An online friend posted the other day, “…card making is where it’s at for those of us whose kids are past that stage where you can make enough scrapbook pages about them to satisfy our need to CREATE.”
I think there’s a lot of truth in that statement.
My kids aren’t really kids anymore.
My daughter is 21. She’s a woman. She is a junior in college and her life is amazing to watch unfold, but it’s not for public consumption anymore. Oh sure, I can tell you she plays ultimate. But really, the details of her life are hers. Maybe I’ll sprinkle a few into layouts that I make here and there, but by and large, it’s her story and now is the time for this memory keeping middle aged mama to step aside and witness all the glory that is her. Not me. It’s not about me anymore.
My son is 17. I only share a few sports-related things here and there. The adorable anecdotes of his childhood are a thing of the past. I used to Tweet, years ago, all the funny things he would say. He still says really funny things, but if I kept up with that type of public sharing, a) he’d be a little pissed off, and b) you’d judge me for my son’s level of sailor banter. His story is his. Again, it’s not about me anymore.
Actually, it never should have been about me, but I went into this public scrapbook life and so, it did become my story, as well. And as I began to make a living in this business, their stories became entwined in the commerce that keeps me making ends meet.
Luckily for me, a little therapy along the way has kept me honest and kept me respectful of their lives. That matters to me far more than any amount of income ever could.
WHAAAT?! I can make a card and I don’t have to get it approved by anyone in my family? Sign me up! I can make a card and they could not care less. Trust me on this. (Okay, Aidan has said she’s kind of excited to make cards when she’s home for the summer, but… everyone else? You know…)
Card making is a safe way to get creative and share it with you. I’m not revealing any secrets (other than the fact that blending inks is not really my forte), and I can forge ahead into territory that is both completely new to me and a lot of fun, too. And I can share that enthusiasm with you.
Is there a lament in any of this? Sure. My life is moving at lightning speed. My children grew up and there are years I wish I could get back because I became a much better mother after I figured out some shit along the way. That’s the stuff that keeps me respectful of their stories. This parenting thing? It requires the ability to navigate the current and adjust course on the fly in order to be the mom they need right now. Part of what they do need is privacy and the right to own their stories. Again, and say it with me if you like, it’s not about me.
But the other cool thing is, there are so many stories I can tell. Stories from my life. Stories from their childhood that I never documented. I have never been the most prolific scrapbooker, even after all these years of working in the industry. I just don’t have enough room for all those albums.
There are still many stories to share but those stories need to reflect my experience in this middle place.
And whaddya know? Cards are something that are filling in some of those gaps in my need to make shit.
Not a bad way to go.