Guys Night Evo 14-April-2012
I love to tell people that Legos are brain food. They make you smart. I should have played with them more when I was a kid!!!
Guys Night. Love it every time. I guess it’s been a while since I’ve written about Kid Exchange, but in summary, now and then we try to make something good come of the ‘2 homes’ situation by swapping kids for a weekend. We each get one of each kid to ourselves for a night. With Baby Girl that means Daddy/Daughter stuff. With my Main Man, it means Guys Night!
Recently, Ezra decided that we needed to sort the massive ‘Sea of Legos’ out of the tub they’ve been in for years, in order to streamline the building process. Good call, Buddy. I bought him several organizer type toolboxes to go with his tackle boxes, and the process has begun, albeit a very tedious process sorting more than 30 years worth of Legos. In one of the pictures, you can see that we’ve also been weeding out what we call “Leg-No’s”, which are other brands that are ‘interchangeable’ with real Legos, but obviously inferior in fit and function. They work in a pinch, but aren’t ideal. Over the years, they get intertwined with the good stuff. So it goes.
Throughout the sorting process, I’ve found countless pieces that are from the very sets I used to build with when I was a kid! The crane, the bulldozer, the semi tractor trailer truck! The tractor that had steering and a real power takeoff for the attachments you could build! They’re all still in that tub, and they all still work perfectly. Show me another toy that works flawlessly for 30+ years…
The picture at the top shows 30 years of evolution here. On the left, the real-life ‘new and improved’ (Ezra calls it ‘customization’) version of the very simple tractor trailer semi cab shown in the instructions just to the right of it. This was our primary build from Guys Night on Saturday. We sorted a little, built a little, goofed around a little. Ate icing from a can. I started out just doing a ‘nostalgia build’ because I wanted to drive that truck again 30 years later! But as we went, it became apparent that Legos have come a long way in that time. Way too many new and improved thingies to add to the original design! As you can see, the final result is impressive. You’re looking at a collaborative project with my childhood best friend who just wasn’t born yet when I was a kid. Some things are timeless.
Intertwined in this semi cab are pieces from my own childhood, as well as pieces from his childhood, his favorite sets, his favorite pieces, his own personal ‘style’ in all the ways he loves to customize his Legos. It’s the best of him, the best of me, and the combination of both of us. And we built it together, just like we’re doing with his life.
And isn’t that what we try to do as parents? We take the best of what we learned from our own childhoods, and sort it out clear and away from the crap that wasn’t so grand? We teach them all the things we know about life, and teach them to avoid the bad things we learned the hard way. Some things they still have to learn on their own, experience on their own, but what it all comes down to is that we’re trying to give them the best possible future based on what (little) we know about navigating life.
I almost said, “I hope Ezra manages to improve on my life’s experiences as much as he improved on the design of this semi cab.” But I don’t have to hope. I know he will. He already has.
Sidenotes- 1) The cool black and gray car is just something Ezra built on the side while we were doing everything else mentioned above. Even his side projects are marked improvements over my childhood masterpieces… 2) Even the family dog loves to build! Or rather, to supervise the building… Anything that gets the humans to the floor…
Grand Cheers to Legos, for 30 years of brain food, and many more to come. I love to tell people that Legos are brain food. They make you smart. I should have played with them more when I was a kid! (And I did play with them a lot!) Now if they could just find a way to make me younger? Wait, maybe they do…
Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Evolution