Crayons sure are pretty. In fact, I struggle to think of anything more vibrant and beautiful than a full box of crayons standing proudly at attention in their cardboard home, showing off every hue and value under the rainbow.
Every August, at the beginning of the school year, my mom would purchase me a brand new box of Crayolas — the box of 64 with built-in crayon sharpener. Their waxy visage was a sight to behold. Every year, I would go all year trying to not use my crayons as much as humanly possible. I always liked my crayons to look new and unused. Having a good-looking box of crayons was just one of the ways I used to impress the ladies.
Due in large part to this unhealthy compulsion I had for pristine crayons, I never really liked coloring books when I was a kid. Mom always bought them for me, but I just never liked to color them that much. I would usually end up tracing the figures on the page or I would get out a Bic pen and start adding my own touches to the black-outlined artwork. Sometimes I was known to add significant bodily appendages to the likes of Goofy or Daffy Duck. This was yet another method that I utilized to impress the ladies.
But that did not stop my mom from getting me those darn coloring books. She thought that anybody who liked to draw as much as I did, ought to like to color with crayons. Crazy lady.
All my life, she made me do stuff that I didn’t want to do. For one, she made me wear clean clothes (that she had purchased, washed, ironed and folded) everyday.
She made me eat meals. Every day. Three times a day. That she had prepared. Every day. Three times a day.
She made me try new foods. I’m now 50 years old and just last week, she tried to make me eat rhubarb pie. When I told her that I don’t like the idea of putting pink celery into a pie, she rolled her eyes.
She tried to make me bathe on a semi-regular basis. (She was much more successful with the meals.)
She forced me to live in a clean house, with electricity, heat and indoor plumbing.
She would get the baseball out and play catch with me while Dad was out working in the field. To this day, she still throws like a dumb girl.
She made me go to Sunday school where she was a teacher. She made me go to Cub Scout meetings where she was a den mother. She made me go to school where she was a room mother.
She drove me to swimming lessons, baseball, basketball and football practices and then home again after those practices were over.
At football and basketball games, she cheered for me by ringing cowbells and calling me “Gregor.” (To this day, except for sometimes my sister, she is the only one allowed to do this.)
Along with my dad, she attended just about every sporting event that I ever took part in up to and including old-man, beer-league, slow-pitch softball when I was in my early- to mid-30s. A buddy of mine always thought that we should have “Greg Wallace Fan Appreciation Night” to honor them.
After I was done with sports, she started attending my children’s school and sporting events. And I mean all of them. Try as I might, I could not shake the lady.
It’s harder for my parents to get out as much as they used to, but they still try. Do you know what my mom is into these days? Ironically, she just loves those adult coloring books that are all the rage right now. She will get her markers out and spend hour after hour sitting in her favorite chair, painstakingly coloring in every last detail on every last page, experimenting with various color options. All the while, not adding any significant bodily appendages. I guess she’s not trying to impress anybody.
She produces some really beautiful pieces of art. We should probably get some of it framed considering the awful stuff of mine that she used to hang on the refrigerator. Maybe she’ll turn into Grandma Moses and hit it big. You just never know.
So I hope that you have a happy Mother’s Day mom. After all that stuff that you “forced” me and my siblings to do, you certainly deserve it.
But don’t even think about touching my crayons.
You can contact Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.