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Lego love: Father-child bonding

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Several Christmases ago, when Alfs finally was old enough for little Legos, I took one of my favorite holiday pictures ever. It's a photo of Alfs, still an only child, sitting with his dad, and they were each holding their favorite Christmas gifts: Legos. Alfs had just received his first set of little Legos; it was also the year the first Lego Mindstorms set was released, and I gave it to my husband.

Legos


Lego was, by far, my husband's favorite childhood toy. There is a tale of a love of Lego so great, he and his brother voluntarily consolidated their single bedrooms so that they could have one room entirely dedicated to … Legos. They would sneak around the Christmas tree gently shaking gifts in an effort to identify which were the Legos so they could open them first. Before we became parents, my husband was a favorite playmate for my nephews because he would get down on the floor and build Legos with them. It was a love that did not die.Once Alfs was born, my husband could barely wait until Alfs was old enough for little Legos. Duplos were wonderful and all, but they weren't the same. Once the little Legos arrived, the two of them spent hours on the living room floor making creation after creation. Once, I vacuumed up a piece by accident. When I mentioned this in passing later, my husband — in all seriousness — wanted to open up the vacuum bag and retrieve it. I think I looked at him like he was crazy, so he didn't. That I know of.Several years ago, before Sunshine was born, when my husband had a conference to attend in southern California, we went to LegoLand — twice. That is, I took the boys myself one day and we went a second day with Daddy. That second day, we opened and closed the park. All three boys had a blast. Seeing them smiling and laughing together and sharing this total joy made for one of our best days as a family. As the family has grown, so has the Lego collection. Lego love has continued, and shows no signs of slowing down. While Lego was confined to the boys' room when Sunshine was an infant, she's now into it, too. There is a Lego just about everywhere, and the newer Mindstorms set has turned the boys into Lego robot builders. When the Lego catalog arrives in the mail, the boys sit down with it immediately. They plot allowance-saving for specific sets, and think hard on what to ask for at birthdays and holidays. Somehow I get the sense that this bonding over Lego will not stop with this generation. I can't wait to see three generations on the floor, building and smiling.

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