What Scrapbooking Means to Me
Okay, Iíll admit it. Iíve always been the sensitive type - shedding a tear over those Hallmark commercials, getting choked up over the ads for Kodak cameras. But not until the birth of my child did I realize the true depth of my sentimentality. Since Jesseís birth, I donít get choked up over those ads - I blubber like a baby. No more wistful smiles at seeing a newborn - I relive in my own mind Jesseís birth and usually end up making a fool out of myself in some way - either by gushing overmuch about the baby, or by bursting into unexplained tears right then and there, even in places like the grocery store.
For this reason, I am the perfect person to extol the vitrues of scrapbooking. I was led to scrapbooking at the perfect time - my son was 7 months old, and I was going crazy from sleep deprivation and lack of identity. My friend Sheila asked me to take a one-night class with her, and I agreed, but was quite nervous leaving Jesse for something so frivolous as a class in photo albums! I, of all people, wouldnít need a class on that subject - why, I had hundreds of pictures of my adorable child, all organized by date and stored in magnetic photo albums. But I went, and after my initial irritation at the claim that my photos were in worse shape than they would be if I had stored them in cardboard boxes, I was impressed. The process of scrapbooking looked so fun, and the results were amazing. But money was tight, and it seemed like a large initial investment, so I didnít commit to anything. That night when I got home, I woke my husband and went on and on about the supplies and process. Long after he was snoring (or pretending to snore so I would BE QUIET), I tossed and turned, picturing the lovely layouts and witty words I would use to showcase my pictures. After a few days of agonizing and playing with our household budget, I placed my order. Receiving that first bagful of goodies was such an energizing experience. And organizing everything in my desk was thrilling (like I said, I didnít get out much back then!).
I am amazed and astounded at what getting involved with scrapbooking has done to my attitude about the world in general. Although Iíve always been a bit obsessive (Iím probably one of the few [if not the only] people you know who has EVERY DAY of her childís first two years documented in detail), suddenly I am obsessed with preserving family stories and memories. I have frantically begun journaling stories from my childhood, as if I will one day wake up and not remember them anymore. I scribble little profound (or at least I tell myself they are profound) thoughts in my datebook, wanting to share them with Jesse when he is older.
I have encouraged my mother and father to write down their memories of their childhoods and young life. (Momís is finished - a fine book of 60 or so typewritten pages, with pictures. We kids are so lucky to have this legacy passed down from her!) I have hounded my mother with questions about old family recipes, and have tried to document the stories behind them.
I love looking at my albums and showing them to others. But by far the best feeling comes when I am sitting in my scrapbooking room (yes, one room of my house is dedicated to my habit), chopping and envisioning and remembering and creating. I view my albums (23 to date) as the ultimate manifestation of my love for my family.
So I urge you - if you havenít started to work on your albums, do! You are probably afraid that what you will create will not be as beautiful as you want it to be. Well, true, but are your photos better displayed in those envelopes? And for those of you who already work on your albums, I applaud you. Hip hip hooray, and happy scrapbooking!
Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: Why is scrapbooking important, by L. Thomas