Favorite Back to School Childhood Memories

September 3, 2013

It's really funny the memories we carry from childhood. You would think they would be about the "big" events, the special presents and so on. And sometimes they are...

But when I sat down today to write about a back to school memory through my childhood eyes, the craziest little things kept popping up.

First and foremost were crayons!

Crayons... new sharp crayons... 8,16 or, the unbelievable box of 32. They had to be Crayola... the green and yellow box, with that lid that flipped back to reveal rows of beautiful colour... all showing because of the wonderful way the base was built up- like a spice rack. I can smell them, I can feel them and the best day was the first day you had them. The day when, for the first time, you took them all out of the box, very gingerly, and lined them up in the perfect order.

Now there was no perfect order, but that was the delight, for each day my 'order criteria' would change: favourites, least favourites, ones that looked pretty together, ones that were alike. Then of course there was the rainbow sequence... hours of simple, happy play with those new perfect crayons.

And I loved how the paper wrapper coordinated with the colour of the crayon, some almost matching exactly, and others 'a way off'. I liked the ones that matched best...

And maybe, best of all, was picking my favourite crayon of the day... the choice did change, but leading the pack were always blue, violet, lavender and red. It's amazing how much fun vibrant colours can provide a child.

The moments of pure joy with my new crayons always faded though, and I remember the acute disappointment the first day I had to use them. I would try to keep them pointed by using first one side and then the other, but eventually that failed, and my beautiful pointed colours became round hills and then flattened plateaus. Once you had to peel back the paper- my interest in them disappeared altogether.

I understand that there are now boxes of 120 colours... can hardly get my head around that. Better than what was available in my younger years?... I think not!

Nothing could beat my pristine, new box of 8,16 or 32 colours that thrilled me every fall and heralded the start of the new school year.