June 25, 2014: Smelly Boys

The many dirty face of Baby Grant
I was reminded yesterday of the smelliness of raising three boys. Summer is especially a heat-filled bonus of odors to fill the nose.

"Who didn't put their dirty clothes in the laundry room?" is a typical accusation as I rummage through forgotten gym bags thrown on bedroom floors. I am certain I will find a sweaty shirt from football camp smoldering in a zipped knapsack.

My nose has expert instincts. Twenty-one years with a house full of boys has been a prelude to this perfection.

Although hygiene did improve with every year they grew, the smells would change. I would categorize them as worse with changing body mass which resulted in increased ability to sweat in buckets.

Yesterday Grant hopped in my car for a ride to lacrosse. My nose immediately went into full alert. There was clearly an issue.

"Is your shirt clean? The socks! Yes, it has to be the socks. Have you changed them today? Maybe you should spray on some Fa-breeze so we're not late."

Wanting to avoid my litany of interrogations, Grant slid out of the car anticipating a full clothing change. But the smell did not leave with him. It was in the car. A quick sweep pointed to his lacrosse gloves. The culprit was found. Who would have thought hands could create such a foul odor?

After assuring Grant that I had misjudged his personal hygiene, we drove to the sporting goods store. The gloves hit the dumpster before we walked in the door. Grant assured me they were too small anyway.

We learned from the nice man at the store that sweat builds up in gloves during active play. The result is a stinky stench. We bought a spray to alleviate this problem in the future.

Grant and I got a good laugh out of the case of the smelly gloves. On the drive home, I reminisced of my many years of smelly boys.

With tanned and chubby arms, they would hug me after a long day of summer play. Memories of three distinct boy smells filled my mind; strong chlorine mixed with sunscreen, bath time clean, or the familiar odor of dirty boys. With the third, I would tell the boys they smelled like a big brown bear.

"Mom, you don't even know what a brown bear smells like!" they would giggle.

My typical response: I was sure if I hugged one, it would smell just like them. And I still stand by this claim.

All this talk and memories of smelly boys lured me into the bowels of my basement where I remembered an old scrapbook page. Before blogging, FaceBook, and Instagram; I loved to journal and scrapbook. The pages above and below, sit side by side in an old album.

Alas...I do still love my smelly, silly, dirty boys. But I am guessing the day will soon come that my house will no longer smell like a locker room. I have dreams of it smelling more like fresh linens drying on a summer day......

And then I will miss my boys and the distinct smell of a big brown bear.

Grant at a year and Ben at five


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