a photo book for Kiwi’s senior year

Before Kiwi even began her senior year of high school I knew what my gift to her would be: a photo book documenting the year. My sisters helped me capture the best photos, and as the year pressed on I also began collecting every Facebook post that Kiwi made. A huge undertaking, as you can imagine! By the time graduation rolled around I had thousands of photos and many hundreds of status posts, as well as a large collection of song lyrics (her favorite post category). Turning that “library of Kiwi” into a single 40-page book would prove to be a great challenge for me.

It took a full year + one day to complete the book and put it into the hands of the now-college girl, but her response was worth every stumble I made in the creation process. She’d known about the book for two years by then but did not know what might be included. Rather than re-creating a yearbook for her – her school had done that – I used Kiwi’s own words and added photos to enhance her thoughts. I took her to lunch and simply handed her the book wrapped in clear plastic so there would be no further delay.

She opened the book immediately and began gingerly turning the pages, one by one, slowly and methodically until she reached the end. She lingered here and there, made a comment or two, but didn’t say a lot about it other than the fact that she liked the look of it and the photos I’d chosen. But I had no doubt that she loved the book when she pulled it out a couple hours later and showed her grandmother, then sat on a couch and paged through the book again.

I might have expected a more vocal response, since Kiwi is a very dramatic girl, but as she looked through the book a second time I understood that she was soaking it all in. Her first (challenging) year of college was behind her and high school was already a distant memory. She’s not yet nostalgic, but she is aware how much she’s changed in just 12 months. And that was really my purpose in creating the book: for her to look back at her 17-year-old self and be able to celebrate the past as well as everything that came after that year. What is now a nice little photo book will bring cherished recollection in 20 years. And that’s the main reason I craft gifts by hand any time I can.

With Kiwi’s permission, here is a sampling of her senior book, written in her own words:

front and back covers
Kiwi's memory book

Kiwi's memory book

Kiwi's memory book

Kiwi's memory book

Kiwi's memory book

Kiwi's memory book

Kiwi's memory book

Kiwi's memory book

Kiwi's memory book

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About Jules Q

sharing stories of life, faith, and love for pop culture

Posted on 2 October 2013, in People I Love and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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