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A Box of Broken Crayons
It was only a box of broken crayons - a mistake I made but it helped me to realize what life is all about.
I was four years old when I joined a group of first graders in an elementary school far north.
My mom's a fifth grade teacher on that school and hanging out on her classroom was a little bit boring because their lessons were out of space.
I cannot understand a bit but only stories with moral lessons. So to keep me wandering off school grounds, she took me as a visitor on the first grade class.
My childhood on that elementary school was a little blur because I used to travel a lot from my mom's school to our home at the south but I did enjoy the gardening and most of all the lessons learned inside the four-corner room.
Life on this faraway land was pretty hard. It's not really our hometown but my mom was assigned on that school so we have to move temporarily. It was a small town far north with farms stretching wide into the horizon.
We lived on a small nipa hut alongside sugarcanes and corns.
The story started when one ordinary day, the first graders brought their own coloring and art materials to school. So I just watched silently while my 'classmates' scribbled drawings and colour them with fancy crayons.
When I came home, my mom surprised me with this single-box of new crayons, said my teacher mentioned about arts in school.
I honestly admit that we were not included on the list of rich people but I'm somehow grateful that I don't have to suffer or starve like other kids I've seen because their parents have no work.
So the next day, I'm very happy to have my art materials to bring to school. But the happiness fades away very quickly. I saw one girl in class with a box of double crayons, meaning she has a variety of colours than that of single-box.
A single-box crayon only has 8 colors - primary colours like green, blue and red while hers have shades of pinks and red violets, with 16 colors.
Yes, I'm really jealous and I think of ways how can I ask my mother to buy me a double-box crayons. Later that night, a brilliant idea came into my mind - or so I thought it was.
I broke one crayon and told her that I needed a new set, this time the double-set one.
But she said I could still use it since it was not that small and there are other colours still not broken so I could still use it to colour some of my drawings. I was hurt and thought she never loved me.
The next day was Saturday and I find myself on my room sketching on my notebook and applying colours to it when the brown crayon I was holding was broken into two because of my tight grip. I'm still heartbroken because my mom denied buying me what I want.
I'm her only daughter that time and she's brave enough to say No to my whining. Some parents I know, like that of my cousins, spoiled their kids by buying them and giving them whatever they want. Well, who can blame them? They have two set of parents working and they have a lot to spare. As we always say, they're more fortunate to have more.
But there's no room for such thing in my life and I have to grow up without the material luxuries of life.
My mom says No when she knows it's not really necessary but as far as I know, she gave me everything - the love and the discipline to strive hard - which I really applied on the real life.
So moving forward with my brilliant plan, I broke all my crayons in halves and throw them outside the window for her to see when she had to visit the sugarcanes and corns outside.
Oh men, I was so wrong! After a while, she confronted me why I just wasted one box of crayons when she put a lot of effort and hard work to buy me those art materials.
"You better get all those broken crayons kid, if you don’t want to miss art in school."
She was hurt deeply because I never appreciate the things she gave me. I'm supposed to take care of the things I have and not to waste them. She can buy me a double-box if she wants, but it was her intention to let me realize and learn first that you have to appreciate whatever you have on your hand. We were not that rich and my mom have to save once in a while because the life that God gave us was not gold.
So she then said, "If you don't know how take care of small things, how are you supposed to take good care of the big ones?"
I really loved school. I love how those children admired me and the teacher always praising me because I'm a fast learner even I'm only a visitor on their class. So with tears on my eyes, I silently put all those broken crayons on its box again.
From then on, I always value the things I have and not wanting for more. I trust that my mom knows what I need and I know that she's trying to give me everything in life.
I have learned to appreciate gifts and items that were given to me and be contented of what I have for now.
That box of broken crayons reminds me to make the most of things I have. It expands my creativity and skills on finding new things which I could use.
I learned that my mom have to worked hard every day just to buy us our needs. So I never asked for more or for things I saw on someone's desk.
It was then that a dream started to form into my memory. I have to strive hard and be a successful person someday so that I could give the life my mom deserved to have. I have to lift our life for the better so we could enjoy the things we never experienced on the past.
A box of broken crayons helped me understand the value of money, of hard-work and dedication in life.
Life is about using the whole box of crayons - even if it's all broken.
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