I was in Staples (one of my favorite stores because I’m an office supply nerd) and saw a box of Crayola 64 crayons. And it reminded me of the time I had a box.
I was 7 years old. It was Christmas, and, as I usually did, I would put my mitts on the things I wanted. It was my subtle hint to my mom that I wanted something. So, I saw this box of Crayola crayons with the built-in crayon sharpener and had to get my hands on it. I did and glanced over at my mom with my puppy dog eyes and pouty lips.
My mom said okay, but that it would be my Christmas gift. “Okay!” I exclaimed. I even got to wrap it. Oh what fun that was. As it got closer to Christmas, I’d try to loosen the tape just a little bit without tearing the wrapping paper. I was never (and still am not) the patient type.
The reason the crayons were so special to me was that it was MY first box of crayons. The crayons I had before were hand-me-downs from I don’t know where; also, I was a little monster who had snapped them in half because I liked the snapping sound they made.
So, this box of crayons was redemption — my chance to make things right. But that didn’t happen.
I had gotten in trouble for something, but can’t recall now what it was for (I got in trouble a lot, so this was nothing new). The consequence was that I could not use the crayons. My mom took the box and placed them on top of our old refrigerator, which was used as a pantry.
At every meal, I’d stared up at it and imagine myself drawing and coloring in my Rainbow Brite coloring book. I wanted to make those dreams a reality. So I did.
I got my hands on those crayons and brought them to school with me. At coloring time, I whipped that box out. I was so proud. I shared with my classmates, but drilled into their heads to color lightly. I could not have them flattened out or rounded because I had to put them back in place, where they should never have been removed from in the first place.
My classmates listened, and all seemed well. One of my classmates, Christine, happened to be coloring with my crayons, and for whatever reason, I told her she could have them.Maybe it was because she was nice to me or looked like a bunny that made me like her enough to give her my crayons that I wanted so badly.
Sure enough I got punished for this *random* act of kindness. From that point forward for a while, any time something of mine was misplaced or missing, my mom or siblings would ask, “What did you do? Give it away?”
I never did get another box of new crayons after that. Sometimes when I go to Staples now, I want to buy some, just to fulfill that childhood dream.
Lesson learned: If you really want something and you get it, hold on to it; don’t be mesmerized by people who resemble Bugs Bunny.