This week I did something that I never thought I would do.
My 11th wedding anniversary is tomorrow (woot!). I couldn't think of anything steel to give to my wife, and I had no other leads. I wandered into Michael's the other day, looking for inspiration, and suddenly it hit me.
My wife is an avid scrapbooker, and she has always tried to get me involved in it, saying that it's not just a thing for women. I've always told her that because I'm so gifted in the arts and crafts area that if I started scrapbooking I would soon intimidate her, and it's for this very reason that I don't intend to keep scrapbooking (heh). But I wanted to do it this one time, out of pure love. I picked up a medium sized book with 10 pages in it and a few supplies.
I told her that I was working on her gift and that she couldn't bother me in the basement for the past few nights. The first night - Tuesday - I spent scanning through old photos from when we met, our courtship, our wedding, the children we've brought into the world, and life in general. I picked out 34 photos which touched on a little bit of everything and mapped out which ones would go on which pages.
The next day - Wednesday - I took the original photo prints and a USB stick with some digital pictures on it and had them reprinted during my lunch break. On the way home on the bus, I wrote a couple of poems to put in the book on the first and last pages. Once the kids were in bed I sequestered myself in the basement again and cropped photos, stuck them on the pages, and added a few thematic flourishes.
Too anxious to wait for our formal anniversary (it's not like sex, where you have to wait for the wedding date), I presented it to her last night - Thursday - and was shocked to discover that she had no idea that I was working on a scrapbook. She thought I had been doing something with steel. But she loved it.
It was a profound experience for me, as I was amazed at how my love and affection for her grew as I immersed myself into our memories.