Coloring Outside the Lines

November 25, 2013
Annie Scholl

On the floor is a pile of markers my 2-year-old grandson played with this morning. He knows his colors already. And his numbers. While he’s most definitely at the myna bird stage in his speech, he’s also asking questions and offering color commentary. He even knows a few words in sign language.

My Nana chest is puffed out at all this boy can do—as if I have something to do with it (I don’t).

But of all of the things this child can do, I’m glad there’s one thing he’s not doing: Putting the lids back on the “right” markers. In other words, the pink lid with the pink marker and so on.

I love that his mama doesn’t insist—or appear to even notice—that he put the black on the pink or the green on the orange. I hope I was that kind of mama to his mama. I think I was.

“She’s that way because you let her dress herself,” one of my sisters told me when my daughter wore a quarter-inch of black eye liner in her early teen years. I didn’t take that as criticism.

I used to be a rule follower. I used to be black and white. I used to believe in a right and a wrong. There would have been a day when I would have insisted that those marker lids were matched up “right.” But fortunately life knocked me into the gray area.

It looks like my grandson lives there. Here’s hoping life doesn’t knock him inside the lines.

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Coloring Outside the Lines
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