I was at Target yesterday trying desperately to find chalk for my new chalkboard. Per what is becoming an annual tradition, I reorganized my apartment and in the process set up a new office area:
But I digress. So, I was in Target and I overheard a kid talking about how much she wanted a new box of crayons. Her father, probably thinking about the thousand of crayons they already have lying around their house, exclaimed, “No, My Gosh! No!”. I stifled a chuckle because I remember not a week ago having a conversation with my mom about what to buy my niece for her birthday. It went a little something like this:
Me: What about a Tinker Bell toy? Does she know who Tinker Bell is?
Mom: Yes, she knows who Tinker Bell is, what does the toy do?
Me: You like dress it up.
Mom: That sounds like the Smurfette toy we bought her.
Me: What about a Sofia the First coloring book and crayons?
Mom: She DOES NOT need anymore crayons. Every holiday she gets crayons and they have to throw a bunch away.
While I settled on getting her a Smurf coloring book (her birthday was smurf themed, or snurf as she likes to call them) I did not get her any crayons, but sure enough she did get several packages of crayons.
It does seem like kids end up with an abundance of crayons, but sadly as adults we only start to see them as a nuisance. I partially blame this on the fact that white walls and doors look like optimal drawing space, but I also blame it on the fact that as we get older we start to forget the small joys in life. Small joys like opening a fresh pack of crayons and gliding the perfectly pointed wax across a colorless page.
I have always found coloring therapeutic, and when I used to work in customer service I would occasionally color while talking to customers on the phone so that I would not get upset while they yelled at me for a reason I found utterly ridiculous. However, since leaving that position I realize that I haven’t colored anything in quite some time. I don’t know why, I own several coloring books, and multiple packages of crayons (like the kid a target, I frequently yearn for new coloring utensils…well, actually, office supplies in general).
I suppose now that I am thinking about it, I don’t color anymore because every time I get the urge to pull out my crayons I realize that there are a hundred other things that I should be doing. Doing something like coloring would just be wasting time. But, I wouldn’t be wasting time. I would be bringing a small amount of joy into my day, and let’s face it even the smallest amount of joy is worth “wasting” a little time.
Almost every time I go to my home town to visit my family, my nieces draw or color me a picture. I love them. Their artwork always brightens my day. I don’t know a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle that would disagree with that notion. So knowing what it means to us to receive these precious works, imagine how happy it would make them if we, the adults, drew or colored them a picture. It would probably bring them joy if for no other reason than that they would knew we took time out of our busy schedules to color something for them.
I guess I am posing a challenge of sorts. Maybe tonight or tomorrow instead of going home and stressing about the crazy day we had or the even crazier day we will have tomorrow, we all find some crayons and remember what it feels like to be a kid again. Remember how it feels when you see your pre-drawn picture completed with the colors you added. And, once you finish your creation, maybe give it to a kid in your life or even a fellow adult.
It is possible that everyone will think we’ve lost our minds, but I say if even for just a minute we are able to experience the magic and joy gained from partaking in a beloved childhood activity then it is worth the potential forced trip to a psychiatrist.
Look! I even found this flower coloring page on Google!