I am not sure that there is a better toy in all creation than Lego. Seriously. And yes, I’m a girl.
I don’t know why it is that Lego is considered a “boy” toy. They are making more “girl” Lego now, and in a way that irritates me. Girls don’t need pink bricks in order to enjoy the full goodness that is Lego!
I also have an issue with the fact that it’s almost impossible to buy just plain Lego bricks. I was talking about this with my pastors the other day. (Yes, Lego is a good topic to talk about with pastors – all theology all the time is overrated.) I don’t want so many kits! I don’t want a kit to make the Millenium Falcon, or a set to create Hogwarts Castle. Just give me a plain old box of bricks. (My son loves the kits, though. He definitely would disagree with me on this!)
What I really wish I could get now is the kind of sets I had when I was a kid. The sets of pure, unadulterated Lego bricks. The four-ways (as we called them), the squares, the three-ways, the precious (and fairly new, back in my day) one-ways. Or the skinny pieces, the fat flat pieces, the shingle pieces.
Or what about the clear pieces? Those were precious because I had so few of them. And I needed them because they made the perfect sliding glass doors for my orphanages. That’s right. I was an orphanage architect. That’s what I did with my Legos. I built orphanages for my Fisher Price people.
You know the ones – the wooden ones that, supposedly, caused babies to choke and were discontinued somewhere in the 90’s. I had a lot of those and they all needed places to live. (Yes, I had the Fisher Price houses and such too, but somehow I always had more people than beds.) The idea of them living all together in a giant orphanage was so appealing to me – they had no adult supervision – and they’d go on crazy adventures all over the hearth bench in front of the living room fireplace.
The bummer about building my creations in the living room, was that, inevitably, mom would tire of the mess and I’d have to take it apart…or, conversely, carry it whole down to my bedroom.
That was a bit of a trick. I loved my orphanages and I didn’t want to dismantle them. So I would attempt to move them. Trouble was, I built them out of every single piece of Lego I owned – and they were huge, sprawling mansions, filled with Lego beds, Lego pottys, and Lego floors, all pieced together like many-splendored quilts.
I would take a few steps down the hallway, and, virtually every time without fail, they would fall apart over the indoor garden.
My grandparents built our house and they put in an actual 6 foot long by 4 foot wide indoor garden – full of dirt and plants – which was flanked on either side by glass and which formed the Grand Canyon, the yawning pit of doom, the Lego magnet, which lay between the living room and my bedroom.
Suffice it to say, it’s not too fun digging Lego out of the dirt. I am quite certain that the current owners of the house would have a fairly good Lego collection if they dug up that dirt, thanks to my broken orphanages.
I did have an actual pre-fab set or two of Legos. I had the Coast Guard station, and I had a fork lift that ran on a battery. When I opened that on Christmas morning I thought I’d be the one to put it together. I was wrong. My sister and my dad swiped it and they put it together for me that afternoon. I was slightly put-out and slightly pleased, because it meant I didn’t have to follow all those boring directions.
Because, after all, building orphanages took no directions. It was all up to me. Teetering turrets, sliding glass doors, kitchens and bathrooms and closets – I could do anything I wanted with no directions to limit me.
I still don’t like following directions. That’s why I don’t outline when I write. I need space, man! Don’t tie me down!
I do follow recipes, though, because I’ve learned the hard way that when I wing it in cooking it mostly turns out dreadfully.
I bet if I made a Lego cake, though, it would be awesome.