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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I love the pictures! and the message your sending is so beautiful. Thanks for the post and i’m looking forward to read more from you.
Alicia D says
wow, this is so beautiful. this is actually the first post i’ve ever read on your blog as i just found it today through sunday’s link. this is amazing and i can relate…. have a 16 year old with severe/low-functioning Autism, and severe cognitive impairments secondary to brain damage from an uncontrolled seizure disorder which started in infancy. i did it as a single mom (like you!) for a few years before i too found my prince charming :). anyway, you’re blog is beautiful. i guess hardship and pain in some weird way brings out the beauty in people 🙂
Love this beautiful moment you shared wtih your family and reminds me of the days spent coloring with my parents many moons ago, too. Gorgeous writing as always. Love your sweet, radiant smiles 🙂
I was going to sit here and tell you the line I liked best in this but they are ALL so good I cannot choose. YOU?! Are an amazing writer. And you “painted” this moment perfectly with your words.
Barbara @ Footprints in France says
I am trying so hard to be present in the moment. I love this post.
Hi there! Your words are beautifully written on this post. I love reading it. How I wish I have that talent too. And your photos are awesome too! Funny!
Kirsetin Morello says
“Perfectly.” Love this Just Write post–beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing!
Heather of the EO says
Oh lady. This. This is IT.
erin margolin says
I need to do more of this. Put everything else away/on hold and sit down to color with my kids. I have a hard time keeping still. I hate dishes and laundry piling up, etc…but this time is so precious.
Gorgeous post, Jessica.
Yes! I never liked coloring inside the lines anyways!
Beautiful image! To me one of the greatest joys of motherhood is the allowance to revert to my childhood…at least temporarily. =)
Teresa (Embracing the Spectrum) says
Now I want to color. And no, salmon most certainly wouldn’t do. 🙂
Tara Pohlkotte says
yes! my daughter just started really getting into coloring…love those moments with her, love your descriptions of your time as well. lovely!
Lady Jennie says
Love the image, love the pictures.
The link to the post about Bailey didn’t come up, thought I’d try again…just in case any others might read and help pray.
I’m so grateful you found me- today of all days. Thank you so much for sharing your story and giving us hope about Bailey! It means so much. Happy to find your blog too!
Shelly Miller says
Oh, how I remember those days of pushing away all that calls out to me in the kitchen and laundry room to sit in the glory of the Crayola’s. Sometimes I miss those days. You painted a lovely picture.
Shannon from 'mynewfavoriteday' says
This is a gorgeous post Jessica and I can feel the moment as you try to center, putting your phone away and forcing yourself into the moment. To be with the broken crayons and haggard Strawberry Shortcake. Those moments are the ones we don’t get back, but love seeing your writing and how you capture it. Glad your crayons are broken and marker and juice stained faces fill your life with joy!
Love this so much. Perfect reminder to me right now too.
The Mommy Psychologist says
I really love your honest voice. You have quite an amazing story to share with the world. I’ll be back.
Thank you so much, I appreciate you visiting.
Galit Breen says
What a beautiful, present moment. Love this, Jessica. Truly.
Beautiful, as always! 🙂
Kristin @ What She Said says
The unrest I feel whenever I try to focus on just enjoying and playing with my child is insane! Why do I feel that way? Why can’t I just let go and do something completely inane like coloring for once? You’re right – as a child, as afternoon spent coloring at the kitchen table was FUN! And I dare say that my mom was thinking about all the things she had to do as she sat and colored with me. Or was she?
And then there’s all the technology – I swear, it’s making us collectively ADHD as a society.
Sometimes I just want to go back to a simpler time.
There isn’t anything much better at grounding me than breaking out the Crayolas with my girls. There is something so peaceful and relaxing in coloring that it can only keep you in the present. I try to color with my girls at least twice a week. It also helps that they call me the “best colorer ever!”. 😉
Nicole @MTDLBlog says
I love this post about staying in the present with our kids. Which is perfect timing as a toddler pulls at my pant legs…right this minute and demands that I get off of my computer 😉 Well written Jessica!
Beautifully written! I love those small moments, especially because we’re so busy and those moments can be fleeting.
I may or may not have a secret love affair with Crayola.
That sounds like a perfect afternoon!
Andrew & I colored together recently but now he isn’t allowed to use them… he so thoughtfully colored on the tv screen that I can’t use anything other than damp paper towel on. He was very proud of his drawing though and showed me right away!
I love this. I feel like we never have enough time in the day and it always seems so hard
to take the time to enjoy moments like this. I really need to step back more often and drink them all in.
LOVE this 🙂
I have to hide my phone from myself too, sometimes. It always feels as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
My little one is a 3yo boy, and not terribly interested in coloring right now, but I can’t wait until he is.
You are such a beautiful writer, as always, and your words are just so perfectly relevant.
Keep it up!
dumb mom says
Nicely written. Although I color like a one year old so it’s never quite been a great way for me to express myself. It’s helped my middle Dude through a bunch of hard days though so I know how comforting and perfect it can be!
So beautifully written.
I struggle to stay present in the small things.
I loved coloring. And I really can’t wait until my guys can do it- at least until they stop eating the crayons.
I love staying in those moments. They’re not something that a photo can capture- so it’s like you just have to try and hold it in your mind forever. I find I do this even on the most mundane of times in the livingroom because I know we won’t be here like this forever.
What a gorgeous way to describe those moments where we let go of everything but those little hands, faces and moments. I loved the pictures but the words made them come alive.
This is simply beautiful.
Every word married perfectly to the image you created.
Ahhh…those moments sweep you off your feet don’t they?
I love those simple moments where you let yourself be totally present. I’m working on more of that myself!
Robin @ Farewell, Stranger says
Love it! I need to find a way to be better at that.
Beautiful post. I can totally relate to the trying to stay in the present feeling. It is so hard at times. The laundry always seems to be calling my name (loudly).
Not a Perfect Mom says
you’re lucky…even when I color with the kids Hope directs my work…sigh…
Brittany Stewart says
Your posts are always so beautifully written, this one is no exception.
I love to colour, even without the kids. It’s a nice way to get back to simple things.
This is just beautiful. It sounds like you did a perfect job staying present and enjoying a little moment in their lives; it’s sometimes difficult for me to do that, though I try each day 🙂
Can’t believe I am the first comment!
Beautifully written as always! I love to color, even if I am an adult. 🙂
Hope you had a fabulous weekend with your adorable family!