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Children / mother's day / Motherhood

What do you smell like? Ask your kid.

Tessa, then 9,  had been going through a rough spell. Three days in a row she called from school in tears. The problem? “I just miss you, Mommy!” said amid chokes and fits.

At bedtime one night, I tried to get to the root of the issue. Was someone at school teasing her? Did she not feel well physically? Is she jittery about the end of the school year? Did Mother’s Day trigger some feelings about her birth mother? Nothing had changed in our routine, so why was she suddenly feeling lonely for me?

I did not get an answer.

What she DID say, though, was this: “Mommy, I go into my classroom and it just doesn’t smell like you.”

Tessa has always been very attuned to scent.

I naturally asked, “What do I smell like, Sweetheart?”

And then I feared for the answer. Garlic? Coffee? Stale cheese? Wine? The gym? Methane?

Yikes. Did I really want to know?

Her sleepy voice replied, “Mama, you smell like purple chocolate.”

Which, for a dark chocolate-lover whose screen name is Lavender Luz, is utterly, thoroughly perfect.

Images: Graeme Weatherston /, It’s a Little Bit Special

(This post originally appeared on Perfect Moment Monday, which is featured weekly on Write Mind Open Heart. New participants are always welcome.)

What would your child(ren) say that you smell like? That is, if you dared ask them.

<p><a href=”″>Image: Graeme Weatherston /</a></p>
Lori Holden
Author: Lori Holden

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  1. LOL–I’d be afraid to ask this question! Knowing my kids, my son would answer something sweet like rainbows or flowers. As for my daughter? Don’t even want to guess. 🙂

  2. My son always says I smell “snuggely”. Didn’t know that was a smell. Super cute!

  3. What a sweet story. I’m glad the answer wasn’t “stale cheese.” My 9-year-old has gone thru this same thing this year. She misses me a lot when at school. I’ve wondered if it comes from the 3rd grade year really being a launching off point to more responsibility and independence. She doesn’t fully grasp what is going on, but senses a step towards growing up. And P.S. I’m not sure I want to know the answer of my smell either…

  4. Aww, how sweet! I’m not sure what Claire would say, but I know she wouldn’t be afraid to tell me.

    Back in the late 1900s, when I was dating, I’d spray some of my boyfriend’s cologne on the cuff of my jean jacket so that I could always smell him. Weird? Maybe not. Maybe you could do something similar for her…something that she can have with her that smells like purple chocolate.

  5. I would be honored to smell like purple chocolate. I asked my 5 year old and she said, “Lucky Charms.” I think she just said that in hopes that she’d score a bowl.

  6. That is exactly what you smell like, the aura around you is a beautiful Lavendar and smells like a Hershey bar.

    I love that Tessa knows that and I’m glad that I got to find out by hugging you myself. xo

  7. @Amber: Yes, depending on the day, asking our daughters could be stinging!

    @Julie: that’s so sweet. Love it!

    @Susan: I hadn’t thought that this might be a 3rd grade phenomenon. Interesting…

    @JoAnn: so you’re saying to give her my gym socks? Maybe a Hershey’s wrapper would be good, too.

    @KitchWitch: LOL on the Lucky Charms!

    @Kir: Me, too. We need to do that again soon!

  8. That is so adorable! I’d be nervous to ask too!

  9. I have a different answer, being your little sister for ALL of my life. But I’ll let Tessa keep your perfect moment.

    And I’ll keep my moment perfect by NOT asking my son what I smell like.

    (Why am I craving chocolate?)

  10. Oh this is so sweet! I love how Tessa thinks and processes her world. I agree that description of how you smell is just perfect! I have no idea what my children would say. I will try to remember to ask Sean after school today and let you know his answer.

    Add me to the list of people craving chocolate after reading this post. Though it doesn’t take much for me to crave such deliciousness! 🙂

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