Do we even want to discuss how it got up there? Okay, yes we do. You grew up, right? You became a man and put away childish things. And you almost feel guilty about wanting to pull them down. But you’ve kept them. You didn’t let your little brother inherit them; you didn’t let your mom garage-sale them (or worse yet — sell them to a complete stranger on eBay), and they’re still sitting there in a cardboard box. Or a pile of cardboard boxes. Or maybe they never even got to the attic — they’re still in the back of your closet, or under your bed.
But you’re twenty-five. Or thirty-five. Maybe you have kids that have their own batch of bricks. And now you’re sitting there on the edge of the bed with a dusty-covered, slightly musty-smelling box that contains knights in shining armor battling green and black dragons, astronauts setting up a base on the moon for exploration, bits of Fort Legoredo still standing to defend against the bad guys, a pirate ship with the Jolly Roger hoisted … all the adventures you spent hours on every day as a kid until … something. And all your imagination was put in a cardboard box. And set aside. And forgotten.
Until now. What will you do?
Does your wife come in and find you sitting there, staring at the box? Perhaps it’s your kids. Maybe the dog is begging you to take him for a walk. Something. Something will try to tear you away. Or not. You close the door to the bedroom and you blow the dust off the box. And cough. And then you open one flap of the cardboard, and then peel away the other three.
Poking up at the top of the box is that Jolly Roger you were thinking about a minute ago. The deck is still being manned by a crew complete with the wooden-legged captain and his first mate, the monkey. Beside the Pirate ship, all jumbled in with the rest of it is a stack of building instructions, well-worn, half of them missing covers, most of them ripped a bit, some gone altogether. And beneath the pirate ship is a sea of brick. You touch it. The bricks. And pick one up. It’s a standard 2×4. Red. You remember how the plastic feels. You remember pushing your hands through a pile on the carpet, looking for just the right piece. You start pushing your hands through now. You find part of a spaceship. And the instructions were just there a second ago … yes, here they are. And a few hours later the ship is done; and the castle is rebuilt; and the Pirate Ship is taking them both on. And you’re sitting in the middle of a pile of LEGO in the middle of your bedroom. You’ve made a space for yourself, and you have a pile of special pieces beside your left knee, and a pile of minifigs beside your right knee, and the monkey in your left hand with the sword is attacking the space man and his blaster which are in your right hand. And you’re making “eek-eek” and “ka-zhoom” sounds when your wife bursts through the door and looks at you, and you look back and she puts her hands on her hips and raises her eyebrows.
But what happens next is all up to you. Maybe she’ll pull her box out of the attic, too. 🙂