I’m schlepping myself from bed to completely embarrass myself. It may be delirium from fever or it may be to re-affirm that we all start somewhere when we decide it’s time to go somewhere other than when we are.
It’s 2001. I’ve just entered single-mom-hood and I was desperate for any outing. My sister asks me to go along to her sister’s-in-law Creative Memories party. I have no idea what it is but it has food, a babysitter and people. No need to ask me twice. My sister tells me to bring some photos with me.
Can you imagine the rest? As an artist, as a person who’d spent her entire girl-hood collecting photos and memorabilia and stickers and putting them all together in those sticky albums I begged my mom to buy for me in the aisles of CVS (what was it called way back in the ’80s? was it really CVS?). Long story short, I was entranced. I went home with the boy baby book kit (which was really some die cuts, stickers and album), some fancy adhesive, a pen and ever scrap of paper leftover from the demo pages that were made. A week later, I found some fancy shears at The Dollar Store that cut funky edges.
I’m not proud, but I am. It took five years, but I finished that album. I blew through the fear that I’d create something awful and just worked on it when I could. And it’s terrible and wonderful. We look at it every year on my son’s birthday. I cringe, he marvels, I smile.
|the stencil I used came out of a cereal box|
|I used some washi tape the other day to finally adhere these photos in the book.|
I would not trade the awfulness for the world. That was where I was at the time. It isn’t just the memories I’ve captured in the pages of the book, it’s the memory keeper. My son will have a record of my growth through his stories. He will be able to know me a in a new way when he receives his inheritance. (after he gets over the fact that he’s getting these albums instead of money). He’ll know not just his mom, but the woman who was always looking to do better.
Now I’m crawling back into bed before I hit the rest of the to-do list for the day.