On New Year's Eve my twin daughters pulled out all my old photo albums, all the scrapbooks. They were so curious. They pored over the pictures, asking questions. They were delighted to see their older siblings as babies. I answered their questions and flipped the pages, talking with them about each event I'd scrapped: birthdays, family outings, playdates, our daily routines. If this brings so much joy to my children, why did I stop scrapbooking?
That was the day we went to the strawberry patch with the Mom's Club. Here is your brother's three year old birthday party.
The twins were entranced. The scrapbooks gave them a sense of identity, of family history. It was fascinating to watch them form a sense of their own personal narrative.
This was the day my big brother was born. That was the beach trip. There is our old camper. This is what happened before I was born.
But then the scrapbooks stopped.
I know how this happened.
The scrapbooks stopped the day the twins were born.
At first I didn't scrap because because I was just utterly overwhelmed. I'd hit my limit. Hard. Preemie twins + 3 older children. There wasn't time for anything extra. Everything was a blur.
I always thought I'd get back to scrapbooking. I printed pictures of the twins first year. I kept my supplies well-stocked.
But one year turned into two years. Two years turned into four years.
Five years later and I still haven't scrapped one single thing.
I even stopped using my Big Camera. Most of the twins' lives have been captured on my iPhone, uploaded onto my computer and stored on an external hard-drive. I never printed the pictures. I don't even remember what I captured.
There is no hard-copy. There aren't even any unorganized photo albums. It's all just whisked away, stored in some ethereal hard-drive that I've now forgotten how to access.
This makes me sad--especially after seeing how excited my girls were about viewing their older siblings' scrapbooks.
It also makes me realize how quickly time passes. The days of my twins' infancy seemed so long and tedious. I was exhausted and sleep-deprived and battling PPD. My menstrual cycle went crazy. I was sick all the time. I was barely surviving. My one outlet was writing and blogging.
And so time passed.
We haven't even taken a real family picture in four years.
It's like everything stopped the day our twins were born. We had no idea how having twins would change us, challenge us, break us.
But it did break us.
I stopped scrapping because other things became more important: healing. I needed therapy. I needed to take care of my breaking-down body. I needed to face my past.
And I did. I'm glad I did.
But now I want to do something to preserve our memories. Something small. Maybe I can just start by printing photos and placing them in an album.
Maybe this year I can start putting us back together again.