Baby Butcher

I pulled this sweater right out of the dryer this morning and it smells just like a diaper. Not a dirty diaper. Like a clean, cloth diaper, like the diapers I used to put on the Butcher when he was a baby. And, because it’s smell, it brings back those memories so hard–how soft the skin on his face was, how his black hair was so wispy, the little crooked ls his legs made, how it felt when his fingers curled around mine.

It’s weird to think that he doesn’t remember any of that. That these memories, which I’d forgotten I even had, are a way I know him that he doesn’t know himself.

On the other hand, I’m not that exited about regularly smelling like a diaper, so maybe we need a different detergent.

2 thoughts on “Baby Butcher

  1. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been entrusted with that portion of A’s narrative…like I hold her baby stories and memories until she’s old enough to have learned the ones she wants and to have discarded the ones she won’t keep. She wants to hear stories about when she was a baby all the time and already retells her favorites. She is always asking us to tell her stories about when we were little.

    I think it is because I went to the funeral for the last person in my grandparents’ generation for either side of my family last week but I feel a little chill lately when I tell her our stories because I realize someday she and her cousins will be the last people to know those things from the people who experienced them. We told all the family stories at the visitation and funeral so we could laugh and cry about them but there was also this odd feeling in the background that we had to get them all down and agree on them once more because some of them no longer have an eye witness.

    Your detergent company is probably missing out on an opportunity to market to people that do want to smell like a (not dirty) diaper.

  2. I tried to tell the Butcher about it last night. He seemed unmoved.

    But, god, yes, I hear you about feeling the weight of losing first-hand accounts. I want to hear my dad talk about watching his grandmother brush her hair a million times. Once that generation is gone, that will be everyone I know who ever saw her.

    I’m glad my parents do me the courtesy of being, still, often, as annoying as hell, otherwise I’d be tempted to move them in here so that I could listen to anything they might remember as they went about their days. I’d be like an ancestor-story leech.

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