Remember the smell when you opened a new box of crayons? Waxy and warm with a bit of paper mixed in.
Remember what it was like to see all those new crayons? Sometimes there were new colors. The metallic crayons seemed magical. I almost hated to use them, to turn the neat, sharp points into smushy stubs. But there was always another year to look forward to, another start of school and a new box of crayons.
Crayons were just the start—pencils, notebooks with lines unfilled, sometimes a new lunch box. Back-to-school was my favorite time of year. I hated summer. I didn't particularly like to play kid's games, especially outside. I wanted to be left alone to read.
We moved every year (my father was in the military and that's what they did then) and the first place I would try to find in any house was some quiet corner to read. My very favorite was at the end of a long closet where there was a window. In front of it were some packing boxes just big enough and at just the right height for an 11-year-old girl to with a book and read and look out the window. Clothes were in front of the boxes, effectively shielding me from the outside world. Still, my mother would find me and make me go out and play. I was obedient, but I didn't like it. [Read more...]