One of my very favorite joys of coloring as an adult is the people I have met and the relationships I have developed with fellow coloring enthusiasts and artists through the wonderful online coloring community. Most of these relationships have flourished into dear friendships, and I am extremely honored to be a part of something that is both fun and special.
Since I began coloring again I’ve been on an exciting adventure! It is easy to find yourself surrounded with like minded people through the use of social media. In my “real” life, however, I’ve been slow to discuss my love of coloring with many of my friends and family because I sensed a sort of judginess coming from a lot of people in relation to coloring. Some of my friends would say, “Oh, that’s cool.” after I explained my new passion, but I could tell from their tone of voice and the look in their eyes that they were just saying that so I wouldn’t feel bad. I felt that maybe they thought it was immature or that I could find a better use for my time, so I hesitated to bring it up unless I could thoroughly explain the benefits I was getting from coloring such as relaxation, mindfulness, creative expression and fun. Trying to explain myself started to get tedious and staring into eyes that stared back blankly was becoming a letdown, so I kept my focus on the online coloring community.
This all changed one day when I was expecting one of my many, (so many) coloring book orders to arrive in the mail, and I knew I wouldn’t be home in time to answer the door. Since my mother and I live in the same apartment complex, I asked her if she would take the package for me when it arrived. Of course she agreed and then, for whatever reason, I felt I needed to explain that it was coloring books and that I really liked coloring, and yes, I was spending a lot of money on it, but it was a good hobby. It might seem kind of childish, but at least I wasn’t out robbing banks and so on and so forth until she finally just said, “Stephanie, I think that sounds cool. I like coloring.”
My mom is not judgemental by any means, but I guess I just wasn’t expecting that response. So I said, “Really? I have plenty of coloring books and supplies if you ever want to hang out and color together.”
I was expecting her to say that she was past the days of coloring and didn’t want to delve into yet another hobby, but to my delight she agreed right away. That very evening I went over to her apartment, opened the box that was delivered and we both sat down at her kitchen table and began coloring together.
Now mom can’t get rid of me, and we try to color together several evenings throughout the week. Coloring with my mom is one of my favorite activities. We talk, we sing, we make stupid jokes and talk in funny voices, cracking each other up. We give each other high fives and “Good jobs!” and we get excited over new books and new coloring supplies. She has developed her own style of coloring, and it has been fun to watch her creativity begin to flow again just as mine did when I began coloring last summer. She finds a happiness in coloring that shows in her face, and her eyes have a little sparkle in them when she shows me her latest finished piece. Her happiness makes me happy. All of these moments and memories I am making while coloring with my mom are precious little gems I will look upon in the future and cherish for the rest of my life. To have this time with her, with our many wonderful conversations and even our