A thousand apologies to any fans (or, Heaven forbid, relatives) of Stephen Foster.
Crayons are a fairly significant part of my world, largely because I am surrounded by four children under the age of 5. They figure prominently in most of our homeschooling assignments, and are the preferred art medium for drawing and coloring projects of many kinds. Even Baby Guy had his first encounter with TaDoodles today; thankfully, while there was significant evidence of crayon involvement on his high chair tray, very little chromatic wax ingestion seems to have occurred.
If we aren’t coloring with crayons (incidentally, if you have not recently sampled the pleasures of a coloring book and crayons recently, I highly recommend that you do so at the earliest opportunity), there are still crayon-related pursuits to be had. Some of those pursuits are quite literal, as when Bugaboo and I decided to see whether fat or skinny crayons would roll more rapidly across the kitchen table, or when Mr. Man upended a 64-count box of Crayolas in the hallway. There are foul-weather days when, to brighten things up, we’ll melt brightly colored crayon ends and make a big chunk of rainbow crayon, and there is the ever-popular chore of scrubbing crayon marks from places where crayon marks ought not to be. Baby wipes are wonderfully effective for this, incidentally. Add in picking up stray crayons from corners, chairs, countertops, sofa cushions, stair treads, sinks, dog dishes, the dishwasher, and, of course, floors, and the array of crayon-involved possibilities is infinite. I have, however, drawn the line at retrieving crayons from the Diaper Genie. If they’re in there, they stay there. Mr. Man has been known to avenge slights committed by his sisters by stuffing their crayons thence. I may be a mom, and hence have mastered my gag reflex, but there are some depths of disgustingness that I do not care to plumb.
At any rate, because we generally start our homeschooling day with faith formation activities, crayons tend to make their first appearance of the day before 8 a.m. (we are an early-rising bunch, and if I did not get out of bed very soon after I find myself awake at around 5:30 a.m., Bugaboo would most certainly be up before me); I like to start our day with a coloring page about Christ or one of the Saints. As soon as Bugaboo has demolished her breakfast and chugged her milk, she is tugging out the box that contains her school supplies and asking when she can start her schoolwork.
I assume most of you have heard the Christmas carol, “Some Children See Him.” I suppose most of us have our own mental image of Christ, and my oldest daughter is no exception. In her mind, Jesus has blaze orange hair. When she is given a picture to color in which Jesus appears, she immediately reaches for the brightest orange crayon in the box and (heavily) colors His hair with it. When I asked her why she would choose orange, Bugaboo replied, “It’s happy, like sunshine, and Jesus makes me happy. I like that he loves everybody.”
I would not trade this job for anything on earth.
Today’s prayer: Lord, Your blessings love You. They see You in bright, cheerful colors, and they rightly see You as the fountain of all happiness. Thank You for reminding me that faith is a bold, vibrant, and surprising gift. Please help me remember that a lively faith, even though it may be practiced in the grey and mundane, is never colorless.