Joy Perfume or {The Scent of a Mother}

Do you remember what your mother smelled like when you were a small child?

They say “scent” is the strongest memory keeper of all the senses. In my mind’s eye tonight is an old wooden chest, stacked with memories: the texture of my wedding veil, the creases of my husband’s hand the first time he reached for mine, the hospital blanket they wrapped Adam in when he was first born, the cotton ties on the quilt that I slept under as a little girl. Somewhere deep within that chest are two memories of my mother-the smell of Joy perfume and the sight and sound of the sheer white curtains that were in her bedroom when I was growing up. I took a lot of naps in that room. We have a lifetime of memories together, my mother and I, a list too infinite for here or now, but yesterday I could only think of those curtains and the scent of her Joy.

Yesterday, for the first time, I thought about what my baby will think when he is placed in my arms and looks into my eyes for the first time. As God knit him together in my womb, what secrets was he told? Will he remember?

Will he know me?

{“Do Lord, oh do Lord, do you remember me?” }

What have you told him, Lord?

For a few short scary hours yesterday we thought we might be meeting our March baby on February 1st. As I sat and contemplated that fact, I could only think that I was not prepared. I have a half-sewn crib set in the nursery and a car seat still in its box, but none of that seemed of any consequence. I could only think that I wouldn’t smell like a mother to him. I could only think that I needed Joy perfume and some gauzy white curtains in my bedroom so that he would feel comforted. Because those were the things that comforted me when I was a child. What I really wanted of course was my mother.

Thankfully, it seems our baby will be staying put for another six weeks. And I have been given the gift of time to prepare further for his arrival. So all of the baby books are now on a shelf and the nursery is on the back burner as my spare energy is poured into prayer, into my bible and into my son. I want to talk to him and talk to the Lord in equal measure,that I might have the heart of a mother upon his arrival. That he might smell the scent of the holy spirit-breathe JOY-and feel at home, from God’s arms unto mine.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness . . .”
Galations 5:22

{You Lord, oh you Lord, you DO remember me. }

And I am pretty sure that he will too.


  1. Oh my what a beautiful post! God bless you and your baby. I am a NICU nurse, I’m glad he’s waiting until a more appropriate time. Hugs, Marla

  2. Don’t worry, you’ll have a lifetime for that little one to build memories of you.
    I remember the same things from my Mom. I remember watching her put on makeup, and I can still smell her french moisturizers.
    You will be a wonderful Mama 🙂

  3. I hope your little bitty guy stays tucked in until it’s time to make his appearance.

    He will fit perfectly in your arms and he will love your smell and you will love his. It’s all so wonderfully precious!

    When my first daughter was born, I was overcome by how precious she was and was truly humbled and amazed that God had given her to me. I knew that she belonged to Him first.

    And, yes, I remember how my mothers arms smelled when she held me in the rocking chair…53 years later!!!! Yikes!


  4. Oh Erin! you stinker you’ve got me bawlin’ again! So thankful that little Mr. is going to stay baking for a little bit longer for you guys. And don’t you worry he’ll know you, and it will be beautiful. I’m praying for you.

  5. I always love reading your beautiful posts. I’m so glad he’s hanging in there and that you also have more time. I will be praying for you and your baby to come. 🙂

  6. As Maria said, what a beautiful post! It brought tears to my eyes. I do remember what my mom smelled like when I was a child but I had not thought about it since I lost her two years ago. Your baby is very blessed to have a mom like you – but I too am glad he’s waiting for a few more weeks before he arrives 🙂

  7. So beautifully expressed Erin. From one mommy to another … when you look into your baby’s eyes, you will KNOW that your little one most definitely does know exactly who you are and your bond will be forever. What a truly wonderful gift God has given us in motherhood. I am so excited or you. Rest well.

  8. What a beautiful post. Scent is probably my strongest tie to so many memories…and yes, I always loved the smell of my mother…although I don’t think that she ever wore much perfume…it was just “her smell” that was so comforting when I was younger…and still is! I actually had similar thoughts when my son was born…would my “smell” bring comfort to him like my own mother’s was to me? The answer is yes! My sweet boy is a mama’s boy…at least when it comes to needed those extra hugs and kisses and love. And it makes me feel good to know that just being me is all that he needs.

    Blessings, Grace

  9. The most precious of posts. I remember those scary hours with my first also; I rejoice with you that your sweet one is remaining safely tucked in.
    Thank you for bringing back dear sights and smells of my mother as well. Blessings to you.

  10. Erin,
    I have been enjoying your posts for a few weeks now. I am so thankful that I found it. You always write the most beautiful Lord centered things. Your posts are so refreshing to read.

    I will be praying for you and your little blessing. The Lord has you both in His hands. I will continue to pray that He keeps you both safe and healthy.

  11. Erin,

    I am celebrating with you that you and baby boy are both okay and that he will be staying put for a few short weeks.

    I loved this post…prompted me to go and kiss those 3 sweet babies of mine that are all tucked safely in their beds.

    If you haven’t already, you might think about starting a prayer journal for each of your children. I started mine with each of my pregnancies and also did one during the adoption process for our daughter, Lydia. It will be such a gift to them one day to read all the prayers that have been prayed over their lives and also to see the sovereign work of the Lord in each of their lives through different circumstances.

    Much love and Many Prayers sent to you this evening!

  12. Scents are such a memory maker. I remember the smell of my Grandpa. My mother and I would take his shirts and smell them and say that we were making a memory. And now 20 yrs later I still remember it like it were yesterday. And the scent of Old Spice is still one of my favorites!
    I am glad to hear that your baby will be staying in the oven for longer! My good friend had hers 8 wks. early at 2pds. 10 oz. She just came home today at just over 5 pds.! And doing well!

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