Coloring Book

The girl received a 152 count of crayons and a giant drawing pad for her birthday.

Days later, her mother found her at the pad. Her mother squinted but could make no sense of what she saw. There was nothing but random colored lines and masses of colors, pure and blended.

“What is this?” her mother asked.

“You don’t see it?” her daughter asked.

“There’s nothing to see.”

The little girl disgreed.

“There’s everything to see,” she said.

Upset at being contradicted, her mother said, “No more wasting your time and paper and crayons on this. If you’re interested in art, we’ll start at the beginning.”

The mother with the girl drove to the discount store. Her mother purchased the girl the most basic 8 count crayon pack and a coloring book of princesses.

At home, the mother instructed the little girl to color the first page of the first princess. The little girl drew haphazard lines and masses of color all over the page. Her mother feared that her daughter may be developmentally challenged.

“Concentrate. And stay within the lines,” her mother insisted.

She flipped the page. The girl began filling color inside the lines. This time she gave the princess green skin and she made the ground she skipped on yellow. She gave the Indian princess blue hair instead of brown.

Her mother disapproved and again feared about her daugher.

She flipped to another page.

“One more time,” she said. “And make it real. No more fooling around. No more wasting pages and crayons and time.”

“But there’s more,” her daughter insisted.

“No,” her mother feared. “There is no more. Just color, please.”

This time the girl stayed carefully within the lines. She gave this other princess peachy skin and blonde hair. She made her dress purple and the grass green and the sky blue.

“This is lovely,” her mother said. She ripped out the page and tacked it on the refrigerator.

But her daughter never picked up her crayons again.

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