This Work-at-Home Mom

Some people may have thought I was a bit nuts having my first child at age 39.   My younger cousins have kids in high school already and one in college!  All I can say is I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  I doubt I would have been half as good a mom at an earlier age.  

Jake will be 4 in October and it’s beyond me where the time went!  Pretty soon it’ll be kindergarten time, soccer games, and whatever else he decides to try.  Soccer is pretty much an obsession right now and I’m not so sure I’ll fit in with the “soccer mom” crowd, but I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

The work I do at home is medical transcription.  I sit for 8 hours listening to doctors dictate their patient reports.  Most of the time it’s quite monotonous, but there are times when someone forgets to switch off their recorder and I “travel” to the bathroom and hear them tinkling.  (As far as tapes from the offices go, I’m supposed to listen until I’m sure there are no more reports to be transcribed.  It may sound like he’s finished dictating, but occasionally there has been the time or two where they pick it up after driving home and start dictating again.)  I think doctors forget that we’re actual people listening to them because the frequent burp or passage of gas or yawn or sneeze can sometimes get to a person, especially if you’re typing about loose stool, ear wax, or heaven forbid doing an operative note while this is going on.  I never thought typing could be nauseating, but trust me, it can!

My biggest hobby right now is, of course, scrapbooking.  Prior to this obsession, I was a devoted card maker using rubber stamps. I had no interest in “scrapbooking”. Why on earth would I want to do that? Gosh, I did that when I was a kid, cutting up 16 Magazine and Tiger Beat to “tape” my favorite pics of The Bay City Rollers, Leif Garrett, and John Travolta in my dime store scrapbooks. Shameful, isn’t it?

So, I was looking around for the perfect baby book for my baby boy on the way, and I didn’t want those fill-in-the-blank types, but something very special. Somehow, I ended up in a scrapbook store looking at all the baby things and something took me over! You mean I can document every tiny detail of his life, every holiday, every Halloween costume, every birthday, and even his heritage?? You mean there are papers for this and that and little doo-dads to match?? Good night, Irene! I’m hooked!

Seriously, I don’t think I fall into the category of those scrapping moms who document every sneeze, poop, or nose picking, (maybe I do) but I do love to record the important events in his life. My grandmother did this for our entire family and honestly, if she hadn’t some of us wouldn’t have anything from our childhood. Plus, she’s saved some REALLY special things that would probably amaze you! I know how much I love our family’s history and I’m hoping that at some point, my son will appreciate seeing who attended his parties, the toys he got Christmas morning, and most of all, will know how much love I put into his scrapbooks. He may not, but I can always hope, right?

To me, there is nothing more important than the memories of your family and the family itself. Nothing! These are the people who will be with you always, who stand by you always. Jake needs to know these people who love him more than life and those who were here before him.

I’ve found no other way to document this for him in the way that scrapbooking allows me to. Sure, why does he need a little swirly paper clip attached to a photo here or a flower and eyelet there? He doesn’t. But I do. Not only am I documenting my son’s life, in a way, I’m saving mine. Without this artistic release that relieves my stresses, takes my mind off the bad things in the world, the bad people in the world…without this, depression would set in, the ugliness of the news every night would cloud my thoughts, and good things would go looked over or forgotten. I wouldn’t have the laugh that looking at his monkey costume for his first real trick-or-treat gives me or the tears of joy his birth pictures bring. I can’t go back in time and wonder what his great-grandfather would think of him or make sure he KNOWS my grandmother and how wonderful and beautiful this woman is and how MUCH I love her. I want him to remember how much he loved his Grammie and how they hid under blankets together and how there was this extra special bond between the two of them.

There’s no guarantee he’ll care one iota about any of this, but you know?-I can certainly try and instill in him the importance of it now and hope that it sticks. If it doesn’t, maybe one day he’ll come across a box in his attic and find his scrapbooks, sit there looking through them, hours will go by, and his heart will open up and he’ll discover what life and family truly mean.

Here’s to hope….

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