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Katy England Katy England
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edge staff writer


Your inner preschooler

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I've been reading about coloring books for adults - yep, just a grown-up version of images that your kids scribble on. Staying between the lines is, as always, optional. If you're expecting me to make fun of this phenomenon, you will be disappointed. I think it's great.

One of the nice things about having kids is that I get to play with some things that I had packed away some time ago. I know this is something most parents go through, the rediscovery of your own childhood through your kids. The line tends to get a bit blurred with parents really wanting their kids to like what they liked, be it sports or 'Star Wars.' And really, no judgement I get the thrill of having your kids like something you enjoyed as a child. It's a blissful bonding moment. I was stupidly happy when my kids started liking dragons and dinosaurs but it's also fun to learn about excavators.

But with some activities, there's a level of zen enjoyment I think we have forgotten about in everyday life. I am not an artist. At least not in the visual sense of the word. But I've always liked the idea of being able to draw and paint and create something in a medium that resembles something in reality. But there's a gap between reality and when I put brush to paper that is large.

Funny thing is, my kids don't care. They want me to draw a tractor. They want me to paint with them. And I like it. I'm rubbish at it, but I like it.

There is something strangely calming about just painting swirly-gigs with watercolors. The kids have really put their paints through the wringer, so there aren't so much colors as there are combinations of colors. In order to get to something that resembled orange, I had to get through layers of green (and maybe black), but it actually made for some really interesting combinations that I may not have tried on my own.

I would paint a tree, and someone would add to it. I would riff on their strokes and see what we could make in concert. It was fun. And since I lack any real artistic talent, it's really hard to tell where my work ends and theirs begins.

They have also made an impact on my wardrobe choices since they started bringing home jewelry crafts. Apparently cyan beads are totally my color well, when I can convince them to let me wear them. We have to share.

In the meantime, I've ordered a couple grown-up coloring books and I may have to invest in a box of new crayons that haven't been broken to bits. This is going to be fun.


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