I remember, not so long ago, looking
at the boxes and boxes of my babies' photographs and becoming so
overwhelmed by the notion that I had better get them organized and
labeled before I lost track of which kid was which.
And then one day, I picked up a
particularly poignant photo of my oldest daughter, and I had an urge
to create a scrapbooking page around it. I didn't know what I was
doing. I just knew I wanted a finished product that would
evoke the same emotion I felt when I took the photo.
I took far too much time on this page
(and had so much fun creating for the simple sake of creating), and
when my scrapbooking layout was finished, I showed it to my
daughter. The look on her face told me I had succeeded in doing what
I set out to do. She was touched, and so was I.
From that day on, I was hooked. But I
had to promise myself that his hobby would never turn into another
"should," "ought," or "must." My
scrapbook became my precious lifeline to my artistic and emotional
center, and I had to promise myself that I would never rush it. That
I would never cheapen the experience with the notion that I had to
finish "x" amount of pages in one day. That my photographs
and memories would never be something to simply process - but
something always to honor and revere.
Fast forward. I am now a scrapbooking
instructor for a company that reveres this creative process as much
as I do.
Scrapbooking is unlike almost
everything else in my life as a mother of small children. The
layouts and cards that I make stay finished, unlike the dishes and
the diaper changes. When I'm done with a piece, I'll put it up where
I can see it as I walk past, and I feel a small but sure sense of
And that is one of the reasons I
scrapbook. There are others:
Scrapbooking offers a connection
to the community. Classes and crops are serving the same social
function that quilting bees once did. This is a time to get
together with friends, to share precious memories, to exercise
your artistic expression, and to get something accomplished.
When your children leave home,
and if they are ever feeling down, they will look through the
scrapbook you've created for them. They will hear your
words and feel your love span across time and space. And, beyond
that, when you are gone, your voice, your memories, and the
written and visual record of your philosophy and your values
will live on.
Scrapbooking helps us to remember
that our life is our art. The time I spend scrapbooking helps me
to remember that every single moment I spend being a good mom -
as well as a good human being - is time spent in positive,
artistic creation. And I have no doubt that if we all spent more
of our time in positive, artistic creation, the world would be a
Whenever I spend time cropping, I
relish the present moment with my family more fully as the very
moments I seek to capture and celebrate on my pages play out in my
Time spent scrapbooking is time spent
in open, ardent appreciation of your family and the experiences that
you have had. It's a way of honoring the experiences and people in
your life with your time and reflection.
A scrapbook is a treasured gift. It
is a piece of the real you, the real artistic, emotional you, which
encourages others to show their artistic, emotional, real selves,
too. And you can start today!