My middle little, the one who is extremely sassy, drama-prone, loud to the nth degree, impressionable, and full of genuine love wanted to go through scrapbooks tonight. This should have sent alarm bells off in my head the minute I walked back in from my walk/run tonight. (Yes, I tried to run even with my injury, yes, yes, yes!) I tried every tactic I could think of to deter this. I made up one condition after another. It wasn't so much that I didn't want to spend the time with her; I just didn't want to go through those blasted books. Those books that I poured untold hours, obscene amounts of money, and unmeasurable amounts of love into creating. I USED to scrapbook. USED to. You know, back when preserving family memories meant something because forever wasn't supposed to end.
We started off somewhere in the middle of her toddler years. I was never good at chronological order. I made that a goal with the littlest little, but I'm like at 8 months. Yeah, she's 5 1/2. But, who's counting. Ha! There she was with her sweet chubby cheeks, her gorgeous brown eyes that lit up her entire face when she smiled, her insanely crazy sense of fashion, and her general love for life peeping out through the pictures on those pages. Then, then...we got to the family photos. The photos that were her and her sister and daddy. The photos when it was just the four of us, then the five of us. The ones where we all played and vacationed and familied together. We weren't perfect, but we were, well, us.
After the books were put away and all three of my beautiful littles were tucked into their beds, the tears came like hot lava flowing down my cheeks. Buckets full of tears. And as I sat in my chair, I noticed the screen saver on my laptop had begun its trek down memory lane too. Picture after picture popping up on my screen of days spent at the beach, at Lego Land, at the park, etc. The pictures of us, together, as a family. The ones that had no future past October of last year because for the most part, that is where it ended. And the tears, they keep flowing. Now, yes now, all these months later still. I can't shut them off. WHY?
I hurt for my littles. They don't have a traditional family any more. And its my fault. I wasn't good enough. I wasn't thin enough. Pretty enough. Young enough. Smart enough. Anything and everything enough to keep him here. To keep his attentions here. I simply failed them. But, someday, I can't say when just yet, I hope to build new scrapbook pages. New books filled with the things the four of us, me and my littles, have done together. Because we have. We've done a lot. We've kept busy.
Yet, for now, I will hold off on that because that is just one more thing that has had to change in all of this change. But, at least we have those books filled with the scraps of our memories.