Sometimes there is a smell of something in the air as you walk by that can instantly take you back 30 years! It happens to me about once a year–when I go back to school shopping.
Now in my empty nest, my children no longer need school supplies–at least not the kind we purchased each year. Notebook paper, rulers, Elmer’s glue are not on their list. College requires more sophisticated apparatus and techniques, of the electronic variety.
But I do go school supply shopping every year–for my classroom. My other kids. And no matter what store I choose to go shopping in–when I get a whiff of brand new Crayola Crayons I am positive that I get a goofy smile on my face.
The smell of a new box of crayons takes me back to my first classrooms as a child. The excitement of a new year, the desire to impress and live up to my teacher’s expectations and knowing that most of the time, I did.
There were a few years–2nd and 4th grades–that perhaps were not my best, but using my crayons surely helped get me through the rough patches.
As I got older I made sure every year, whether I needed them or not–especially in high school–I would still put a new box in the cart.
And now–even though I don’t require them of my students in the secondary classroom–I buy a box for myself and put it in the top drawer of my desk–every year.
Somehow the box always disappears during the year sometime–it is quite the mystery since I never know where it goes. I imagine however, that someone comes across it and also has a memory flash that brings them warm and fuzzy feelings.
Nonetheless, a new box is on the list, it gets purchased and goes back in the drawer–my own crayola talisman for good luck, good days and good lessons for the school year to come.
It is so important to tie positive experiences from our past to our present and future–and to hopefully pass down some of the wisdom that we acquire along the way–to those in our care.
If only life were always as simple as buying a new box of crayons each year–things would be so much clearer, happier and yes–more colorful.
Here’s to back to school shopping! Enjoy every minute of it! It only comes once a year! And don’t forget the crayons!