Lessons In Legos

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.

I regret not capturing the original build. This was a rebuild- lots of mom help- done several days later.

It’s his 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.

This passenger car was built by both me and Little Man.

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.

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About mariner2mother

I'm a mother of a very spirited 14 year old son, and a former merchant ship's deck officer. To feed my creative side I take photos and make a very occasional batch of soap. I am also Reiki attuned and am a student of Energy Healing, having used several healing modalities to work on myself and my family.
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6 Responses to Lessons In Legos

  1. Amen. Something I struggle with being a parent, knowing when to help or intervene or just hang back and let my kids try on their own, and know that failing is absolutely okay, in fact, it’s necessary sometimes.

    • Yessireebob! I wish the word fail and failure didn’t exist. Our society has it all wrong when they get down on someone for failing. Instead, we should be looking at every situation from the perspective of, what didn’t work- what can be changed so it might work better or work the next time. No blame, no shame. Period. The end. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

  2. Lenore Diane says:

    I love the lessons one can learn with Legos – and I am referring to adults and children. Though just 15 minutes ago I was insisting the boys get their Legos picked up and put away, or I was going to deplete the supply once and for all. *sigh*

    As Darla said, knowing when to intervene and when to stand back is tough – in part, because we really do want to make it easy for them. Though by making things easy, we tend to make it harder – if you know what I mean.

    Great post, M2M and an excellent lesson, too.

    • Thanks Lenore. I find this lesson most challenging when it involves someone we love or care a lot about, be it a child or a friend or family member. I’m getting better at it. I keep reminding myself that we’re all, and the journey is all a work in progress.

  3. I swear to GOD that YOU ARE THE BEST MOM EVER!!!!!!!
    I am so GRATEFUL that I know you and that YOU call me friend woman!!!!
    I am rarely impressed by anyone…mostly dissapointed with them- but Susan….you are such an inspiration to me. I adore watching your growth and insights. Little Man was wicked smart in choosing YOU as his mom!!!!!!…..YEA YOU!!!!

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