"Mommy, color?" is a request my ears frequently hear these days. Except that I don't have much in the way of adorable toddler scribbles to show for all of the trips to the kitchen table to sit with the crayons (the Moose was banned from markers after he colored his scalp green at daycare).
Instead, he dumps the crayons out. Sometimes he looks at each one individually. Other times he sees how many fat, triangular crayons he can hold in his little fist at once. Then he places each one back into the cup before declaring he is "all done".
My Type-A-ness is constantly frustrated by this. Why won't he just use them like they're meant to be used? I try to console myself that at least he is getting some great fine motor skill practice.
But today I realized that something more was going on. He was looking at these colors like it was his first time. And it dawned on me that my eyes had been dulled by the 64+ crayon profusion laid at my feet by Crayola since a very young age. Moose has been exposed to the main colors since birth, I suppose, but I realized that the crayons he was focusing on were the ones that were variations on a main color. A teal blue. A red-orange. The white crayon. He really was looking at them for the first time. Exploring them. Taking them in.
And it reminds me to be patient with him, because there is so much I take for granted that is still new to him. Like helium balloons. Clouds in the sky. Lights on the Christmas tree.
When I can catch my tongue and slow down, I get the deep satisfaction of exploring all over again these things I've taken for granted.
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