Sunday, May 20, 2012


Just the smell of a crayon brings me back to my childhood growing up in the country. There's nothing like that specific aroma of colored wax-rolled and shaped and wrapped in a paper-covering a lighter shade than the crayon itself. Crayons were like best friends. They were always near. My cousin and I used them when playing school in our chicken coop clubhouse. Our pretend students drew some great pictures with their crayons even when the crayons were just broken pieces. That didn't stop some of their artwork from being chosen to hang by thumb tacks on our bulletin board-the bottom of a cardboard box. At home I always had crayons in my desk ready when needed. Besides drawing, coloring in coloring books was so much fun. We had a JJ Newberrys and a Woolworths next to each other in our downtown back then. Sometimes in the summertime my cousin and I would pack up our purses and walk the country road to go shopping. Newberrys had great over-sized coloring books. I think I bought a few of those but my favorites were the regular-size coloring books with lots of pictures with small spaces. I loved coloring those kinds of pictures because I got to use lots of crayons. I'd spend time planning my color scheme. I was a bit obsessed with staying in the lines. Coloring books weren't all glittery and full of licensed characters. They were simple with simple drawings-lots of drawings. Crayons were the reason I could have found myself in trouble in kindergarten. I didn't mean to take a boy's pencil box home but I had to. It had drawers and compartments to die for and he had it full of crayons. His crayons were never broken like mine. My mother always told me I was hard on my crayons. He also had a little ruler and lots of little pencils and lots of erasers. I loved pencil cases. I'd never seen anything like his fancy pencil box and I wanted one for my birthday so I took it home to show my mother.I never asked the teacher or the boy. I just took it when no one was looking with the intention of bringing it back the next day-which I did before that boy walked in and without the teacher noticing what I was carrying into the room. When my birthday came and I received my own fancy pencil box with drawers and compartments full of crayons and not one of them broken I felt my escapade had been worth the risk! I'm certain I would have felt differently had I gotten caught. Then my mother would have found out and there wouldn't have been that amazing pencil box waiting for me on my birthday. Of all the Santa surprises wrapped in white tissue paper-secured by a sticky sticker and stuffed inside my Christmas stocking every year, it was the box of crayons I always looked for. I could tell by the shape which one it was because that was the only time I'd get the tall box with so many perfect crayons. But then, whenever I got to color or draw with my crayons, those amazing wax marvels with their amazing smell made it feel like Christmas all-year long! (And by the way-I recently confessed my sin to that "little boy." He didn't remember his fancy pencil box-but I sure do)!

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