Crayola… where did you “indi”-go?

This morning, my grandsons William and Alexander asked me to color with them.

Easy? Probably. If you’re not old. vieja. vieille.  Like me.

The boys each had a coloring book with a fall theme. Pumpkins. Leaves. Rakes and the like. I picked up one bright crayon and said, “I think I’ll color some of the leaves red.”

William inspected the crayon in my hand. He then announced, “Grandma, that isn’t exactly red.”

“Hmmmmm,” I thought to myself… “I think I know what red is.” I twirled the crayon in my hand. Confidently, I may add. Then I saw the words: violet red. rojo violeta. rouge-violet. OK. Maybe the crayon wasn’t exactly red after all.

And the orange for the pumpkins wasn’t exactly orange. It was: yellow orange. amarillo naranja. jaune-orange. The yellow for some more leaves was: dandelion. diente de leon. pissenlit.

The green for the vines wasn’t just greeen. No. It was: green. verde. vert.

And the blue for the rake? First, I was told by Alexander that rakes are never blue. And anyway… where did blue indi-go?

OK. I have to go there. When I was a kid… crayons came in a box of 8: red, blue, yellow, orange, green, black, violet, white.  Or something like that.  When I was a kid… getting a new box of Crayola Crayons was birthday and Santa-worthy. When I was a kid… those 8 crayons were magical little drawing machines that fueled our imaginations and heightened our creativity. I still remember using the crayons and then placing them ever-so-gently back into that box for the next visit.  And that box of 8 lasted for a very long time.

I will admit that the multiple colors and translations are pretty cool. And it is amazing that a 3 and 4-year old recognize nuances of color. I love that.

But it is just another sign that life is no longer simple. 8 has been replaced. And you know what I have to say about that?  Color my world.  Color it, well… bonita!

Crayola… where did you “indi”-go? was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (8)
  1. Yes life isn’t easy those those little one anymore Kids need to learn so much more then we do when we were their age

    Why do we wnat them to grow up so fast! can a kid just be a kid!

  2. My students are still forced to use the old school 8 packs of crayons because, well, I’m cheap.;)

    It is definitely interesting how crayons and colors and life have all become more complex, in ways that are both good and bad!

  3. My IB English teacher senior year of high school was a big believer in using visual aids. I went to a Catholic high school which meant that whenever she bought something for us, the gifts came from her own money. The first day of classes (Fall of 2000) she came in with boxes of crayons for all 30 us – not the boxes of 8, but the boxes of 24. She also bought dinosaur stickers for us to write our names on so she could store our boxes, protect them from breakage, and make sure they were always right there when we needed them. Seeing as she was also our guidance counselor, in retrospect I realize that she utilized the crayons more and more during periods of high stress for us.

    At the end of the year, she gave us our crayons. Mine went with me to college. I didn’t always have a use for them, but whenever I opened up my top desk drawer, they reminded me of home and made me smile. I used them to map out all of my executive decisions involving important projects. I used them to make cards for friends to cheer them up and for my beloved guidance counselor when her mother passed away. In my preparations for medical school, the crayons helped me color code countless anatomy books.

    They’re little nubs now – barely enough to color with – but they’re in my desk. Every time I think I can’t handle the stress I’m under, I open my desk drawer and I’m reminded of the woman who many years ago when I was a scared and timid freshman told me I was stronger than I thought and I could do anything I set my mind to.

  4. It’s amazing how much things change with time. Crayons…baby products…cell phones. I can’t believe the things they have for babies now. Makes what I used for my kids look like antiques.

  5. I always thought the extended packs of Crayolas were kind of fun and poetic with their fancy names, personally. A little convoluted, but cool, you know? My favorite was always Ultramarine Blue.

  6. I grew up with boxes of 64, but that was still before the time of name your own crayon contests and some of the especially creative names. But no matter the size, there’s so much joy just waiting inside a box of crayons, and that, at least, will never change!

  7. I love the smell of a new crayons. It’s sometimes hard for my students to find the “plain red” or “plain green” with all those colors to choose from. I love to color though. In fact a girlfriend and I were talking the other day about how we need to have a coloring party. We haven’t done that in a long time. She and her sisters would come over (all adults) and color and chat and drink tea and coffee. It was so fun and relaxing.

Crayola… where did you “indi”-go? was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto