Friday, May 14, 1999    


A New Way of Looking at Life

By:by Scrapchris in Seattle,WA

I can honestly say that scrapping has given me a new way to look at life. Now, instead of taking the obligatory photos at holidays, birthdays, and weddings - I think of my camera as my way to remember all of those plain ordinary things that we forget so fast.

My scrapbook obsession (and Yes, I have to say it has come to that) started shortly after my son was born. Colin was born ten and a half weeks ahead of schedule, and about as far away from our home as he could possibly be born and still stay within the lower 48 United States. The Neonatal Intensive Care folks encouraged parents of critically ill babies to take lot of photos. At the time, it felt odd... why would I want to remember on film the most difficult, stressful days of my life. The night I came home from the hospital for that first night after he was born, and he couldn't come home with me, I was devastated. Sleeping wasn't an option, and so I spent the night searching the internet for anything I could possibly find on prematurity. Mixed in with all of the medical information, I found a wealth of personal home pages created by families in my exact same situation. They were in effect my first look at scrapbooks (albiet the virtual kind!) I was encouraged by the progress of these special children, and decided to follow the NICU staff's advice and start taking photos of every little event and milestone in my son's life.

When he got out of the hospital 78 days later, I had rolls and rolls of photos that I had taken and no clue what to do with them all. An open house a few weeks later back at the hospital introduced me to a Creative Memories consultant. As I paged through her display albums, I realized I had found my answer - that was what I had to do with those photos!

I started reading anything I could find about scrapping and started learning what was and wasn't safe for those precious pictures. I was hooked!

As I read and watched, and learned, I found myself wanting to take more pictures, and I found my pictures improving as I gave more thought to each and every shot. My camera is a part of me now, and while I still take photos at holiday, birthday, and wedding celebrations, my favorite photos are the ones that will help me remember just what it is like to be the mom of a wonderful child.

I have pictures of playgrounds, pictures of day care, pictures of dirty faces, and pictures with huge, joyous smiles as he goes about his day. I have pictures of time spent in the hospital as he has grown, and photos of the tiniest baby I had ever seen. I've learned that children grow in a blink of an eye, but my photos will help me to not lose the memories of the special, but totally ordinary days. Scrapping has given me a new way of looking at life.

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: Heritage, by Michelle Franden

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