Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Not So Buried Treasure

Wyatt held the map gingerly, silently studying it as he tried to decipher mommy's drawing of a house and a dotted line that led to some scribble that was intended to be a burning campfire. I tried to give hints, but either the picture was that bad or his ability to connect real objects to symbols on a page isn't great yet. Probably my drawing.

Once it finally clicked that we were reenacting a book he loves to read about a tropical treasure hunt, we raced outside to the unburned pile of limbs. Nestled between the branches was the first clue hidden in an empty icing container--a picture of the tire swing.

He figured out this one easily as well as the picture of the gnome and the potty...only what kind of treasure could possibly include a potty? And that's when the fun stopped--it didn't matter what treasure was at the other end of the clues, he wasn't going back inside, and he didn't need to pee pee.

Lots of cajoling and a few stomps later, we returned indoors and finally found our prize...not in the potty but on the high chair.

A 64 count box of Crayons.

For a moment he stared at the sheer number of tiny crayons nestled inside, each perfectly sharpened. There were no words to accompany his thoughts, but I knew what he felt.

I, too, had once longed to receive my own 64 count box with the sharpener on the back. And when I finally became a proud owner of such a box, my world of color exploded. There was no longer just brown. There was raw sienna, mahogany, and sepia. Blue suddenly had ten shades like cornflower, cerulean and indigo. To this day, I describe shades by their Crayola equivalent.

Until college, I treasured that one box of crayons, keeping it tucked away in the back of my closet under clothes so my brother wouldn't dull the points or use up the precious sparkly silver and gold.

Although today a box costs less than $2, it's still treasure to me. And I could tell Wyatt felt the same. We spent the remainder of the afternoon arguing about color names ("That not mauvelous! That pink!), but I could see his little world starting to expand.

Perhaps one day, inhaling Crayola's colored-plastic smell will bring back memories for him, too. But for now, I sit and think of yesterday's little girl spending afternoons in her room, sitting on plum-colored carpet as she carefully removed one crayon at a time to color a masterpiece.


  1. Oh how nostalgic this post made me feel. I too have fond memories of my own big box of 64 crayolas. We didn't have them locally, and I know now my mom must have saved up a bit to get me and my sister that imported box of crayons. We didn't even want to use it, yes I remember the cornflower blue, and the burnt sienna, was there a sea green there? We would use the crayons oh so lightly, and hoping they would all stay the same height when we put them back in the box.

    When my children were little, we could easily buy them one box of crayolas each, and they were a source of joy for all of them, including me.

    Thank you for this post, and thank you for visiting my blog place and showing interest in my life stories.


  2. Crayolas . . . still my favorite. Another one of those things I guess I'm still old fashioned about. Great post, good memories.

  3. When you get a sec swing by my blog for a blog award I have for you.