I have a clear memory of my brother’s room, playing on the floor near his tall, brown dresser that we sometimes used as a ladder when we were really young. He had a red box filled with mostly-random Lego pieces mixed with what must have been part of a castle set.
Despite the castle theme, he took to building deadly space ships, firing blasts at each other before shattering on the ground in perfect destruction. Being the peacemaker I was, I used this mismatched bricks to create flying hospitals for the injured in his war. Considering the castle bricks used, they looked pretty silly.
The love for Lego continued as I aged. When I was 17, I bought my very own at Orlando’s Downtown Disney, filling a tiny bucket with fun shapes and colors I rarely saw just for the sake of having them.
For the most part, that was that. An admiration for the beautiful sets and the creative things that could be done with them.
And then I had a son.
Dear Son turned four last September, propelling him into the safe zone marked clearly on all boxes of Classic Lego. Ages 4-99. Close to $100 was dropped on various sets for his birthday, most of which had in some way to do with vehicles due to his deep obsession with cars. Then Santa brought more. Birthday and Christmas money bought more. Potty training prizes. You-stayed-in-your-room-at-night-for-a-week prizes. Valentine’s Day. Easter. Most of these were fairly small, $10 or less sets but they add up.
I try pointlessly to organize them. Again and again I’ve sorted them into nice little containers, making it easy for him to find the parts he needs. But he’ll spill them on the floor as he crosses at night to “go to the bathroom” for the 20th time that night. He’ll dump them on his Lego table all at once to create a “garbage dump” for absolutely no reason. Take them out one by one and never ever return them to the proper spot.
And I keep putting them back.
What’s more, I enjoy it.
Why is sorting Lego so relaxing? Seriously, I don’t even really want to play with them. I just want “him” to have them and for them to all be in their proper place.
I have a secret Pinterest board for Lego sets that I want. The sort that I will never have, considering that they tend to cost in the $300 range.
I’ve scrolled through that darn Wish app, looking at knock-off bricks from China.
I’m on the mailing list for Booster Bricks.
I’m watching several sets on eBay that I’ll never actually bid on.
None of this makes me happy. Why do I bother window shopping things I can’t afford? What use do I have for more disorganized colored plastic to step on in the middle of the night in my life?
But I want more.
I have a problem. A Lego problem.