I wait patiently for the dark pink crayon. “Salmon” won’t do.
Strawberry Shortcake’s hair is one dye job away from magenta.
They ask how to spell “momma” and deftly smuggle markers and see if they can break just one more crayon into two.
I press further into my chair. Having successfully hidden my phone from myself, I force dish soaking and closet upheaval to wait their turn as well.
The unrest in my mind dissolves as I focus on nothing but my character.
Familiar colors etched from my childhood, when a table decorated with crayons and a sandwich with the perfect ratio of peanut butter to jelly painted a perfect day.
The worries in my chest are exchanged for another shade of pink.
Feeling myself center, I smile at my work,
the auburn hair mingling with the few letters she has mastered independently,
the juice-stained mouth standing on chairs edge to reach a forbidden marker
the crayon breaker, handing out samples of every color to his siblings,
the teenager disguising her love affair with Crayola, and us.
We color outside our lines.
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