It's raining tonight and one wonders about slick roads out there. However, one must trust.
Scrapbooking is one of those uneasy concepts that floats out there in womanworld these days. About ten years ago, I feigned an interest as I nicely went to someone's product party. From that point forward, a set of chalks and a few stamps lived politely in a bag in one of my back closets. Since that time, I've heard many exclamatory remarks about the hobby; I've witnessed children pressed in between pages, between stickers and stamps and little metal doodads ~~ all looking cute and preserved and playful simultaneously. Yet even though I strolled down the paper aisle looking wistfully at the beautiful designs, I never desired to put all the far-flung flambuoyant pieces together for a bona fide scrapbook. It was too confusing and frivolous, and, I don't know ... womanworldish with a checkbook earmarked for silly escape.
Plus what would hours of focusing on little papers cause me to miss out on in the other bigger world? Too much, I thought.
That was then; this is now, and I've got a pile of little papers and cute frames and styrofoam letters and puffy stickers to dwell upon. "On Walden Pond" may never thoroughly be read. I may never get that Master's degree program. Someone else will step up in women's ministry at church. I've got some piecing to do. It's a woman's prerogative! The debit card was swiped tonight at Michael's Hobby and Craft stores!
Next to my piles of purchased paraphenalia, I have stacks of photos of my adorable daughter. There she is being held on Long Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts; her yellow yarn poncho and hat brightening the gloom of the early March day; her dad looking curiously at her appearance in a poor student's life. There she and I are arm-in-arm in myriad poses throughout the years, smiling, clinging to one another, as we're a bit both adrift but happy together. Several show her friends, her costumes in plays, her artwork at our kitchen table, her grinning grandparents holding her tightly. Then there are the braces during middle school, and the friends during junior high, and the laughing cousins at the farm. Here she's on a cliff with our church's youth group, scaling Colorado. I'm there too, spending all possible time with the lovely girl who's given me much joy in my life.
The real Scrapbookers keep every little program or menu or item marking an event. To be legitimate (in case a real Scrapbooker comes to scrutinize), I dig through the box in my closet and find little notes my daughter has written me. Cards I've written her. We certainly expressed lots of hearts and xoxoxos. Her scrawl begins to change over time. When I can't stand it any longer, my husband comes to check on me, and I get sympathy and tissues.
But the project will help me piece together what was and what can be held in a meaningful pattern of a beautiful child's life. Our babies are there for us to hold and nurture. They grow, we protect. they grow, we release. It's a life pattern. Surely we can all comply to the pattern.
I found a prayer the other day in a book which has helped me somewhat. If you have a strong-willed child, you might like it too. It goes like this:
"She's wonderful, strong, and spirited. Help her know her strengths. Help her learn to use her spirit in the right ways. Guide her with love. Help her to learn to use her energy wisely. You have the strength to raise this strong-willed child."
I'm looking forward to focusing on these small pieces of paper. I will try not to think about how the more experienced, crafty mom might concoct a multi-dimensioned symmetrical matching page. I'm sure there are a million more products to purchase to make the presentation more perfect. I'll just keep my eye on the smile of my little girl who has continued to smile as a teenager who will still smile as she becomes older. My role in the smile was monumental; even though she's forgotten now, the proof becomes irrefutable when a mother scrapbooks her memories.
I'm finally understanding the concept of scrapbooking!