One of my favorite things to do is scrapbook.
Scrapbooking is more than putting photos in albums. Scrapbooking is a creative process that tells a story with words, photos, and lots & lots of patterned paper, ribbon, rub-on letters and other arts & crafts supplies.
I started scrapping (or cropping, as some call it) when my oldest child was born. I got 5 albums done before his little brother was born 3 years later. The books tell a story of our home, which was filled with wonder and love.
Our home really WAS filled with wonder & love, so why does it make me throw up in my mouth a little when I write that down?
From a purely anthropological standpoint, my volumes and volumes (and volumes) of scrapbooks are an excellent snapshot the daily lives of middle-income, college educated married-with-kids family.
Volumes 1-4 are our life with a toddler. Every fricking day of it. "Here is Joseph in a red shirt." "Here he is in the kitchen!" "Joe in the bathtub!" "Here he is in a green shirt!" I honestly think the Joseph is one of the finest people God put on the planet, but I admit I went a little overbored. (yes, that is a pun).
Volumes 5-9 are our life with 2, then 3 kids. True to stereotype, Joe has more coverage than Luke or Paul. But, because I scrap, I know enough to have individual photos of #2 & #3 sons, instead of just photos of the 3 of them. (At least I think the photos are individual shots of each kid. My kids all kinda look alike.)
There are some pages about my husband & I. Some about other family. I've even done gift albums for other people. But mostly it's the boys. These kids better have good self esteem, because they are obviously adored.
I am glad I do these books. I enjoy them and my family enjoys them. They make great gifts. They evoke great memories.
But how often can I write of my love, gratitude and wonder? Maya Angelou I ain't.
I enjoy looking at others' scrapbooks. I even get scrapbooking magazines (yes, there are scrapbook magazines!). But scrapbookers are . . . boring.
I can't believe I said that.
I have lots of friends who scrapbook. None of them are boring. They are creative, witty and fun.
But how many pages about snowmen are titled "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow. . "? I would hazard a guess that every scrapbooker has at least one.
I am not going to stop scrabooking. I am not going to stop telling my family how much I love them. I am just going to try to be a little less . . . corny.
I expect a lot from you. I expect you to be a good man -- like your dad. I expect you to stay away from drugs, trashy girls, and Dungeons & Dragons. You don't have to be a Catholic when you grow up, but I do expect you to believe in God. You need to pay your way in life because God knows Dad & I haven't saved up enough for you. Finish College. Get a job before you get married. Get married before you have a baby. Be a good husband. Be a good dad.
And whatever you do, son, marry a girl who appreciates scrapbooking. Or else all this work I've done chronicling your life will wind up in the trash.