Lego Dreams

So the family and I went and saw The Lego Movie today– and I have one thing to say:


Seriously– how can you not love The Lego Movie?  A perfect blend of earnestness and snark, how can you not love a movie that laughs at it’s own meta-ness, and teaches not only the joys of non-conformity but also the importance of understanding the directions?
It’s like this movie was made for me!

It also has the world’s best theme song.  Ever.


And the thing with me, is that I didn’t appreciate legos until I was a mom.

Of course, sometimes I appreciated that they were evil fucking building blocks of Satan– but that was usually at dark-thirty a.m. when I stepped on one in my bare feet.  (BTW– the current curse of wishing that someone steps on a Lego, like, say, Jeff Davis, creator of Teen Wolf, is one of my favorite pop culture tropes right now.  It has the perfect blend of diabolical evil and complete childhood innocence.  I approve.  Jeff Davis, step on a Lego!)  But mostly, I appreciated Legos with Big T.

Big T could spend hours alone with his Legos.  Hours.  Very little of that time was spent building.

Most of that time was spent setting the figures up to interact.

He would put them in a saloon or a pirate ship or a space ship and then proceed to write mumbled, largely unintelligible dialog for his people, and then move them to another location.

Now that T wants to make movies, this behavior seems to be a precursor to that especially– but I was the one who spent my time coaching him through social situation after social situation as he grew up, and I know what he was really doing.

He was practicing.

He was practicing conversing in the magical thing called language that the gods had cursed him with as a barrier instead of gifted him with as a tool.

For Big T, those Lego guys were his trainers, his proxies, his coaches through the uncertain and treacherous terrain of the spoken word, of body language, of an honest exchange of ideas.

He loved them.  He loved all the Lego aspects, but that one in particular.

Big T is working hard toward adulthood now.  Although he’s twenty-one in actual age, he’s just now becoming more autonomous, but his progress is still pretty clear.

In his room he has a giant vat of Legos– ginormous– with the building blocks leftover from an entire childhood of our indulgence with his favorite world.  Every now and then we ask him if he wants to give them to Zoomboy.

Not yet, he tells us, getting a little wobbly in the heavily furred chin.  Not yet.  He needs to cling to them a little longer.  They make his new and continuous forays into adulthood a little more safe, just by sitting in his room.

That’s okay.

The entire message of the movie was that Legos get to be anything you need them to be.

Just like dreams.

0 thoughts on “Lego Dreams”

  1. Unknown says:

    Legos will always hold a place in my heart right next to TinkerToys as the foundation of dreams and imagination. Lincoln Logs frustrated me no end, but ahhh the joys of 3-dimensional creation wherein "Thou Art Goddess!" What a wonderful answer to throw in the face of over commercialized, pop-celebrity influenced marketing of mind media for children (of all ages!)

  2. Denise says:

    This *post* is awesome!

  3. My son is 10. He also has ADHD and a variety of other complicating factors that make social interactions, age appropriate behavior, using language, and any school related task a challenge for him.

    He just go involved in Legos this year and I love them for just the reasons you so beautifully articulated.

    He's following multi-step directions independently. He's sustaining attention on a challenging task. He's navigating frustration. He's scripting social interactions between his characters: Yesterday he had Batman call Tim Drake to come be Robin. Tim said he didn't want to because he was playing Pac Man (Seriously, how does my 10 year old even know Pac Man?) and Batman kindly reminded him that he had to save people now and he could play video games later.

    I am positively delighted to talk all my friends and relations into providing the kid with all the Lego kits he can use.

  4. Donna Lee says:

    Legos were new when my brother was growing up and he loved them. He gave me one of the little spacemen to "keep me company" as I drove back and forth to college. He sat on the dashboard of whichever car I was driving at the time and we had conversations. He was a surprisingly good listener. I think you have to feel real animosity toward someone to wish that they step on Legos in the dark in bare feet…….

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