i used to carry around this used up old bunny by the ears at all times. once, i am sure, bunbun was fluffy and new but in my memory bunbun is already broken down and broken in. she is a dusty brown animal who sits on her stomach and has two small front feet. deep in her belly is a music box that must have worked when she was new. her head is round with an eye on each side and her two long ears are narrow and stand up on their own. there is a once pink now faded brown, threadbare, satin ribbon tied around her neck that i wrap around my pointer and middle fingers and rub against my upper lip as i suck my thumb to fall asleep.
truthfully her appearance is fuzzy in my mind but even as i try to recall what she looks like i can smell her already. the scent of bunbun is so deeply ingrained in me that as i am typing out her description i smell her as though she is here in my arms. i can feel the soft swish swish of that old ribbon on my lip and i can sense the heady calm brought on by her musky old scent filling me up as i close my eyes in the darkness at night.
somehow, the scent of bun bun was enough to make me feel lovehome.
now bunbun is long ago parked on the shelf in my old room at my parents house. now when i have my face pressed into something in the darkest part of the night it would tend to be the pea who is still a tight knit cosleeper. by two in the morning she has called for me and i have slipped into her mattress bed on the floor of their shared room. for the rest of the night i waver between wishing for my own space and drowning myself in the overwhelmingly comforting scent of my daughter. her head, her messy hair, her fleecey pajama’s, her arm draped over my face. she smells now like bun bun did then – part overly loved and dirty part undistilled memory. each cell that splits off her seems recognizable to my soul.
it is not the same as sleeping, this middle of the night olfactory blanket, but i know it shifts and slips away. presently, there is maybe a slim moment or two during the day when i might get a chance to bury my nose in the beans forest of hair to smell my way back through our long nights together when he was my only child. a split second of a hug when i am transported by his specific scent back through time to a moment when i was his entire world. soon i know the pea will also have grown up and out of her night time needs. she will stop nursing, she will stop laying herself across me, she will stop needing her mama so much.
then i will close my eyes barely able to remember exactly what her pajama’s looked like, or just how old she was, but instantly surrounded by the memory of her scent. lovehome.