Crayola has announced that it is booting the colour dandelion out of its 24-pack. In the Celebrate Dandelion video on their website, poor Dandelion naively declares that “retirement is going to be my wildest adventure yet.”
While Dandelion seems deluded about the reality of his situation, I am enraged for him. After decades of hard work bringing happy-face suns and unevenly-sized flower petals to life, Dandelion is being replaced with a colour so benign that the company vaguely describes it as “in the blue family.” Seriously!?! Does the colouring world need another blue so badly that Dandelion must be put to death?!?
As a mother, I am feeling Dandelion’s unspoken pain. The children who used to need him all the time are growing up and moving on. They have happy recollections of the good times they shared with Dandelion but he doesn’t seem relevant anymore. And when you aren’t relevant anymore, you get relegated to the back row of the crayon box and are eventually replaced by a no-name blue!
My youngest is in Junior High, so I am still needed, if not appreciated, but I can feel obsolescence breathing down the back of my neck. With her interest in me waning quickly and her older sisters both living on their own, I am actively seeking ways to remain relevant and appealing to this new demographic.
I have already made a few key adaptations…
I have updated the “useful” items I keep on hand. Not long ago, my giant mom-purse housed a stash of Disney-themed bandaids and wet wipes. But I can’t recall the last time any of my brood suffered a “boo-boo” while we were out and about. So now, I travel with a Costco-sized bottle of Advil and phone charging apparatus, because hangovers and dead iPhones are the most common first aid dilemmas for young adults.
I have replaced my collection of re-usable lunch bags and snap-shut sandwich boxes with a cupboard full of lidded glass containers. I fill them up with homemade soups and pastas, then make tantalizing food posts on Instagram and send texts promising leftovers to anyone that stops by the house. Free food is the worm at the end of the hook when I am fishing-for-attention.
Where I once knew the location every park with a swing set, I have now memorized the most popular hipster coffee houses. When giving grown-up-kids a lift somewhere (my chauffeur skills are still appreciated) I can often grasp some quality time by offering to buy them a mocha-crappa-frappa something. Millennials love over-priced coffee served by scruffy white boys in knit hats!
I have also learned how to “creep” my loved ones on social media. And I recently created a middle-aged-mom avatar that pops up in their messages holding giant hearts and blowing kisses and sitting atop signs that read “call me”.
“Do not go gentle into that good night,” wrote Dylan Thomas. I am certain that he was referring to much deeper things than the plight of unnoticed mothers and crayons, yet his words resonate with me. Unlike Dandelion, I have no plans to retire, either professionally or personally. I will continue the struggle to stay in the front row of life’s crayon box – where all the cool, useful colours hang out!