday was a little hectic. My toddler decided to boycott sleeping and then we had friends over in the afternoon, so unfortunately I didn't get a chance to sit down and write. Luckily, the themes of yesterday and today match up perfectly!
Our sense of smell holds a powerful connection to our memories. Just the other day, I found an old shampoo bottle when unpacking boxes from our recent move. I opened the cap and inhaled it’s fresh, sweet scent, which instantly took me back to when I was pregnant with Ezra. I felt all the familiar feelings of warmth, nervous excitement, and love. All from just a tiny bottle of shampoo.
It’s amazing how complex the human mind and heart can be. If smelling shampoo can conjure up vivid sentimental memories, just think of the power a home’s smell can hold.
For yesterday’s #lovethehomeyouhave challenge, we were tasked with defining a scent to represent our home. It could be the smell of fresh baked cookies, an arrangement of flowers, or the clean linen scent of a candle. However, it was smells of the past that ended up capturing me most.
Today's challenge is all about embracing memories. With each new box David and I open on our path to getting settled and decluttered, I'm reminded of how far we've come as parents in the last two years.
We found out we were pregnant. It's crazy to think that it's been over two years since we found out we were going to become parents. I mentioned in an earlier post how we consider Ezra to be our little miracle baby, and the memory of this came back to me with a vengeance when we unearthed a photo album from a musty storage box. In addition to the album containing our first ultrasound photo, there was also my old workbook from the birth class we took and some invitations we saved from our baby shower. Being the true weirdo that I am, I just sat on our living room floor holding, smelling, and flipping through all of our pregnancy mementos for a good half hour.
We survived a brutal 18 hour labor that resulted in an emergency cesarean. I plan to write a post on this at some point, mostly for therapeutic reasons, but I haven't quite gotten to the point where I'm ready yet. What I will say is this: whether you have a medicated, unmedicated, natural, or cesarean birth, it's HARD WORK. I'm so proud of every single mama in this big beautiful world for not only growing a human being for 9 months, but also having the strength to bring their child/children into the world in whatever way possible.
I was reminded of my own labor and delivery story + the postpartum recovery period, when I uncovered the kit of supplies the hospital sent home with us from Ezra's birth. It wasn't much, just some lotion, deodorant, and toothpaste, but the familiar scents took me back to those first scary and precious moments with my baby boy. I remember feeling terrified leaving the hospital thinking, "why would they trust us with this baby!? I can barely even walk, let alone take care of this tiny person!" However, like most new parents this fear quickly faded into one of intense joy and some slightly shaky confidence.
We figured out this thing called "parenting" and started to resume some semblance of our previous life - only this time we had a baby with us. Before we had Ezra, we always said we'd live the same lifestyle, doing the same activities, only we would happen to have a baby with us also. Then Ezra was born and we were left shaking our heads with the realization that we were definitely going to become "those people." You know, the ones who go to bed at 9PM (sometimes even 8PM!) and never go out because "the baby needs to nap." I know it's possible for parents to live their life and just work the baby into the mix, but honestly we just haven't found that balance yet. We are getting better though. The other day we stayed up until *gasp* 11PM watching LaLa Land.
I could keep going with all of the various experiences and lessons we learned this past couple of years as new parents, but then I'm afraid it'd become a novel. So for now I'll stop here.
It's an interesting feeling recalling all of these past memories with our son. I thought this home love challenge was going to focus solely on the physical elements of making a house into a home. However, I'm starting to reaffirm my original belief that "home" doesn't consist of the material world, rather it's the memories and people we fill our lives with. Perhaps this is Melissa Michaels' secret intention all along - to help us let go of the idea that we need to have a perfect house in order to create an ideal sense of home. Either way, I can honestly say that now, on day 6, I'm already starting to feel the transformation.
If you’re following along with me on this challenge, I’d like for you to take some time to think about the memories you've had in your home. Life passes by in the blink of an eye, so try to remember and preserve in some way the moments that you hold most dear. It could be something funny your child said or a family meal that was especially fun. Write down the details, draw a sketch, or take a picture (but not too many! The point is to be present in the moment too.)
You can also leave a comment here or join a community of others participating in this challenge to share your home love story and don't forget to subscribe to my email list to follow along each day.