I never know where inspiration will strike. Or when. But lately, it’s been brought on by Legos. Yup. Those colorful building blocks that my son can’t seen to get enough of right now. I keep seeing analogies to life in them. For instance, the building pieces come in a variety of shapes and sized, as do people. And if you make something and don’t like it, change it.
Most recently, it was when my son was building a Lego train set that he bought just after Christmas, with his Christmas money. I was hesitant to let him get this set because it was rated for ages fourteen and older. The kid is only 9. Yes, he’s pretty good at building things. But with his attentional challenges and propensity to want to skip over some steps along the way, along with visual issues that contribute to missing a step here or there, I was not convinced this whole idea was going to be a good one.
After putting a few pieces in the wrong place (by one of those little blips), things started to go wrong. I intervened and helped cause a minor meltdown. After I forced Little Man to go take a break while I figured out where he went wrong, and fixed it, he got back to the build. A short while later, he was getting frustrated yet again. This time I decided that since he hadn’t wanted my help the first time, I wasn’t going to get involved. Bingo! Life lesson reminder! It’s his life and his struggle. I can’t take it all away or do it all for him. He has to figure it out.
life build. If the life train doesn’t come out perfectly, that’s ok. He had a few hiccups along the way, and the finished product didn’t come out exactly as on the box. But he was able to make his own modifications so that it worked. The train looks like a steam engine (which was what’s important to Little Man), and it goes around the track without derailing. And he did it himself. Goal accomplished.
The next day, I read something about taking things one small step at a time. Bingo! Another one! To put together that big set of over 1000 bricks, you need to take it one brick at a time, piece by piece. And you may need to take a minute to get organized before you start actually building. For some parts of the build, you need to make something that may involve 4 to 10 bricks, and then put that piece onto what you are building. But it’s all just one small step at a time, especially when things are big and complicated, like life.
Because Little Man was so worn out by building the engine and tender, the next morning, I helped put together the passenger car. Teamwork.
Just a quick afterthought. Yes, I let Little Man struggle through building the engine and tender. Several days later, he was quite bummed out that they were not right, and he asked for my help. I obliged, and the photo above, of the engine and tender, is the result of that later effort. Another lesson: it’s ok to ask for help, and it’s ok to give it.