Other than new Crayons,
and locker rooms-
the favorite smells of my grade school years
also include the fragrance of Play-Doh.
There was something almost intoxicating
about those colorful lumps of pliable clay-
an innate childish itch that made you want
to squeeze and roll and forge
a familiar form from the nuggets
of soft dough.
Maybe it was just me.
Maybe it was just a welcome change
from making real mud pies in the back yard-
of digging up damp earth
and thinning it into a soupy slur-
just perfect for a pie topped
with corn kernels
or tiny pinecones.
Maybe that first feel of Play-Doh
gripped in my five-year old palms
brought about this everlasting desire
to create and design
crude works of art.
Perhaps that Play-Doh-
in its bright primary colors-
triggered my need for a world of
and brillant embellishments.
And, how are we as parents
to know the things that burrow
memories and character into our children?
Will those messy markers
we scream at our children
to pick up from the floor-
be the beginnings of a great artist?
Or the storybooks that line the nursery
be the start of a budding author...
Tea sets and pots and pans
could result in a gourmet cook...
an old sewing machine activate
the makings of a fashion designer...
and maybe a toy guitar-
the germination of
a musical genius...
Well, that love of modeling clay
never made me successful-
or led me to an artistic career,
but it is a pleasant memory sewn into my heart
that flutters like a butterfly
whenever I smell Play-Doh.
September 18th is National Play-Doh Day.
Relive your childhood.
Pick up a can-
and share it with someone you love.