Illustration using colorful shapes

Coloring Confessions

I have a confession to make, and it’s a doozy… The sight of a child with a crayon in their hand fills me with anxiety and nervousness, not rainbows and unicorns.

I really want to be one of those parents who encourage their child’s creative and artistic instincts. Sometimes I close my eyes and picture my little Picasso creating works of art that I frame in cute little home-made, bedazzled frames. Then I open my eyes and I see the crayon mark on the wall by the back door; the one that has been there for six months because my cleaning routine barely allows time for sweeping the floors let alone cleaning up child graffiti. I look in the other direction and see permanent marker – black permanent marker – on another wall where my son lost his concentration just long enough to draw a nice line down the hall.

Nope, children and art does not make me giddy, but I know how important it is so I wage war with myself anyway. Clean-freak mommy wants to burn all the crayons, markers, colored pencils and highlighters in the house. Encouraging mommy wants to buy unlimited art supplies and let my little angels have at it.

Enter: the coloring book. I love flipping through one of the many books my kids have and seeing the progression of my son learning to color inside the lines. As long as their artistic tendencies are directed at a coloring book instead of the new couch, I’m all for it. Kids aren’t the only ones who can enjoy coloring books – adults are getting in on the fun, too! I resisted the urge as long as I could, but eventually I caved and bought one of the adult coloring books everyone’s raving about. I come from an incredibly artistic family, but most of the time I struggle to draw a simple circle. I like to doodle when I’m bored or stuck on yet another endless conference call, but coloring has never been my thing – until now. There is something about slowly filling in the lines with vibrant colors. It’s soothing. The designs are fairly forgiving so if I accidentally color an area the wrong color, I can make it look intentional. The marker pens I use for bullet journaling are also perfect for adult coloring books.

Maybe it’s the level of concentration needed or the satisfaction of seeing something come to life, but art is a great way to turn any day into a good day. Did you know that August 2 is National Coloring Book Day? It’s the perfect time to get started – so grab your kids, some books and a box of crayons, and start decompressing. Enjoy!

Lee-Anne Castro
Written By Lee-Anne Castro
Army National Guard Spouse

Lee-Anne is an Army National Guard spouse of 13 years. She works full time, has two kids and thinks she is much funnier than she really is.

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