If you are a parent of a child who owns legos, surely you’ve heard, “mommmmm!” can you help me find….. Like with most toys that sink my child into the depths of thought and enjoyment there is love for the longevity of legos, and there is hate - for stepping on another piece of lego may permanently injure my foot!
I used to dread this call of duty, knowing I’d be tasked with finding the most obscure lego piece is a sea of pieces as if to test, how crazy are you feeling today, Stephanie, huh? This will show you!
Then recently, I conceded. I thought, if I can manifest ease in dealing with insurance company, manifest parking spaces, and paid meters, and appointments at the time I want them, surely I can manifest finding lego pieces quickly.
My ego took hold - challenge accepted - Game. On.
In surrendering, here are four life lessons legos are teaching myself and my children.
Being handed the easy way, all wrapped with a box, seems more fun because it’s easy but the real pride is in the challenge of doing for yourself.
These box sets that came out sometime between when I grew up in the 80’s and now blow my mind to bits! They come with every piece neatly arranged by color and instructions that my young son could do on his own. It’d buy us a little alone time. The real fun (read: quiet time for us!) didn’t come until his little sister started breaking these lego sets into it’s tiniest pieces and we added a generic set of legos (which, ahem, legos still came with all the pieces and legos to build prefabricated ideas). Now, we have a free for all pile of legos and the pride of self-sufficiency comes when you dig through the mounds and find that exact piece you were in search of (yes, I’m talking about my pride!)
It’s impossible to look for two things at once and find anything on time.
You know you've tried this one - “I’m looking for a red angled piece with cutouts in the side and one white round slightly curved piece with four circles on the bottom. Whichever I find first is fine….” until your frustration level is maxed and all you can find are covert black pieces you put to the side for one day you’re going to want to know where they are…
In legos and in life, if we equally split our focus allowing the universe to decide what it is we are to find, we’ll keep coming up with things for another day. When you give a full on, 100%, heck yes to what it is you are searching for, not only does it seem to come to you, it does so with pure pleasure. Like going all in and just knowing, you will find this red piece with strange cutouts on the side. If you believe you will find it, it seems to happen with ease and speed compared to the blahdom of thinking this is impossible, can’t I just check my phone instead?!
Kids are more willing to substitute and compromise than adults.
This may come as a shock to anyone who’s parenting a young child. You may be thinking, “compromise?” surely I’m talking about someone else’s child. The truth is, if children are allowed to develop their sense of imagination, the altruistic qualities of creativity, and we haven’t yet ingrained in them our demented need for perfectionism, children are the most magical creatures sent here to remind us about our own imagination, creative juices, and the joy in letting go of perfectionism.
When building legos with my six-year old, if we can’t find the right piece in the correct color, he’ll say, I’ll just use purple instead of red. Then once something is built, like his boat from yesterday, he’ll say, this needs a motor and now a grill. There’s no innate sense in children to hold so tightly to the sense of sacristy we as adults have been conditioned to believe exists. My son holds zero fear that if he uses extra pieces on this creation, he’s taking up pieces for another. Nope, he’ll just substitute as he goes. Meanwhile my perfectionist mentality is being labored and tested and I just want to find the right piece, even after he’s moved on.
It’s funny… We think we’re here to teach our children but if we observe them as they are, they are the ones who can teach us exactly what it is we need to remember.
Pick up the pieces when you find them or they may be lost forever.
In life and in legos, when you see the pieces, pick them up. Until last week I was a lego failing mom. I never created a safe spot for all lego pieces to go. Nope, we just crazily (I’ll never go back) allowed the kids to dump them where they may and play. We’d clean them up and put them into the box though sure enough they’d soon be spread out again. For the first few months, anytime I vacuumed and heard a piece get sucked up, I’d dump out the dirt and dust and recover that prized possession. Then I got real - or lazy - your choice of words, and if it wasn’t picked up before the vacuum found it, to lego cemetery it went.
There’s a similarity to our lives. We all live with fragmented pieces of ourselves - the truest parts we were born with that were lost through conditioning, trauma, pleasing others, and living by the rules. Like the magical imagination and creativity of childhood. It’s up to us to pick up those pieces of ourselves when we get a glimpse of what they are. Like when you meet someone with a quality you admire, not from jealousy but from a place of yearning, go be it. Bring that quality home to your soul. That person and their qualities is simply a reflection of you! We mustn’t wait for others to make us whole, we are here to seek out the pieces hidden under the couch and bring them home before they are sucked away and lost forever.
Now, off to build….
Loving you fiercely ~ s.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Over to you ~ Your inspiration is meant to inspire others - what life lessons are you ready to share today?