“Crayons Have Feelings” By Emma

I’m always so excited when Emma tells me “put it on the blog” because my dream has been that this blog will be something she wants to, one day, take over as her own and where she will permit me to, occasionally, make a “guest” appearance.

What follows was Emma’s response during her RPM session to write about something she cares about in a persuasive manner.  She skillfully demonstrates theory of mind, empathy and an abundance of compassion I wish the rest of the world would try to emulate.

                     “Crayons Have Feelings

“The colors are many in a box of crayons.  All over the world people use crayons to make them happier.  It is never used as a way to punish.

“Did you ever think of what the box of crayons felt like when they were opened?

“Notice which colors are used the most.  They are ripped and sometimes broken.  The less popular colors, like brown, look so new they can be displayed in a museum.  Nobody plays with them.  They watch the other colors play and roll with their friends in the mud.

“Brown crayons are lonely.  Red crayons get the most attention.

“You should show the lonely colors on the front of the box.

“Do you have questions?”

I am persuaded,  Emma.

A Box of Crayons

A Box of Crayons

30 responses to ““Crayons Have Feelings” By Emma

  1. “Do you have questions?” Lmao…struck me almost as a “did you get all that? Or do I have to spell it out for you”

  2. When I was young, sea green and periwinkle were the two most used crayons in my box of 64. They were my two favorite colors out of the whole box. Emma is correct, though. Brown and some of the others are so very unused they could be displayed in a museum. Sad really. I agree with her…those should be displayed on the front of the box instead of the ones that are the most used. 🙂

  3. “The colours are many in a box of crayons.”

    All that Emma writes is good. ““You should show the lonely colors on the front of the box”: is powerful; evokes what is multifaceted and richly complex.

    But I am especially moved by how you Emma emerge from your wellspring, by how you begin speaking.
    Syntax is there bent to your purpose, and to express you and your vision. What you then evoke is pure, true, real, beautiful.

  4. and feelings have colors, right?

  5. I remember being a kid and feeling bad for the unused crayons. So I would often color with the unused colors. I love Emma’s story. 🙂

  6. Emma-You have the loveliest, liveliest mind. You remind me of ee cummings one of my favorite poets. My old ancestors the Celts knew the whole world was full of feeling, trees, stones, water, mud–you remnd me of their wisdom. I will never think of crayons again in the dull ways I have been for so long. You’ve brought them to life for me. And the rich textures of meaning and caring in your thought are so beautiful. Please keep writing.
    Love, Brian, Mary Ellen, and Noah

  7. Crayons of red,
    Crayons of brown,
    Live together,
    Never a frown,
    All so happy
    In crayon town.
    Color’s not seen
    Once the lid’s down.

  8. when my uncle ( who is now 80 ) was in school the psychiatrist called my grandmother in to talk about his ” depressive and anti-social tendencies” as evidenced by the fact that he colored almost exclusively with brown, black and grey. When asked why he responded ” there is only one box of crayons ( this was in the 1940s – one box. For a class. ) They call the kids up to the box alphabetically. By the time they get to me ( his initials are R.S. ) that’s all that are left.

    And you know what – he made some BEAUTIFUL pictures according to my grandmother!!!

  9. I love her. I just love her.

  10. In this box, I see middle hues used a lot, and not so much darker colors–that’s a good thing!

  11. When I was little I cared about all crayons too. I didn’t want them to be broken. And I felt bad for ones who were left out- actually I felt sorry for all toys who were left out and tried to rotate them fairly 🙂
    Love Emma’s words.

  12. Dear Ariane, your blog is such a discovery for me! And crayon, yes my feelings for them this brings back the memory about my own childhood.

    I was reading your blog for sometime and I know that I can ask you all right questions I can ask no one.

    I have a little girl Lily, Lily is autistic and she is verbal. Lily is 4. verbal she is but 80% of her talk is delayed echolalia. Yesterday we has a therapist who was trying to get a simple answer out of Lily: Where do we borrow books from? We never got the answer from Lily.

    Lily knows our local library she likes to go to the library. You can say this is noun recall problem. Or is it?

    reading your blog I am thinking more and more about RPM.

    Below is my question Ariane, if you look back what’s the perfect time to start RPM for a verbal child? I know there is no many parents who think if only my child can say one word but the problem is that if your child starts talking one day you can see that there is a long way to go from talking to thinking and expressing yourself.

    We are Russian family living in Perth, Australia, sorry about my English

    All the best to Emma and your family.

    • Hi Marina,
      I just asked Emma this question that you posed to your daughter Lily. Emma was unable to give me a spoken answer, however when I asked her to write the answer she did without hesitation. I do not believe this a recall problem, or not knowing the answer (clearly she did know the answer as she was able to demonstrate by writing it) or any of the other conclusions I might have drawn not so long ago.
      I would have begun with choices when Emma was four ( had I known what I now know) An example of such a question would be – I am thinking of a month when it gets cold and the trees have lost all their leaves. Am I thinking about January or August? (If you decide to try this, please do read Soma Mukhopadhyay’s books, there are three of them and are essential reading. She has sample lesson plans as well as lots of terrific information about how to begin and at what age.)
      If there were physical issues, low muscle tone etc. I would begin working on pointing with an index finger as well. I would have begun all of this right away not in a frenzy of panic and worry, but in a relaxed way, knowing that my child was far more capable than anyone was telling me.
      Hope this is helpful.

      • Thank you Ariane! Thank you!
        I think in a few years from now I would be able to say that this was the day then you had changed my life and my daughters life once and forever! The doubt was everywhere and it’s coming not just from me it’s coming from therapists the very same people who are trying to help.

        And then I saw Emma’s entry “the letter to the world”…….

        I just don’t need any more proof.

        I have Soma’ books and stencils sitting on my bookshelf. Thank you Adriane I think it’s time to use the method in everyday life.
        Would it be possible to develop thinking to Titos level I don’t know for now but I’ll willing to take this path.

        Thank you Emma! Please forgive us the parents of children like you we are doing the best we could to our knowledge. The problem is that we are not getting much knowledge from professional people themselves.

  13. Emma your words are SO powerful. I shall never look at the crayons in the drawer again in the same way. Powerful metaphor.

  14. Wow Emma you are incredible!!! You are truly a talented writer. I am a teacher and I have taught many young people your age. I have perhaps only taught one student who would be close to your ability. I wait in anticipation for your next post. Thank you for sharing. 😀

  15. Dear Emma,

    We are having an Art Exhibit for the benefit or people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I came across your blog and read this beautiful poem. I would like to ask permission to include it in the exhibit? Please let me know how I can get in touch with you.


    • Hi Bea,
      (Ariane here). Thank you so much for reaching out. Can you tell us a bit more about the Art Exhibit? How are the funds used to help Autistic people and what percentage? Are other organizations involved (such as Autism Speaks and if so in what capacity?). Where is this exhibit located? What are the dates? Who is organizing it? You can email me at emmashopeblog@gmail.com
      Thanks so much,

  16. I have just read a childrens picture book to my kids that is along the same topic as Emma’s poem though only superficial, not with deeper meanings like Emma’s work :). It’s called The day the crayons quit by Drew daywalt, although it’s obliviously way above Emma’s intellect she may enjoy the slightly similar topic.

  17. suzanne672004

    Hi I just read a children’s book to my kids on a similar topic, though only superficial not with deeper meaning like Emma’s poem :). It’s called The day the crayons quit by Drew daywalt. Although the book is obviously aimed at young children and not Emma’s great intellect she may enjoy the slightly similar line of thought.

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