OK, so I don’t scrapbook. Never saw the point. Not only did I not have the time when the kids were growing up, but there was NO WAY I could have justified it to Troy, my thrifty Scotsman. “Hey baby, I’m going to take this simple $10 slip in the pocket photo album and turn it into a froo-froo project that will cost hundreds of dollars. ..and to do it I’ll need to be gone, so you’ll have to put the kids to bed…and we won’t be eating on the dining table for a while because I need space for my supplies.” Like I said, when the kids were young I didn’t have the time – or the energy – for the number of trips to “Ponyland” it would have taken to get his approval.
Well, now the kids are grown and mostly out of the house and I am in heavy grief. Knowing we are going to spend our Sunday at the Parent’s house so that Jenny can have a date with her Pap, I decide to spend that time transferring pics from one of those old magnetic paged photo albums that my scrapbooking friends tell me will eat my precious snapshots which means that I will never have that memory again and will someday forget what any of them looked like when they were small. This process gets me pretty nostalgic: there’s little Muffin Face Johnny D and Timothy with stick up Ducky Duddle hair, Tommy with his toothless grin and Jenny girl in various princess poses. Oh, how I ache to hold them once more!
So I get this tug to start scrapbooking. I mean, if I am spending hours cropping and arranging it will sort of be like spending time with my babies again, right? Plus, I have my own money from speaking engagements and Troy’s labedo has slowed down so should be no problem.
I decide to start with Johnathan because he is the one who most recently abandoned me to pursue his own life at college. After two days of sifting through pictures I begin to feel like this is not such a good idea. There are – literally – 200 pictures that I have collected which pretty much only takes us up to 18 months of age. This is insane. Even if I can fit 5 pictures per page that will mean 30 pages…and we have 17 more years to go!
I share my concerns with a long time cropper and she tells me that I need to whittle them down to “just your favorites.” So, what? I need to abandon most of the snapshots? Sorry, son, but you’re not as cute in this one? Impossible! With scenes from Sophie’s Choice running through my head I shorten the pile by half.
Next thing you know I am standing in the craft store staring at walls of paper, albums and tools I don’t understand. What does one need in a paper cutter? Why do I want a dragonfly hole punch? 99 cents for a piece of blue paper? I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole into a world I can’t make heads or tails of where grown people get excited about stickers and stamps.
Maybe this is like learning an instrument, or French, or how to throw a ball; I’m just too old to start.