I walked into my oldest son's room the other day after he got on the bus. I was gathering up laundry and attempting to clear a path on the floor to the windows to open the curtains and blinds in his still-dark-as-a-cave room. Suddenly, I paused. My nose in the air sniffing like a hunting dog, I picked up a scent. What is that? I thought to myself. It wasn't a bad smell. It wasn't offensive, however, I didn't particularly care for it.
And yet. It was there.
It was the stale smell of a boy's bedroom.
A room full of Lego's scattered here and there...really, everywhere!
It was the smell of a room with many, many books ranging from "Scooby Doo" I Can Read to every single installment of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid."
It was the smell of a room clinging to stuffed animals received many years ago and piled high with the protective boxes from nearly every DS game he owns.
This boy and his parents argue, discuss, and strike deals over the condition of his bedroom. The haphazard organization. The creative display of possessions. The fact that the carpet is so covered that a vacuum cleaner cannot get in there!
I remember when that very same room smelled of powder and lotion. I remember when I had total control of that room. I knew where everything was and everything was in it's proper place 24/7. I remember when I decided it was time for something to go...it simply went. Now, I must rationalize and barter with this child on why a trinket has now become a piece of junk, why it's no longer of use, or why he is simply too old for it (see reference to "Scooby Doo" I Can Read books purchased for him when he was in Kindergarten!).
This child is a 'tween and still welcomes me into his room. I am learning to respect his space and freedom to express himself and be who he is. As long as no living creatures or food science experiments are growing within those four walls, I'm okay.
I wonder if he would notice it if I plugged in one of those air fresheners from Bath and Body Works?