There. I've admitted it. I am a scrapbooker. And I love it. I have a whole room dedicated to paper, and pictures, and different kinds of adhesive, and things that cut, and ribbon, and buttons, and who knows what else. I mean, really. I totally don't know. It's complete chaos in there. For all I know there may be another child hiding in there somewhere. It'd be hard to find it. Or for it to find it's way out. Someday I'll clean it out. Maybe. Probably not.
Anyway, the question begs to be answered, why?! Why do I scrapbook? I can't tell you how many times I've been asked. Usually it's posed by another woman, who has this weird, perplexed, almost judgemental look on her face. Like "why the eff would you waste your time on that?!". Or maybe that's just how I'm taking it. Because I feel guilty often when I scrapbook. But that's a whole different post.
Okay, so why? I scrap for 2 main reasons. First, I scrap because it's my "me" time. I've described it as my therapy. It's just about the only time I have the opportunity to be by myself, do something creative, and not be constantly interrupted by children or husband. Because hubby generally avoids scrapbook world. I think it scares him. And children with good self-preservation mechanisms do, too (usually).
I spend most days talking to other people about their own stuff (issues, crap, drama, problems, trauma, whatever you want to call it). And while I love being a social worker, it does leave me little time to think about/deal with/whatever my own stuff. Scrapbook times guarantees I have a quiet space to just be. I don't have to be empathetic, ortell a family that I'm about to call child protective services on them, or think about someone else's trauma. And it's also the only way I get to be creative. 'Cause there just isn't time to do it in any other ways.
The 2nd reason I scrap is for my boys. There are lots of pictures of me from when I was a kiddo, but the little stories and circumstances that go with those pictures aren't documented. I so treasure the pictures, but I wish I knew the stories, too. Of course I could ask my mom, but chances are that the words that go with those images, at least for a lot of them, are long gone. I want my boys to have the stories that go with the pictures. I want them to be able to share those stories with their children and grandchildren.
Also, I want the boys to be able to know me through the words I write to them in those scrapbooks. I want them to know who I am right now, when they are 1 and 6, and I am 33. Not just the me they will know when they are teenagers or adults and I am hitting middle age. With all the drama that comes with parenting middle and high schoolers to alter their memories. I want them to know the young mom, not the tired, worn down one (well, considering I'm sleep-deprived, I suppose I am currently tired and word down, but I suspect it's in a different way than I will be in 10 or 20 years).
I want my boys to know the children I know right now. To be able to see themselves through my eyes as little boys. Not as the children I will tell them about when they are older. And there are all those experiences between now and then to color my opinions and memories (as well as their own).
Scrapbooking is about me. But it's also about my boys. And, I consider it a gift I am giving to their future selves. And, heck, when I'm old and can't even remember my own name, maybe those scrapbooks will be a gift to me, too.
Today's lesson: The women's bathrooms at the hospital don't have urinals in them. And I'm not going to explain any further how I learned this lesson. Except to say that it may have been the hard way.