Today was a good day. Today I can say I spent a good portion of my day in the service of my fellow man, or should I say…mom. Yes, today was the day that my mom actually got to collect on the incredibly thoughtful Christmas gift my sisters and I gave her. What we gave her was a day of scrapbooking. Not a day scrapbooking ‘with’ her, but rather scrapbooking ‘for’ her. Let me give you a little background on why exactly that was our choice of words.
My mom is an amazing woman. She is a bit like me in that when she starts something she likes to jump in with both feet and not look back until she can see the shore of success clearly before her. We both like clean houses when we have company over so we both tend to look at the mess in the living room and go straight to the back of the house to clean out the deepest, darkest, unused, overstuffed closet in the house. The difference between my mom and me is that I jump in and just start doggy paddling til I get where I want to go. Mom on the other hand, gets out the map, compass, flippers, goggles, scuba tank, sun screen, shark repellant, and swimsuit/wetsuit before she goes near the water. In other words, I’m a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kind of gal and my mom is…..’detail orientated.’
This probably doesn’t seem like a problem for something as simple as scrapbooking, but it totally is. Where as I can throw a cute scrapbook page together in a few minutes, my mom takes a bloody hour to line up four pictures on plain black paper. (I love you mom!)
For years, my mom has been hinting about getting help with her scrapbook needs. She has said things like….’ I wish someone would just come and do all my pictures for me.’ Or even more subtly, ‘how much would you charge me to put all my pictures in books Beckie?’ I started to get worried when she said things like, ‘ I dreamed the house burned down and all the pictures were destroyed….I woke up happy.’ It was time for intervention.
My sisters and I spent seven hours at the homestead scrapbooking today. We didn’t do any frilly stuff, just stuck pictures on paper and put them in stacks. Mom still has to go back and journal……well, most of the pages. She did make the mistake of giving me a white gel pen at one point in the day and, well, let’s just say I embellished a bit. (now she’s going to go and look to see what I wrote….heehee)
The best part of the day was not doing service for my mom. It wasn’t even laughing at my dad and brother’s REALLY short shorts in the 80’s or even my baby sister’s inability to keep pants on for more than ten minutes . The best part of the day was reliving all those memories. Guess what? I looked pretty happy in most of those pictures ( I threw away the ones where I was picking my nose….sicko photographer) and there were pictures of me with my siblings. It may seem like a no brainer – duh kind of thing, but I seriously don’t remember much of my childhood. It is sad and almost depression causing at times when I am around my family and they are laughing about memories that I don’t feel included in. I moved away when my baby sister was only four or five. I missed out on a lot. Those memories, the ones that happened when I was already gone, are the ones my family remembers most clearly. Sometimes it feels like I am from a different, lost family.
It felt good today to find some connections. I was there. We did have common memories of fun times, silly times, embarrassing times, and times when Rhea did actually have her pants on. It felt really good to find that place for me.
I’m not sure when we will get to do another scrapping day, we are all so busy. I am hoping it is soon. It is important to me to build those family ties before I give in to the urges to run away and never come back. It helps me think that maybe, just maybe, someone would miss me and my kids. Besides, I need my crazy family around so I can put some of the blame for my inept parenting onto them. I mean…..the proof is in those pictures. No pants, mullet hair cuts, turtle faces and all…..I may be the only sane one around and…I can keep my pants on…cause I said so.
Photo credit: http://galleryhairstyles2013.blogspot.com/2012/01/mullet-hairstyles.html