The Mom Photo Essay Project On Instagram: Five

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As we age, our senses begin to falter and fade: eyesight and hearing tend to be the most noticeable. We don't often think of the loss of smell and taste, but they too are victims of aging. Taste and smell are linked together – taste is heightened by odors; often if a person has no sense of smell, they have little to no sense of taste. According to the Nat'l Library of Medicine, the sense of taste begins to decline after age 60: tastebuds atrophy, lose mass, less saliva is made; the taste of salty and sweet are usually the first to fade. By age 70, the sense of smell falters: nerve endings in the nose die, less mucus is produced (mucus holds the odor of food, long enough to be sensed by the nerves). My mom has reached the age where nothing tastes good — only if it has lots of salt, or lots of Splenda. Never an adventurous eater, my mom has always played it safe. Now that things taste bad to her, she enjoys even less variety (while still craving more variety) in her food. There used to be a dozen or so restaurants that we could go to, where she could find something she liked. We are now down to two, and even then, it can be a chore. Not long ago, Julian had to attend a dinner for work, so mom & I went to IHOP, one of the places that is still sort of okay. Once we got there, she decided that she didn't want to be there, but didn't want to leave either. So she pretty much sat this way until the food arrived. She did eat all of the French Toast (plenty of butter and syrup). I've begun to realize that pouty is a condition of both childhood and old age (while understanding that there are some people who are pouty no matter their age). I suppose once you pass 90, you've earned the right to pout.

A post shared by John Francis Nooney (@john_francis_nooney) on

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