Recently while sitting on the floor one night, playing with my daughter, I made an amazing, yet accidental discovery.
We were playing dolls… or at least she was… and I was doing the automatic parent thing where if a child hands you a doll, you hug it and pat it’s back like it’s a real baby.
My mind was elsewhere, enjoying a rare moment of doing virtually nothing… aside from hugging dolls of course. And then suddenly I got this waft of something wonderful…
In the process of my dolly hug, my nostrils were suddenly filled with the heavenly scent of my childhood.
If I had to describe it, I would say it is a mix of vanilla and brand new.
I was holding her Cabbage Patch doll. The expensive custom named and designed Cabbage Patch doll we had ordered online straight after our daughter was born. Her name is also Lily and she shares my daughter’s birthdate. And suddenly that expensive doll was worth every cent!
While I never had a brand new Cabbage Patch as a kid, instead inheriting my sister’s much loved pair, this doll had the scent of something familiar.
I suppose it was the kid-safe (scented??) plastic commonly used in children’s toys, but it took me right back. Back to days of playing Barbie dolls and Lego, dress ups and board games. To the days when everything was easy and fun, and so much of my time was spent playing with my substantial collection of childhood toys.
Well before the days of bills and hardship, adult drama and cleaning. This doll took me to a time when everything was perfect in my world!
So as I sat there with my nose stuffed firmly into the hair and neck of this doll, inhaling that scent like some sort of Cabbage Patch junkie, it reminded me just how wonderful childhood can be.
And while sometimes we all wish we could return to those days of innocence and no responsibility, I would still choose now. Now is when I get to be a mother and spend my days raising the most amazing person I have ever met, with the hope that she too will one day look back and reflect on how lucky she was to have had a childhood so full of joy and treasured memories.
What takes you back to childhood in an instant? A toy, a smell, a place?