a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for June 10, 2013

Theme: Fathers

< by Jill >

Sometime in the mid-90s, my mom jumped on the scrapbooking bandwagon. She bought the cushioned hard-cover albums with gold stenciling, the 12″x12″ page inserts, and enough cardstock, crimpy scissors, and stickers to fill our craft cabinet past overflowing. She began this endeavor with similarly creative friends, snipping and taping while reliving all the golden days of yore.

At some point, however, she identified a more efficient way to warehouse these memories: Get the kids to make the scrapbooks!

Ann and I jumped at the opportunity. We spent a large chunk of our summer break organizing and arranging photos, measuring mat boards, and stickering pages.

We burned through hundreds of photographs, but one comes to mind with crystal clarity:

It’s a photo of my dad at Disney World. The original photo — a glossy 4×6 — depicted my dad in a Fez, standing in a gift shop at Epcot. There’s a lady streaking through the frame on the right, and someone else jogging through it from the left. Between these two strangers, there’s my dad’s face. It’s a tiny oval, in crisp focus. He’s laughing. He’s showing teeth.

As a child, I found this photograph remarkable. The image of unfettered joy contrasted so starkly with the quiet, strong, stable force who sat to my right at the family dinner table.

I don’t remember who’s to blame, but either Ann or I decided to cut out the blurry strangers who crowded his perfect smiling face. So we snipped and circled, and the strangers dropped away like an orange peel. When we finished, we had my dad’s smiling face, no larger than a thumbnail.

Stop back throughout the week for more dad stories — Father’s Day is June 16!