You've Got Mail!
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You've Got Mail!

For adults, getting a package in the mail is no big deal. In the age of online shopping, packages stack up at my front door more often than I’d care to say. But, I was recently reminded of the joy of getting my very own mail as a child when that happened for my kids. And this was no ordinary mail. Two bright orange boxes were delivered to our front door for the first time. When we saw them, instead of pulling them inside, we called to the boys, “hey guys, you’ve got mail!” Silence from the game room, and then a stampede of feet (yup, we’ve only got two kids, yet they still stampede!).

“Oh, wow!”

“Cool! Can we open it?!”

Bright eyes and excitement oozing from them—even after they abandoned their beloved video games just moments before. Already a miracle!

The kitchen table was quickly cleared (aka: everything was dumped on another surface) and the unboxing began. Out came canvases, paint brushes, crayons and more. Having an 8- and 10-year-old son I’m never quite sure of the response we’re going to get…but this was a good one. I mean, heavens—THERE WAS PAINT! AND CANVASES! In the eyes of the boys, you can’t get more “professional” than that. They set everything up, including these cute little paint palettes, and set to work.

As we watched their minds create, I don’t know who had more fun – us or them. They kept checking in on each other, complimenting and helping (spoiler alert: this is not an everyday occurrence). They asked us about mixing colors to make new colors—we’ve done this before, but it seemed so new and fresh and became another tool for learning. There were mistakes, and we taught them to let it dry and paint right over it to fix it (magic!).

In the end, we had a couple beautiful canvases—one was a snowy mountainside with evergreens and the other, a house. When they were dried, each brought them to their rooms. We figured that was the end of it, and this blog ends here. I didn’t know there would be another, very sweet, chapter.

This past weekend, my mother-in-law (Grandma) came to visit following Christmas. The boys had helped my husband wrap presents and when they brought them down, I noticed some extra packages which I had no idea what they were. Imagine my surprise, when Grandma opened up two beautiful canvases—one, a snowy mountainside with evergreens, and the other, a house—her house—with a long driveway. The boys beamed with pride as they talked about their gifts, and ever the grandma, she gushed over their amazing artistic talent, and how she couldn’t wait to get them home to find the perfect spot.

Orange Art Box has been so exciting on so many levels. Our kids get new, cool art projects to tackle. I don’t have to go to the store to figure some project out on my own (major win, especially with school breaks and needing something to do!). And, I was reminded just how wonderful and loving my kids are when they gave the best gift of all: something from the heart and personal, to their grandma.