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Scrapbooking a Sentimental Experience

An example of why scrapbooking is so popular

by Barbara Lombardo (July 20, 2005)

(Note: The following is reprinted with permission from The Saratogian of Saratoga Springs, NY. Ms. Lombardo is the Managing Editor who also writes a weekly column. This was originally published in the 6/18/05 issue.)

While the women who joked about being Desperate Housewives trimmed, matted and 3-D Dotted, I flashed back to my first baby shower when I had no clue about the items over which everyone else ooohed and ahhhed.

It is now 18 years later, and the baby who was showered would be the recipient of the scrapbook these women were helping me to assemble.

One week from high school graduation, I realized the certificates and clippings tossed into a folder were not going to cut it. So I was grateful to be invited to an emergency session for the seriously scrapbook impaired.

The pressure was on. Scrapbook Sergeant Carlson showed off the already completed book of one of the other moms, a Lamaze classmate whose son is also in the Class of 2005.

My flip-book of Student of the Month sheets, Cub Scout badges and sports page clippings stuffed into the sleeves of the binder was a woefully inadequate keepsake of 18 years of achievements and memories. Meager organization. Nothing mounted or matted. No angled layouts. No decorative stickers or 3-D icons.

Take, for instance, the opening page sleeve into which I had dropped the document from a legislator welcoming Saratoga's newest citizen and a smudged birth announcement photocopied from The Saratogian. I was proud of having had the foresight to save those things.

"Well, it's a start," sighed the sergeant kindly, rolling her eyes and rolling out a cart of colored cardboards, special-edge scissors, razor-blade slicers, acid-free glue sticks and 3-D Dots. She had me matte the certificate, reset the announcement on her laptop and angle it on the page, and asked, "Don't you have a baby picture to put in this corner?" Of course I do. Somewhere.

The results of that afternoon's efforts were, if I say so myself, impressive. The completed pages look great. Both of them.

At this rate, I'll be 3-D Dotting in the nursing home, still commemorating my son's high school years in a scrapbook to be presented at his retirement party.

What I had to do became clear:

1. Load up at the A.C. Moore scrapbook aisle.

2. Develop the film that's in the bottom of my purse.

3. Dig out old photos.

4. Get the darned thing done.

So last night I dragged out the archivally incorrect plastic bin of pictures that go back B.K., Before Kids, sat on the floor and pulled out photos of family, friends, vacations, get-togethers and milestones large and small first haircut, talent shows, the Mayor's Cup, mock trial, the tennis team, the class president.

And I wept.

For babies turned to boys turned to men in the blink of an eye. For my mother-in-law, who would have been so proud of the person her grandson had grown to be. For wondering where the years have gone. For fun times I'd forgotten. And tears of joy for being so blessed.

The scrapbook is for David, but the making of it is for me.

2005. Reprinted with permission from The Saratogian.

(Note: To read previous entries in "Kate's Collage," click on the titles in the right-hand column.)



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