I grew up the daughter of an office supplies salesman. I think it is quite possibly the best position, as far as being a daughter is concerned. My Daddy would bring home boxes upon boxes of map pencils, post-its, binders, markers, highlighters, scissors, staplers, paperclips, pens and anything else you can imagine filling a desk drawer.

My kids are growing up with a pyschologist for a Daddy, and he doesn’t bring home his work, nor are his freebies necessarily useful for kids. However, their momma has a car and there is an Office Depot in town, so we’re good to go.

When you are 5, 7 and 11 there are only a few tools to your trade…

Tools of the Trade

I believe it is more than a little bit important to keep mine stocked. I imagine the CEO of Crayola himself will greet me one day and thank me personally for providing the income for 1.2 families.


And not just for me and mine either. I give them as gifts. How much more perfect a gift can a child (or parent, for that matter) receive than a bin full of art and craft supplies?

Talk about FREEDOM. Imaginations loosed.

Transformers? Meh. I’ll show YOU more than meets the eye!

Star Wars? Nah. Darth Vader ain’t your father.

I want my kids to unpack their minds all on their own. Googly eyes, glue, markers and scissors can become anything – anything at all.

More than once we’ve used art supplies to work through issues with our kiddos. We ask them to draw how they feel…Draw me what scares you. Draw me what excites you.

As they get older the illustrations are punctuated with words, and then, a bit older, the illustrations are a sidebar to the dialogue. Map pencils replace markers and journals replace manilla paper.

And though I miss the squiggly one-eyed humans with their over-sized heads and uneven stick legs, a new dimension emerges and I’m so very grateful to watch the little person grow.

It all starts with the first pack of crayons – the first sheet of paper – the initial freedom to color, draw, write and make believe.

Positioned at Emelie’s desk, Kenny colors while Em talks with a friend that came home with us from school.

Still making Valentine's for Mommy.

“What are you drawing right now Kenny?”



“Yes. Mommy, this one is for you, because I love you.”

Color Me Happy

My heart implodes from the sweet pressure of his love picture.

I think I’ll probably remember drawings like this when I see his signature one day as a man – on a Mother’s Day card or maybe a birthday or other holiday.

And I’ll promptly go out and buy a few more packs of supplies for my grandkids.