I Dance the Electric Lime

My floor has melon, macaroni and cheese, dandelion, fern, and even a little mountain meadow on it. It’s not the result of an organic, grass-
fed food fight, those are just the names of a few of the crayon colors I have strewn across my tile.
I have just found out that you could not possibly add more crayons to my floor without duplicating colors. I’ve learned that my two
-year-old owns every crayon color that they make, all 120 of them.

I realized this when I decided to “research” how crayon colors get their names. Now might be an appropriate time to confess that I am a professional procrastinator, especially when there is a mound of laundry on the couch. Laund
ry on the couch usually equals a random google search at my house. Since there is often laundry, I am often “researching”. This is why I beat my husband at Jeopardy.

Why does my son have so many crayons when he’s only TWO? I confess that I have always had a strange affinity for the fragile, paper-wrapped sticks of wax. As a child I would use the color names to win the “Colors” swimming pool game. To play “Colors”, one had to think of a color and if it was called by the person who was “it”, you had to try to swim to the other side of the pool without getting caught. I realized that “Cornflower” was a color that no eight year old would conceive of “calling out” (because no other kids were reading crayon wrappers in their spare time), therefore I was safe
at the side of the pool for the duration of the game.
I was not especially popular with my peers during this phase of my childhood.
Over the years I had forgotten how much I enjoyed fresh, sharp new crayons, with their seemingly infinite shades and their exotic na
mes. Then my son started to develop his fine motor skills, and the little things found th
eir way back into my life. To answer the question I had posed earlier, my son has so many crayons because I bought them for myself under the guise of toddler art education.
What is a two year old going to do with “Sunglow” and “Wild Blue Yonder” anyhow? I once read that if you give a baby too much food on their plate, they will inevitably play with it, and scatter it to the four winds. Apparently you should only give your baby JUST what they need or else they will think that they have enough to spare for a game of SPLAT! on your freshly mopped floor. This anomaly apparently carries over to the two-year-old crayon relationship.
Give my child ONE crayon. It can be “Silver” and barely show up on the paper and he will still color his heart out. Silver mountains and cats and dogs and more dogs galore. Give my child a box filled with every color that money can buy, and what will he do? Chuck them on the floor. The game of SPLAT! all over again.
This behavior also seems to extend to the adult portion of the human race. How often am I surrounded by hordes and hordes of good things, every color imaginable, and yet I throw them on the ground in pursuit of the next toy or snack? Since I don’t appreciate the things that I have, I spend incalculable amounts of time dreaming and grasping for that which I have not. I’m too busy for reality.
This is no way to live! When I focus on the unattainable pipe dreams, I am missing my very existence and purpose in life. My purpose is to lead a God-glorifying, joyful, quiet life. Right now that is being manifested by picking idly through a discarded box of crayons and reading the colors. A forgotten childhood dream, come true and waiting to be enjoyed. Laser lemon, here I come!
“Make the most of the present moment. No occasion is unworthy of our best efforts. God often uses the humble occasions and little things to shape the course of a man’s life.” -James Garfield

3 thoughts on “I Dance the Electric Lime

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