Sense memories are often unforgettable because they are experienced through one of the five senses — sight, sound, touch, smell, or taste. These kinds of memories hold fast in our long-term memory.
I asked several CafeMoms to share one of their favorite childhood sense memories — one unshakable and positive memory that has stayed with them since they were girls.
The answers I got are downright poetic. Completely beautiful. And even more amazing to consider from the perspective of motherhood — to think what our children might someday remember and cherish about home and daily life... Wow!
Here are some of the lovely childhood sense memories shared by CafeMoms:
momof3angela: My grandmother was a diligent cleaner, and I would sit for what felt like hours watching her iron. I can still smell the starch from when she would iron. My grandfather loves the outdoors (he's 93), and his rose bushes have been planted for over 50 years. I can still smell the roses through the open kitchen windows, as the wind would blow.
: Carving pumpkins... there is kind of a sensory overload there. The smell of the pumpkin pulp and the squishy feeling of cleaning it all up. Then there is the smell of the freshly baked pumpkin seeds... and the taste. I have carried this tradition down with my kids, and we all love and look forward to the day we pick pumpkins and the family fun of carving them.
PinkSodaPop: I stressed if I could be a great mother... as I had stepped into the role as a single parent. When I got home from the hospital, I was pretty darn miserable and hormonal, and my hands were very dry from the constant cleaning. I had a bottle of the very same brand of baby lotion my mother used so long ago. I put some on... The smell reminded me of my mom, and I was totally thrown into a state of calm from the familiar smell of the baby lotion. It made me think... I can get this mother thing down because I learned from the best mom. I can be great at motherhood.
honeybee69: I remember very well dragging a cinder block over to a tree stump. My dad put it on the stump for me. I use to sit there in the sun with the wind blowing my hair and play with these little toy necklace links. I was about three years old at the time.
Cafe MicheleZ: When I stayed at my grandma's house as a kid, she let me sleep in her bed. I remember her pillows being very fluffy, where your head sank into them. They always had a slight floral smell with a touch of pepper. I can't explain the scent... it was soft, like home away from home. Like grandma and grandpa's house.
Peajewel: I loved the smell of my fresh sheets on my bed. My mom's linen closet is the one scent that still sticks with me as an adult. I am not even sure what scent mixes are in there that make this such a sweet scent for me, but I do love it! Once in awhile somehow my sheets will have that scent, and it takes me back to when I was a kid.
truckincowgirl: We went camping with several close family friends and our horses when I was younger. We rode the trails all day long. My favorite time of the day was morning. I was usually one of the first to rise. I sat beside the campfire and listened. I heard the horses shuffling their feet anxiously awaiting their breakfast, birds waking for the day, the campfire crackling to life from fresh wood, the horses snickering as they heard their owners walking toward them, horses munching on grain and hay, bridles or spurs clanging as riders checked their gear in preparation for the day's ride, kids waking for the day, bacon crackling on the grill, good friends and family gathering for breakfast. The sounds of mornings at the campground preparing for a day of riding — one of the best memories from my childhood for sure.
Cafe Cynthia: My mother never used the dryer unless it was a blizzard out, still doesn't. My bed sheets, freshly dried on the line outside, were stiff, cold, and smelled like sunshine and flowers. To this day visiting home and curling up into those sheets makes me feel like a little girl again.
NYCBrit: Middle Tennessee's main crop is tobacco, and after it's harvested, they dry it out in the barns with smoke. And they always do it at the end of summer/early fall. The smell of tobacco smoking in the barns is so unique, and it always brings me back to my childhood in the country.
mamaoftwins9197: My Nanny's grilled cheese sandwiches — she made them thick and cooked them just right. The cheese was always melty and messy and so yummy! I've tried so hard to make mine like hers, but nothing ever comes close. I miss them and her. Every time I have a grilled cheese, I think of her, even though none compare!
ohiomommyof2: I grew up in the country, without a lot of kids my age. There was one boy my age, who lived next door. We spent hours in the summer time running in the field between our houses, playing tag, rolling in the "blow flowers" and picking honeysuckle. There were always bees around so sometimes it was tricky, but we never failed to grab a few stalks of honeysuckle. It tasted so sweet. Now, 20+ years after those great summers, the smell of honeysuckle always takes me back to that time, and to my childhood friend.
beanielips: I grew up on a rice farm. In the fall, when my mom came in my room to tuck me in, she opened the windows for the night. I smelled the freshly harvested rice (almost smells like a mowed lawn) and heard the crickets chirping and the coyotes whining. She tucked my sister and me in by fanning the sheets on us and then turned off the light. Then she sat in there with us and talked for a little bit. As our eyes adjusted to the dark, we saw the stars out the window.
What about your memories? Share with us one of your favorite childhood sense memories — an unshakable and positive memory of sight, sound, touch, smell, or taste.