You can lead em to the crayons but you can’t make ’em color

When I was a little girl, I was…well…a bit neurotic. I organized EVERYTHING. My socks were color-coordinated and my bedspread wrinkle-less. I could tell you exactly where I got each music box in my collection, and I could give you the names and ages of all of my sixteen barbie dolls. I could’ve picked the crayon labeled magenta out of my crayon box with my eyes closed.

While I have certainly still retained some of those tendencies (one of our home’s mantras is “everything has its place”), I would venture to say that I’m not quite as bad as I used to be. I don’t mind a few dishes in the sink and I even have a “junk drawer!” But despite my recent personal growth, my reaction to the following event still took me by surprise…

Today I bought Rae one of those big boxes of crayons. Red violet and cerulean blue, wisteria and periwinkle…all the wonderful, exaggerated, vibrant colors. I was so excited to give it to her. I thought, in my obsessive-compulsive bliss, “This will be great! She’ll get to open the box, reorganize all the crayons in the patterns she wants, sharpen them if they get a little dull….” But as my thought were trailing, my eyes were bringing me back to reality…

I looked down and Rae had DUMPED out all the crayons and was happily scribbling all over the still crisply-cornered box. “NO!!!!” I screamed in horror, “What are you doing!!!!? You should only take one out at a time and then put it back exactly where you got it from!!!!!”

She looked at me like I had three heads.

Isn’t it funny how our children can be from our own flesh and blood, our own DNA, be raised in our own home, and yet be so different from us!!!? Honestly, I’m really glad that she’s more free-spirited and adventurous than I ever was. I’m thrilled that she marches to her own drum. She is who she is. And even though it might drive me nuts that she can’t pick out her crayons with a blindfold on, as long as she still rips out her picture and says, “Here, mom–I drawed this for you”, I’ll be happy.