Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Post-Script to Part 2

I am on a mission to rid my life of unnecessary clutter. I got rid of things in DROVES yesterday - purses, shoes, belts, clothing. Threw away things that needed to be thrown away. I went through my pitiful, neglected and unused craft stuff and tossed the things that were old. Then I came across my scrapbook and paused. That scrapbook dated back to a few months after Jacelyn was born, when I went through a crafting phase because I thought that was what I should do.

Mommies that I knew could churn out magazine-quality scrapbook pages with perfectly cropped and scalloped photos and whimsical, themed designs. I once spent three consecutive evenings staying up until 3am meticulously cutting and pasting Jacelyn's name (in my defense, it was her FULL name) and birth picture onto a scrapbook page. Three nights with my tongue poking out of the corner of my mouth, sweat beading on my forehead, wielding an exacto knife and alphabet stencil. Three nights, and on the third night, my task finally completed, I held out my finished product and to my dismay, it was crap. The letters of her name were at an angle, her picture was crooked, and the whole thing was just wonky. I promptly tossed the scrapbooking material (including the wonky page I had just created) into a rubbermaid tote and forgot about it, until last night.

I looked at my scrapbooking attempt and waited for the inevitable rush of guilt - if I really loved my daughter, I would commemorate her upbringing with a well documented, thoughtfully compiled scrapbook. And the guilt never came. I peeled the picture off and threw away not only the page I had made but also the entire blank scrapbook. I do not mourn my lack of creativity in the scrapbooking department - the photos of Jacelyn will not mean any less in a regular old photo album. They will not cease to make me smile because they are not surrounded by stickers and gingham patterned paper. She might not have a lovingly crafted scrapbook to remember her trips to the zoo, or the first time she went bowling, but she will remember the nights we sat on the front porch and looked up at the stars - that doesn't require a scrapbook page (although many of the talented scrapbookers I know could certainly make one of it, and it would be breathtaking). My point here is not to knock scrapbooking as an art - it's just to say that I am not good at scrapbooking, and therefore do not attempt it, and I'm ok with that. It doesn't make me a bad mother, or mean that I care less.

It's rare for me to not experience guilt over things like this, so I felt the need to document it. And one day, I promise, part three is coming.


Jen said...

She lives! She POSTS! You go girl-both to the guilt-free housecleaning (I finally reached that milestone a few years ago-maybe it has something to do with approaching 30?) and the post. :)

Jennifer said...

I gave up with creating a scrapbook for Kendra. The only photos my sister send of her are digital photos. So, I figure the next best thing would be to create a "virtual" scrapbook using MS Publisher and print the pages onto photo quality paper using the best print setting known to man.

I haven't done THAT yet either. :)

~Texas Jen