Hold on, I'll be right with you. Just as soon as I've cleared a space: enough of a flat surface on which to balance my laptop and rest my weary arms. That's the thing about tidying up: if you do it on a big enough scale, it has to - unavoidably, no getting away from it - has to get worse before it gets better.
But, there are bonuses and little rays of light as you go. I've found funny cards from friends tucked away for a day just like today, and an extra torch - bonus! it actually works! - and a roll of wrapping paper and a birthday card ready to use. But, best of all, I found this:
Yellowing and creased now, it was at the very back of a pinboard we haven't even had on the walls for years. I cut it out of a magazine when our two were tiny: Esteem Boosters for Girls and Boys. I cut it out and I stuck it to the pinboard and I gave it my best shot.
And then the reminder got lost along the way: covered up with postcards and invitations and notes about that dentist's appointment.
But, wait. Look. Right at the top there. What's first on the list? Tell her stories about her own childhood. Use photo albums.
Scrapbook, in other words. Keeping a record and talking about it is top of the list of esteem building tips.
We are doing good work. I don't usually like referring to scrapbooking as "work". For me it'll never be that: but what other way is there to say it? The task we have set ourselves is an important one. It can be all about pretty papers and collections of photographs and simple creative pleasure...
...but it can be about so much more. We can take all of those other things from it, for sure. But think instead for a minute about what we can give. Recording the stories is only the beginning. If we can bring those stories out again, unfold them, smooth them out and give them the right shape as we talk, like a map, in a way, we are showing the way, giving good direction. Maybe not today, or tomoorow, or even in this generation. Let's keep scrapbooking.