To me, one of the most important jobs about being a mother and wife is the power we have to help form bonds between the members of our family.
Not only does our attitude toward our job matter immensely (How do we view our role?), but to the extent that we are deliberate about making a home, we have tremendous influence over this generation growing up under us.
Last night the smells rolling out of the oven were particularly tantalizing. It wasn’t a grand meal–just three dishes, but the aromas hovered invitingly over the kitchen.
I thought about how strongly our sense of smell is tied to experience–you know how it works. Years later, a familiar smell can bring memories surprisingly real back to you.
And I wondered if I realize how privileged I am–we all are–to use these senses to build stronger family ties? Are they just little things, or do the senses of home play a bigger role than we think? When combined with repetition, the senses can really have a powerful effect on the feeling of security and familiarity, a very important part of a child’s life.
Can I appeal to their sights by looking to make our home more inviting, more beautiful? Do they see Mom and Dad hugging, smiling, playing together?
Does the taste of meals remind them of someone who took the time to cook their favorites? An occasional splurge of hot chocolate or apple cider? (Growing up, we always had “Chocolate and Biscuit” for breakfast on Christmas morning. This continues to be a favorite tradition, and now we all gather around my parents’ table–3 generations, enjoying a simple and powerful memory-tying experience.)
Does home remind them of yummy smells from the oven each day? Will they remember how Mom smelled as they sat on my lap to read?
Is touching an integral part of their lives? A soft brush on the cheek as I whisper to them how much they are loved? A pat on the back when I walk by, a squeezed hand that communicates my appreciation?
What do they hear? Music? Singing? Laughter? Scripture? Affirming tones? Their name?
“The body is the soul’s prison unless the five senses are fully developed and open. The senses are the windows of the soul.” William Blake
Tying the heart strings…it just makes sense.