It’s not REALLY random, … if you’re in my head.
You see, since my kids were born, I’ve kept track of pictures, and kept a record of our lives, in a couple of ways. First are the now eleven volumes of “McLaughlin Family Adventures”. They’re not scrapbooks, really — I never had the patience for the patterned paper and pretty ribbon. They’re not exactly photo albums, either. They’re those leather-bound books with linen-white pages and interleaving tissue paper. I glue down pictures and newspaper clippings, party invitations and ticket stubs and whatnot, and I scribble a little in the margins about what’s happening in the photos or what my memories about them are. I love pulling them off the shelf and looking through them.
I am more than a YEAR behind on my “McLaughlin Family Adventures” content. I just finished November of 2009.
It’s the kind of thing that’s fun to do (I think), IF it’s not overwhelming. And being a year behind is overwhelming. Similar to the way keeping up one of my other traditions of making a photo book of every family vacation is feeling right now. Do you KNOW how many pictures I took in Costa Rica? I’m not going to tell you. Let’s just say that the photo book isn’t done just yet.
Another thing I’ve done for the last several years is a birthday book for my daughter. It started with “The Year that Kate Turned Eight”, then “Once Upon a Time, Kate turned Nine”, followed by “I Remember When Kate Turned Ten” … you get the idea. All the best photos from her year, pulled together in a photo book to remind her of the highlights. Well, she turned twelve in January. I didn’t make her a book. I’m not beating myself up about it because I did do something a little different. But the something different doesn’t fit on the shelf with the photo books and albums. I need it to be someplace where it’s part of the “record”, if you know what I mean.
Are you sort of feeling like you’re in my head now? Here’s my daughter’s eleventh year, compressed into four minutes of a Paul Simon song. Oh, and about the song — I told her that every time she watched the video, she had to say “mother AND” five times fast before she pressed play.