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Growing Up with Crayola


crayola-crayonsEarlier today, I happen to be thinking about Crayola and it really got me thinking about their impact on my life and all the memories, both from my childhood and the kids, that I have around them.  So I thought I’d share some of those thoughts.

One of my earliest memories of school was sitting at my desk and sharing one of those big boxes of Crayola crayons with other kids who’s desks were connected to mine. Despite their being 64 or so Crayons (probably more like 60, because I think we all know a few were always missing and always the exact color you needed) I sat their waiting for a classmate to finish using the Peach colored crayon so that I could finish coloring my picture. I don’t know if I was coloring a family member, a teacher, a friend or myself, but I desperately needed that crayon at that moment. For some reason, that moment is burned in my memory. Of course, it wouldn’t be the last time I’d have to wait for a crayon.

And on the subject of missing crayons, was their anything better than a brand new box of Crayola crayons as a kid? I mean, seriously, all the colors in order and each with a perfect point? I still find myself filled with joy when I open a new box of crayons for Ben and Matt!

When I think back to my childhood and things I played with, I believe Crayola crayons are second only to Legos. However, I remember feeling like a “big kid” when I finally got to use Crayola markers and I think they taught me my first lesson about quality. Whether it was in grammar school or high school, I can remember thinking that when given anything but Crayola markers, I remember being disappointed. There are a lot of poor quality markers and just knew that if they weren’t Crayola, they were likely to be dried up or have a color quality that, for lack of a better word, sucked.

Now that I have children myself, Crayola is central to their interests and learning. My two young sons have had so many interests in their short lives, from dinosaurs to destructive birds to epic space adventures. However, no matter what the subject has been, Crayola has always been the medium that they have used to express enthusiasm. From crayons to markers to Model Magic, Crayola is central to their play and learning. I honestly stand by this. There are a million drawings in our house done with Crayola. There are weird little sculptures made from Crayola Model Magic (and a couple of cute little hand impressions) scattered around our house.

There are just so many times I have heard, “Oh, yeah, come on Matthew, lets get the crayons.” (Ben’s preferred medium is crayon while Matt insists on markers.) And the drawings are of Star Wars characters, Angry Birds, dinosaurs, the New York Giants logo (yeah), each other and so many more things. Their little lives and their little thoughts can be documented in Crayola crayon and marker drawings.

Sure, you can make a case that this could be true of any brand crayon and I’d say that is false. There have been times that the kids have gone to use another brand of crayon and have immediately been disappointed as they are either too waxy to fail to produce the color they expect. It is amazing at how early of an age they have been able to identify quality.

Anyway, I just felt inspired by Crayola today (as I have been so many other times)…I hope you don’t mind me waxing poetic about them (yes, pun intended but I will resist changing the title to “Waxing Poetic About Crayola”).

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