I’m bored Mom!

When I was a kid and would complain to my mom that I was bored, she would threaten to put me to work cleaning the dishes or weeding the garden. She would inevitably tell me to go play outside. If it was raining, her fallback was always the same answer: go play with my brothers and, if they wanted nothing to do with me, go color.

We would always have a stack of coloring books and an old plastic tub filled with Crayola Crayons. My brothers were older, though, so most of our coloring books had pages ripped out or were already colored and the crayons in the tub were often broken or a smushed up mess.

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Feeling like Christmas morning

It was a big deal then when my mother would surprise me with a new pack of crayons or a new coloring book. My favorite was Spider-Man, but beggars can’t be choosers, I would take whatever she offered. When it happened, it felt like the clouds parted and a bright light shone down from Heaven.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.

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The feeling continues

So, it makes sense that as an adult, I have fond memories of coloring and crayons and associate them with creativity, innovation, and having the safety and freedom to come up with new and exciting ideas and pieces. Creativity and innovation are hot topics in the business world and the arts today. Everyone wants the hot new idea, the home product that lasts longer, the new tech app that will attract more people, the new “it” thing. For me, creativity can only happen in a safe, trusting place. With that environment, you can solve any problem.

I write in, Thinking like a kid, on The Heart of The Matter blog about how crayons remind me of the pressure-free life as a kid, but still play a big role in helping me through creative dry stretches by putting words to the thoughts and images in my mind. Like when I was a kid, the crayons help keep me express myself and help keep me out of the doghouse!

Let me know what you think about both my blogs today: I’m bored Mom! and Thinking like a child. Who has fond memories of crayons and coloring? What kind of creative environment works best for you? A competitive one or one where you have the trust to create, fail, and create again?

Related Story:

Thinking like a kid

on The Heart of The Matter.

27 thoughts on “I’m bored Mom!

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    1. Very much ingrained in me. I guess I learned it at an early age. Gotta have trust. If I feel I can create and change and create some more, all is great. Im very transparent then. If I don’t trust someone, if I don’t feel safe, they get a very “generic” version of me and my talents. Yes, funny if you ask me. Ha, ha.

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  1. Oh, how I, loved crayons and the world they represented. ‘Periwinkle blue’ and ‘lemon yellow’ – most of the color names are unrecognizable to me now. I loved the 64 pack – and a sharpener! What a boon. Black ran out fast because I used it to add ponytails to the girls or draw other items in the background. Great memories, Brian. 🥰

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  2. I love the smell of crayons because it reminds me of my childhood. I remember when I was younger I would scotch tape printer paper together and color huge diagrams. I can’t remember if I ever finished one but its the thought that counts!

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  3. Oh, how I loved crayons and coloring books! The Care Bears were my Spiderman. 😂I also had the big tub of crayons…Crayola only! My mom got a scowl if there were any shitty Roseart wax sticks. I would often hide my favorite colors because my brother with not as delicate with things as I was. Like you, I prefer a low-stress environment to create. Gosh, this brought back great memories. Thanks, Brian!

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    1. I’m glad it brought back great memories. You were smart to hide your favorite colors. I wonder if my brothers did that to me!!!! I was the younger bro who I’m sure was not as careful as they were. Ha, ha. Yes, I’ve been in both high and low stress environments. I find a prefer working hard, but having fun too and working toward a purpose. I find those are the environments I’ve done the best.

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  4. We never dared say to mother, “I’m bored,” as it would lead to an immediate list of chores. I didn’t color much, but my older brother had a train set in the garage that would work on to avoid any show of boredom.

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  5. Coloring in my coloring books was a treasured time, and of course I wanted the 64 pack of Crayolas! Every now and then I get the urge to purchase one of those “adult coloring books” but those are meant for colored pencils or markers- although I bet I could make do with crayons. Great winter hobby I think. Love the mention of crayon smell as well Brian- I can clearly smell them as I write this 🙂

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  6. I was also the 3rd child so I cherished when I got the new box of crayons – especially the 64 with the sharpener. Oh, Heaven! I love how you tie this to all the fancy ideas for business to spark creativity – when the answer can be as simple as buying a box of crayons. Brilliant!

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    1. Something about being the youngest and getting a new box . . . that memory takes me back to my childhood quicker than anything else. Ha, ha. And yes, Wynne, I find it sort of amusing. The business world calls it innovation. We in the blogging world tend to call it creativity. The end of the day, I think we’re talking about the same thing, building an environment where new ideas can be valued and cherished and not tore down as soon as they’re suggested. For me, I find that things like crayons and listening and trying to find inter-connections to be the most helpful to spurring on my own creativity. And oh I have to say it, us Third Children unite!!!!! 🤣🤣🤣

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  7. I don’t recall colouring very much. My Mom F (the aunt that raised me) worked full time so I rarely saw her. Babysitters, mostly older women, let me do my own thing. So I entertained myself, playing out in the yard, making mud pies and such. I started reading early, then off I went into book worlds. Oddly enough, today I love to create with paints, fabrics, and words.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this story, Brian. A time when childhood fun was free of screens and a blank piece of paper presented a canvas full of possibilities. You captured that feeling so well.

    I recently attended a parenting workshop and as an icebreaker, we got five minutes to colour. And boy was it was calming and soothing indeed!

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  9. I love to color and to this day I still have coloring books. I always stayed away form the B word because my mom would find. any. and. everything for me to clean. And she would say. only boring people get bored. Stuck with me forever!

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    1. Oh yes, I was playing with fire saying I was bored. My mother was a “worker,” she never took a break. She would just as quickly put me to work. I was playing with fire getting my brothers involved too. They would get mad at me for having to “babysit” their lil brother. 🙂


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