The Smell of Home

The blog has been quiet over the past few days while I have prepared, and traveled, and returned from an adventure. I have returned from a trip beginning in Boston, attending the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting with 8,000 of my closest pediatrician friends. While in Boston, I absorbed and digested new and exciting information from the AAP, refining my skills as a practitioner. I met physician heros who are on the front lines of protecting children from disease. I shook hands with women whom I had only previously known from pictures on the back of book jackets. And, I shared dessert with people behind very familiar Twitter handles.

After a full 4 days in Boston, I had the honor of being one voice representing physicians involved in social media at a conference at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. As a doctor, walking through the halls of such a historic place of mercy and healing was sobering. But, being among giants in the field of healthcare social media could not have happened at a more perfect place.

And now, after a whirlwind adventure, I am home.

I don’t know what is so enrapturing about the smell of your own home after you return from a long trip. The smell can bring you from a place of urgency and frantic business, to a place of calm and complete comfort in just a few deep breaths.

As I walked through the threshold of my house, my load was lightened as the familiar smells surrounded me. I was welcomed by the sweetness of my daughter’s hair after a good shampoo, my son’s blue fuzzy lovey, and my husband’s cologne; all mixed together with a whiff of “Kiwi Breeze” dryer sheets from the clean and unfolded laundry on my couch. I unloaded my luggage among the smells of the garage, with undertones of Kansas dirt and dusty sidewalk chalk. And as I finally rested on my cool pillow, I fell asleep in the air shared by a newly cleaned shower and minty toothpaste.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to travel to new places, see amazing things, and learn about how to take better care of my patient families. I plan on sharing and writing about many of the things I have learned. Most importantly, however, these opportunities re-fueled my passion for a career I truly love.

But, right now, I’m just going to take a minute to breathe. And be home.