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High balls…

December 9, 2009

What is it about ice rinks???

Last Winter,

every time we went for our skating lessons up at Britannia Community Centre,

Starshine and Little Gem would go in and out of the skating rink,

a few times,

before we would go out to the parking lot,

and drive our way home…

They would both say,

I love it in there…

And once you’re inside for a few minutes you have to go back out,

because you get used to the smell,

and you lose it…

I asked them,

What does it smell like???

They said,


The other morning when we were waking up,

Little Gem pushed her face against my neck and said,

You smell so good…

I asked her,

What do I smell like???

She said,

fluttering her eyelashes against my skin,

You smell like my Mama…

A few years ago I worked with a student for grades one and two…

I was told by the Kindergarten teacher,

and the speech and language pathologist,

that this particular boy certainly had attention deficit disorder…

I saw no such sign…

He struggled with reading two dimensional text,

but he could read his environment with a fine tooth comb…

He always knew what I was going to ask the class to do,

before I said it…

He told me that when he went to ski lessons he would ski down the hill,

and when he got to the bottom,

his instructor would say to him,

How did you know that I wanted you to do that???

In answer to such questions,

the boy would simply say,

I just knew…

One day I was out on the playground with my class,

and I watched this little guy pick up some paper that was laying on the grass…

I watched him sniff it,

and then put it back down on the ground…

I stood there for a moment,

rubbing my eyes because I couldn’t believe what I had just seen,

and then asked him,

when I finally found the words,

Why did you just sniff that paper???

He said,

Because I wanted to know what school it came from…

The school I worked at shares a playground and field with a private school…

I asked him,

What school is it from???

He said,

It’s from our school…

I asked,

How do you know that???

He said,

The paper from the other school smells different…

I know that because one day after school I was over at that baseball diamond with my dad,

playing ball,

and I saw some paper on the ground,

and I smelled it…

I still have those squares of black construction paper in my possession,

as evidence of sensitivity,

for the purpose of storytelling,

This boy and I had ongoing conversations about smells,

and how we liked the smell of some people,

and disliked the smell of others…

This made me think about how much information children are picking up,

in a classroom environment,

through their five senses,

and beyond…

And how they are then expected to produce,



and creatively,

when they are still so small,

and so open…

How can you produce when you are distracted by the very smell of your classmates???

And what if you don’t like the smell of your teacher???

What do you do then???

Last night I was picking Starshine up from soccer practice in the cool crisp smelling like an ice rink night,

and I overheard three boys talking in competition,

about the smell of their bedrooms,

trying to be the smelliest of all…

I heard one boy say,

Oh yeah,

well my room smells like,


like a bag of hockey equipment…

I wanted to follow him home,

to see what that was like…

But that kind of thing just wouldn’t be appropriate…

Can you imagine???!!!

an eleven year old boy walking me past his parents,

and up the stairs to his bedroom,

briefly mentioning,

over his shoulder,

as he puts his soccer kit down in the hall,

This lady drove me home in her station wagon,

for the intents and purposes of experiencing my perfume…

The only option I was left with,

was to stand there,

dying of curiosity,

and giggle with gratitude,

for the age of innocence,

and the smell of hockey…

I am standing up at the water's edge in my dream...

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2009 11:16 am

    Wow loved reading your post. I submitted your rss to my google reader.


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