A couple of weeks ago my mom sent me a really thoughtful gift after one of our phone conversations. The gift included an adult coloring book (trendy!) and a fresh new set of colored pencils. Shortly after, I decided to try out some coloring. Coloring is “relaxing,” they say. It “relieves stress,” they say. That’s when it happened: Flashback.
My freshman year of high school the only thing I learned in biology class was how our teacher preferred for us to color. On one of the first days of class our homework assignment was to color a 1″ square in our composition notebooks to her liking. She insisted that we color with colored pencils and that there were “no white spots” left on the paper. The things I ended up coloring that included:
- Several moths
- A monarch butterfly
- A zebra
- An elephant
- A double helix
- Steven Spielberg’s face
The monarch butterfly was supposed to be colored with all colored pencil, including each tiny white speck on the wings. I colored that part of the wing black and used white out for the spots for increased wing accuracy. I got in trouble.
The zebra’s black stripes were supposed to be colored with ball point pen. Who colors with ball point pen?! I used a felt tip pen, a.k.a. a Sharpie for greater homework efficiency. I got in trouble again.
In addition to not knowing a thing about biology, the trauma I suffered apparently still lives in my heart. That night, when I began coloring I took a deep breath and colored the first picture with plenty of white spots shining through and the relief that Ms. C****** would never judge my coloring again.
I would like to thank my mother for helping me rid myself of this pent up stress and trauma that has been hiding in my heart for the past 14 years. What would I do without you?