I'm doing pretty good with catching up to present with my scrapbooking. I'm usually happy if I am 2 months behind... I find that when that amount of time has passed, I have processed events or activities enough to journal about them. Short, sweet, and kid-friendly.
I am now 2 months behind present with my book. The end of April. Hopkins. I hit a wall. I printed all the photos of Will at the hospital. EEG shots. Wonderful friends who came to visit. My dad and brother who spent almost every day with us. From a togetherness and love perspective, it was a good time. Smiles. Head wraps. EEG lines. Elmo DVDs. All good. I didn't take any pictures of the bad. What's the point?
But I just sat there and stared at the pictures. I thumbed through paper to find one that was appropriate. I settled on a yellow background paper with blue, green and pink zig-zag squiggles. They kind of looked like an EEG print out, so it seemed appropriate. And still I sat there staring.
I spend a lot of time making scrapbooks. More often than not, I put the pictures, artifacts and paper in front of me, and within a minute or two, I have thought up a layout. The actual scrapbook page takes a long time, but coming up with the ideas does not.
Until this Hopkins page. Totally throwing me for a loop. I had hit 'scrapper's block' (like writer's block, only for scrapbookers).
I floundered for a bit. Moved pictures around on pages. Decided which pictures I liked the best. Sat and stared.
Then I decided that I should write a blog for the night. I opened our website. I started peeking through the posts from the end of April. The Hopkins posts. Long ones. Stories of waiting. Holding My Breath. Quiet times. And finally, when it happened... The Big One. The one we were waiting for but wished hadn't happened. My most viewed blog post of all time. The one I cried through writing.
This sounds silly, but in that moment, as I tried to do Will and our time at Hopkins justice in my annual scrapbook, I was so happy that I write this blog. Time - even short periods of time like 2 months - have ways of smoothing the wrinkles. Little details that helped to define an event get lost in time. But I have created this reference for our life. True feelings and thoughts as events unfold. It might be raw at times, but its life. To be able to look back and open that up... its like a time capsule for me.
By reading through those old blog posts and taking some more time to process, I suddenly found my scrapping wind. I wrote a journal for the scrapbook pages that was longer than any other I'd done (it even beat the journal that I did for Will's scrapbook page when he got his g-tube.) Truthful, honest, and kid-friendly.
The biggest point I made in my page... the take away message... the one I hope that someday, 20 years down the road when Will looks at this scrapbook and learns about his history is that he is such a brave boy. He has a smile that lights up the room, even when he's in pain and uncomfortable. He showed amazing patience being cooped up in a hospital room for 8 days, with 49 EEG leads to his head and a radius of 8 feet. It would have drove most people crazy. But he did it. And he did it well.
And now the page is done. I'll move on to May. But I most certainly will not forget.