I could begin this post, way back when Mitchel got his first Lego set, or perhaps when his passion was truly ignited, instead, I will begin on Wednesday when I fast tracked to some serious lessons in Lego.
Mitchel had decided back in July that his first purchase with his Learning Investment would be the Power Miners Crystal sweeper. While he patiently waited for September, he saved up his allowance and purchased the claw digger showcased above. He also spent countless hours on the Power Miners Lego website learning everything there possibly was to know about the power miners. The details he knew simply from pictures, and short videos was astounding. Not to mention the math he dumbfounded us with as he calculated, weeks and days until the date he had in his mind. He began also running different numbers of what it would cost and if he could indeed save up faster on his own. Often distracted by my own dramas, I wouldn’t always promptly answer, his how long or how many questions, yet each time he returned to me with an accurate calculation. I will admit to more then one, “how do you know that?” to which he nonchalantly responded, “I figured it out.” Oh to know what truly goes on in that mind. I digress.
Back to Lego. This past Wednesday, the much anticipated Learning Investment arrived, in form of a preloaded Visa and life as we knew it stopped. We were in the Van and headed to Toys R Us to grab the Crystal Sweeper!! Mitchel was able to contain himself long enough to allow his brother some time at his chosen place to visit, trust me a true testament to brother love.
Once home, the box was open and Mitchel began to build the 500 piece set. Here is where my reflection began, or maybe it was in the store, where i silently stood by as he grabbed the 500 piece set. My internal dialogue went something like this. ” Okay here we go. There will be HUGE bouts of frustration. Likely, Mitchel will not eat, move or drink until he gets this thing built. He will be at this for hours, and then oh then all hell will break loose as the final pieces don’t work out. There will be cursing, shouting, throwing, screaming, and it will likely all be directed at me!” With great restraint, I kept these thoughts to myself. I put none of it out on this eager, excited, motivated seven year old before me. Instead, I joined him in this enthusiasm. I believed he would get it built today.
Fast forward, 4 hours and there is my seven year old, still pouring over the pages. He has not eaten, he has not had a drink and the only movement has been to turn pages and locate pieces. He is about 80 pieces away from the end, and it happens, a piece falls off and an explosion ensues. I gently offer, food, hugs to which I hear, ” I am not hungry, don’t touch me, I hate this **** set and I am not going to finish it, throw it away.” There is plenty of door slamming and toys thudding against walls. Here is where I am beyond grateful for my past lego experiences. I was for whatever miracle, able to sit quietly alongside the rage. I said nothing..
The first storm did pass. Opening the door I offerend noodles and juice, to a receptive seven year old. He returned to the project. There were four more, similarly volatile reactions over the next hour. There were threats to get rid of it, cursing and eventually a completed project. Exhausted, I went to bed and Mitchel spent another two hours building his second set. (of worthy note he generously presented his tearful brother with the first completed set to help him calm down after a fit of his own disappointment).
The pride is big in our house the next day. There is talk about building a shelf to put the completed project on, alongside the Claw Digger. These treasures will never be broken and will forever be played with fully in tact. I am thanking myself, for the gift of patience that arrived, in time for me to believe in my son and let him figure out his own way to his goal. I could have told him, you should eat, you have to , you can’t, I know, all of which I suspect would have translated to, “I don’t trust or believe in you.” Instead, I waited, I watched and he figured out, (direct quote) “I think I got too hungry. I should eat when I build big sets”
I bet you thought story ended hear. Nope .. there is more .. which I will save for the next post in order to give your my fingers a rest!