Coloring

Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.

~ Norman Podhoretz

I don’t remember coloring much when I was a kid.

My dad used to have a CB Radio in his truck. He went by the handle “Happy Hunter.” Once, he stopped at a truck stop or some such place filled with trucker swill and bought me an enormous coloring book detailing the antics of CB Bunny. I’m sure I colored one or two pages in it, I just can’t remember doing so.

Being a bit of a mess-maker, I do recall tearing all the paper off the crayons and sitting them out on the porch on some boring summer day so they’d melt. I then wadded them all together into a ball of oranges and blues and greens and yellows and put the whole ball of wax in the fridge to cool.

Being a father of four, I also recall many boxes of crayons purchased for the kids. They were, and to some extent still are, the go-to staple on any road trip. They help pass the time, and then fall in the seats to melt on the upholstery and ooze into the cracks when the temperatures soar. My kids get out with neon-green butts.

The other day, my wife called me into her office to show me a news article about Crayola’s plans to go green. We talked a bit about how we’d love to visit their plant in Pennsylvania some day. About how we were this close during our trip to Boston a few years back, but we chose to do Hershey instead. And then, for reasons known only to my minivan, for I swear it drove itself, I found myself stopping at Wal Mart for no other purpose than to buy a box of crayons. The big 120-count box with colors like “bittersweet” and “almond” and “unmellow yellow.” And a $1 coloring book.

Sitting at Bob Evans having breakfast with my folks, I tore the box open and poured out all the crayons. Listened to that distinct sound crayons make as your run your hand through the box searching for the perfect shade of purple.

Can you hear it? Give it a shot. I’ll wait . . .

The other kids in the Bob Evans had maybe two or three colors tops. And there I sat, forty-one years old, with one hundred and twenty.

I smirked.

And later, me and the wee one, we colored . . .

I even stuck my tongue out a time or two, such was my concentration. She did this one . . .

And here’s mine . . .

“Gee, Daddy! You’re good!”

Nah, kid. You’re way better than I am . . .

When was the last time you colored a picture . . .

[photo credit]

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31 thoughts on “Coloring

  1. Oh my gosh, Brian, that last one has me in tears. I think I’ve seen the picture before, maybe on your wife’s blog, but something about it rendered in wax crayon is just so unbelievably beautiful.

    • It is from an older post. Just click on the picture to go to the original post. Or, here’s the link: http://wp.me/pcfLJ-fd

      Crayola has a site where you can upload photos and turn them into coloring pages. You need a code, found on specially-marked boxes. Like mine. Go and get one . . .

  2. I used to like drawing firework pictures with wax crayon, then painting the paper black. None of the paint covered the firework pictures, leaving my 7 year old self astounded. I might buy some crayons this weekend.

  3. Hey, ditto William’s comment! Coloring was my downfall in elementary school, I still can’t color in the lines, I’m glad my kids enjoy it more than I did.

  4. Great post.

    I color all the time because my oldest is 3 1/2 and loves to color. It helps that my wife is an artist.

    I very much enjoy coloring and drawing, even though I’m not the best at it. šŸ™‚

  5. I love coloring! I always have and always will. I keep a box of crayons and some coloring books in my house for any time my friends bring their little ones over… and I usually join them šŸ˜€

    Also, I loved the post that the last picture links to. Awww….

  6. I suck at colouring. I always did (I have documentation – report cards – dating back to 1979 that assert this) and still do (can’t stay in the lines to save my life).

    But I like goofing on a blank page with crayons.

  7. Aww. That’s so sweet.

    If I tell you a little secret, promise not to laugh? I buy coloring books “for the boys”, but really, I pick out the ones that I know that I’ll want to color, too. šŸ˜‰ Right now, we are working our way through a giant (as in, 2-feet by 4-feet) Star Wars: Clone Wars book. Yesterday, we colored pink droids.

    Good times.

  8. I color every six months with my kids during GENERAL CONFERENCE, which is a world wide meeting for my church. It passes the time and keeps them quiet.

    I color better now and I still need that, “WOW Mom you color SOOOOO good! šŸ™‚ hehehehe

  9. Crayons are the bane of my existence. In every single room of my house we’ve got a crayon, a wrapper from a crayon or evidence that a crayon has been used in the room. I can’t tell you how many times in a typical day I scream—PAPER!!! ONLY COLOR ON PAPER!!!

  10. I loved to color with my boys when they were younger — at eight, the smallest one still will but not as often. I remember my own mother taking the pink crayon and rubbing it really hard onto her thumb. She would then stain the cheeks and lips of the girls or princesses that we were coloring. I thought that was just magical when my mother did it and when I began doing it, my sons did, too.

    It’s good to do something so mindless, right?

  11. I love colouring. I’ve toted a metal Crayola box full of crayons with me since high school which my kids, of course, inherited. There’s something very freeing, very peaceful about colouring. It’s something I love to do with my kiddos.

  12. I can’t color around Ben, because he gets all insecure and then I feel bad. He’s actually better than I am but he won’t believe it. And Alex just wants to stack up the crayons or smash them. Probably because he’s my boy.

  13. I found you blog through NV’s Thisdmnhouse. She does some wonderful things over there. Good luck with your endeavors. I, too, am working toward a similar goal. You have inspired me to make a detour on our planned summer trip to visit the crayon factory. Happy Thanksgiving.

  14. Both you and the Wee One color beautifully. The last photo had me in tears for a awhile. It is a sweet moment.

    I haven’t made the time to color in a very, very long time. Maybe I should.

  15. I love coloring, even when the kids don’t! I can wax poetic over the feel, smell, and lush saturation of a Prang crayon (the kindergarten classic black box – remember those?) even now – I swear by them over Crayola!

    I’m not having the best of days – an off comment from an old “friend” has had me in tears. Thank you for showing me there are those who cherish the sweet things in life.

    I love you my brother!

  16. Today, I dried a load of clothes, comprising my daughter’s entire wardrobe.

    And one blue Crayola.

    I’m having a hard time thinking charitable thoughts about crayons, anymore.

  17. Like Shelle-Blokthoughts, there is a lot of coloring that goes on here during General Conference. Our teenagers still like to do it! I was camp director for the young women in my ward (congregation) for two years and I discovered that bringing coloring books and crayons to our mountain camp was a great way for the girls to spend some down time. We strung their pictures up all over camp. šŸ™‚

    And don’t Crayolas smell divine???

  18. Hmm. Good idea. I like how you controlled the texture of your colouring and blended different colours within the lines.

  19. You’re a very good colorer! But I agree with you that your daughter is way better than you are. šŸ™‚ Very cool Crayola rendering of you and your daughter. It moves me.

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