Friday, November 20, 2009

All Grown Up. Almost.

It has been a tradition since my girls were old enough to hold a crayon that they receive a coloring book and a new box of crayons from Santa every year in their Christmas stocking. Every Christmas Eve, after the girls were tucked in bed and fast asleep, Santa and his reindeer would arrive and the jolly man in red would faithfully fill their red and white stockings with among other things a big coloring book and new box of 64 crayons (Santa was no slacker). This tradition continued until a few years ago when daughter #1 went off to college and daughter #2 to high school. It seemed Santa decided they were too old for this ritual and it was time to move on. Even though it squeezed my heart a little to acknowledge that my girls were outgrowing a wonderful tradition, I agreed with Santa's decision, as each daughter had the last few years' worth of coloring books stacked in their closet with only a few pages in each filled with color.

Fast forward to yesterday.

I received a text message from daughter #1, now a junior in college, saying she wanted a coloring book in her stocking for Christmas--seems she thinks I have some kind of pull with the big man in red--anyhoo, she then communicated via Facebook (gotta love all these communication vehicles we have today) that she just bought the Disney princess coloring book, wanting to ensure there were no duplicates, no doubt. Then she told her sister (that would be daughter #2) via Facebook to tell me she wanted a coloring book. Obviously, this is very important to her and she doesn't want to leave getting one in her Christmas stocking to chance.

It seems she and her roommates color quite regularly--it's a destresser, a throwback to a time when their lives were simpler, a time when they didn't have midterms and finals, jobs and bills to pay. Ah, the trials and tribulations of entering the grown up world. Should I tell them that someday they'll look back on their college days and wish things could be that simple?

It's a fact that coloring is used in a variety of therapeutic settings, from eye-hand coordination to helping heal victims of trauma. For me, it's a sign that my daughter hasn't forgotten, and has indeed embraced the many traditions she grew up with and hopefully will someday pass down to her children (but not for quite a few years!) After all, who doesn't have a happy memory of lying on their tummy on the floor, coloring book open to their favorite page, crayon in hand with the rest of the crayons spilling out of the box?

My heart is not so tight anymore.

Mom has received the message loud and clear, now I just have to get a hold of the big man in red...

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