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.
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 . . .