As I sat cuddled with my daughter in bed tonight, I realized that we hadn’t taken time to look at the scrapbook albums in awhile. We’ve moved recently and they were put away and before that they were packed up for awhile.
So I pulled them out tonight and we decided to look through them together. She sat next to me, snuggled on the bed, propped up by pillows with the huge scrapbook in her lap and carefully she turned the pages and looked at all the photos.
What a beautiful thing to watch, really. She remembered things that happened four years ago with such gusto, it was wonderful. “I remember that time we went to the park and we played there for the whole day almost, and we found caterpillars and you let us bring them home and……” It went on and on like that for one entire album.
When she finished the one album, she decided she wanted to look at another. So again, I got up and pulled out the next one, and we sat together looking through the pages and remembering together.
She finally came to a page that seemed to really move her. In fact, the whole page has always touched me. It’s not the decoration on the page, it’s not even the photographs necessarily. For me, it’s the feelings and emotions the photographs convey. It was a particularly hard time in our lives, as I had just recently left their father and we were on our own in a new town and had very little. But my children were happy and you could see it on their faces and they lovingly put their arms around each other (where did that time period go?!)
I had journaled in my own handwriting on both sides of the page. Although it was one huge letter to both of them, I had separated the left side with a part mostly to my son, and the right side was written mostly to my daughter who was only 2 at the time.
She wanted me to read the journaling to her. I am not exactly sure why she didn’t read it herself, as she is eight years old and perfectly capable of reading, but maybe it was just hearing me read it to her. When I finished, she gently reached up and touched the side of my face. I turned to look at her, and she quietly said “Mommy? When you die, can I have these albums?”. Never before in my entire life has she said something that has so suddenly touched me, so suddenly made me burst into tears before. And before anyone asks, of course I told her she could have them.
I also realized something else. Not only do scrapbooks touch other peoples lives, but when you get a moment, read the journaling to your kids. Make time periodically throughout the year to sit with them and just read it.
Have you ever read a book from your childhood to your own child, and heard the voice of your mother or father as you’re reading? Remember where they emphasized words, or made a funny voice for a particular character? I have.
I want my daughter to look at these albums thirty years from now and actually HEAR me reading that letter to her, even if I am gone.
That is what scrapbooking is about!