Used Up


I am sitting at the kitchen table finishing up some summer work when my daughter quietly comes down the stairs and approaches me. I look up at her.

“Promise you won’t get mad,” she says as she holds out her hand. Her fist is closed, hiding whatever it is she has to give me. I study her face, not quite able to tell if she is kidding or serious.

I hold out my hand, and she pauses a split second before she drops the tiniest nub of a light peach pencil in my palm. I gasp, feigning distress. I look at her, wide eyed. “You used up my peach pencil??” I ask.

She nods. “You can get another one,” she informs me. “I needed this one.”

She had borrowed my colored pencils because I had the best ones—a tin of 36 Prismacolor pencils. Colored pencils—good, artist quality pencils—are not cheap. And drawing, painting, creating, this is how she chooses to relax and recharge.

Of course, when she borrowed my pencils, I was well aware of the simple truth about “borrowing” art supplies. It’s not the same as borrowing, say, a musical instrument, because unlike borrowing a guitar, art supplies get used up in the borrowing.

Next time I’m in the art supply store, I will stock up on light peach pencils. Because the truth is, I am more than fine with sacrificing my colored pencils in the name of amazing art.


[Top image is my tiny light peach pencil. Bottom image is artwork courtesy of my talented daughter.]


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