So as I mentioned earlier, Mitchel spent hours, building the much anticipated Crystal sweeper, and for months kept the claw digger intact. Imagine my surprise when just a few days later Mitchel announced, he was dismantling both sets in order to build the Crystal Crawler, as he had found some directions on line. First off, I didn’t even know he had the ability or know how to search out directions on line.
I was attached to the Crystal sweeper and spent a large amount of time, trying to persuade him to keep things all together for just a few more days, to no avail. His goal had been set and he was off, to his room, to build. He chose the room to ensure no gross mingling between lego from previous sets (as lego does indeed exist in almost all corners of our house.)
As mom sitting alongside, I was most impressed by Mitchel’s ability to discern with complete accuracy the pieces required at each step of the build. He would get so close to the laptop, I thought he might just climb right in. I admit, when asked for help, I had trouble contorting to the correct position to figure out what pieces were required let alone where they went. However, with a little team work, I could provide a small amount of support.
As the big build continues, I notice a shift, many breaks for fresh air, food, water and the like. This is different I think. He is focussed, determined yet some how differently aware that things will be just fine if there are moments in between.
Just when I am beginning to think, we will have a huge LEGO build, void of any screaming, melting down shouts of despair, elven oclock at night arrives and the world melts around my seven year old. He is hidden in a closet shouting, “I am going to smash that. It’s mine and you can’t stop me.” I am on the other side of said closet offering up such wise lines as, “I know you are frustrated. I support you in smashing it but please will you wait until the morning when you are not so tired.” This goes on and on, as I try to convince him, not to smash it and he insists this is the only thing he can do!
Finally, sleep prevails, and the LEGO of many hours is still in tact. First thing in the morning, Mitchel rolls from bed, “get me your lap top,” the build is on. I present breakfast to an accepting boy. His focus is there, he is even more determined and even goes as far as to notice, he is pleased that all is in one piece and void of smashing.
The morning flows in to the early afternoon and alas he has a completed Crystal Crawler, it works to perfection and the mood is super high. This is the best one ever, he is thrilled to have accomplished this, we are cheering high fiving, go as far as to share our success with dear friends. And then … the ladder falls off, once, twice and an unfortunate third time. It is the third time, that breaks the camels back, or in this case more literally the LEGO. A frustrated seven year old, throws the Crystal Crawler to the ground and it shatters, in to the near 700 pieces it took to build it.
And the realization hits, of what smashing a LEGO creation really means. This knowledge borders on unbearable, as my young son comes to know what devastation truly feels like .. he is shattered .. and the next half hour mimics this, as he wails, sobs, kicks hits and inevitably dissolves in to my arms.
The solution: another smaller LEGO set, purchased, built and still in one piece on the mantle.
The learning of all this for him, will never truly be known to me. The trust I have in him to follow his passions, is stronger and my arms continually open for the moments when he needs restoring.