picking through their childhood - one Lego at a time

   We sat on the floor and I dumped them all. Dumped all the Legos right in the middle of the floor.

I’d wanted to get this job done for a long time. No one really plays with Legos anymore.

Yet they don’t quite want to let them go. To be honest, neither do I.
As I sifted through the spreading pile of plastic bricks and tiny figurines, I felt as if I were sifting through their childhood.
Yes, we found two huge piles of items that definitely did not belong in the Lego bins - candy wrappers, broken pens and pencils, dead batteries, Happy Meal toys, a note written by Lil’ C stating “I hate you!” (I’m sure it was to Knox), someone’s long lost retainer, an assortment of single socks whose mates I probably threw away years ago, and lots of coins. My 12 yo counted about $1.35 worth.
Among many, many other oddities, none that surprised me.
But amongst all the trash and bricks, I found memories, too.
Memories of their Star Wars and Minecraft phases. Memories of trips that ended in a walk through a gift shop and promises to put the set together “right when we get home.”
Memories of snowy winter days spent in the basement playroom creating worlds in which giant Matchbox cars would drive the tiny Lego streets while little boys made car and truck noises, inevitably ending with an earthquake or some other natural disaster that would destroy the whole town.
It would always be rebuilt the next day, only this time succumbing to a band of roving dinosaurs or a runaway train.
I hated the mess of all the toys. Everything scattered faster than I could organize it.
But I loved it too. I loved being able to enjoy all those lazy days of creative play with my kids.
Some people have no hesitation getting rid of “things.” They are just objects, disposable, getting rid of them makes way for more things in our consumer-driven society.
But for me things mean memories, and sometimes I’m not willing to part with them just yet. Maybe I know that time is bearing down on us and my children will leave soon. Maybe holding onto their “things” is a way for me to hold onto the memories and them for a little longer.
I’ve parted with many “things” over the years, some without hesitation, some after a moment of debate, some after years of hanging on and only when I’m ready.
But that’s just life, isn’t it? So many things and people and places we can easily leave behind. But some are definitely harder to part with.
I’m sure I will hold onto a small tote of Legos. They will be fun to share with my grandkids someday, a whole new generation of memories made by these “things.”

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