Fifteen years ago I became a grandmother.
About eleven years ago, I bought my first ever Lego set for the boy who made me a grandma.
About eleven years and one minute ago, I became just a little obsessed with the delightfulness of Legos. So did said grandboy. We spent many hours building one thing after another, as the coins rapidly left our bank account.
The memories of working together with that boy are some of my fondest. One of the best memories was at one of his birthday parties, maybe party number 6 or so. I’d bought him (him?….ME!!) another Lego set as his present for achieving the age of 6. He was excited. As he and his little friend were admiring the gift, I heard my grandson say, “My grandma B can put this together with us. She’s practically a PROFESSIONAL at Legos.”
Enter granddaughter number one and only into the scene and my purchases began to include little pink Lego sets. And other sets like a motorhome, cabin, playhouses, etc. She and I were big into “pretend” play.
And my obsession just became more intense as time passed.
Grandson number two entered the scene several years after the two oldest grandkids. By then the fully assembled sets of Legos were occupying precious space in a cabinet high, high above the floor in an undisclosed room of our home. 🙂 So high that even Grandma B couldn’t reach them without a short step stool. So high that no one could touch them and perhaps mess them up. ***insert gasp of horror***
But every now and again I’d relent and let precious grandson number two play with them. The boy has my heart. He gets pretty much whatever he wants. New Lego sets for him? You bet. A fifth wheel with cool red pickup. A police car set. He and I (mainly me) put them all together.
He doesn’t quite share the intense love of Legos that his
cousins grandmother possesses.
And so it came to pass that gradually over the passage of years the various Lego sets kind of morphed into disarray.
Yes. It’s true. Most of the original sets are now completely disassembled. But still up high in a cabinet out of reach. Some in individual zip lock bags with the instruction books still inside. Some just sadly existing in a bucket. With the thought that one day Grandpa and I might just put them all back together again. Do you think we will? Yeah, I don’t either. My obsessions now are more along the line of power napping and eating cookies.
Four years ago, after a 6 1/2 year gap of no new grandbabies, we were blessed by the birth of what is very likely the last grandchild. (am I correct, daughters?) He was quite the unexpected blessing to his parents and his grandparents.
And today this happened:
I watched him as he intently inspected every part of the Legos. He even pulled out the instruction book and compared parts with pictures. I could hear his little boy voice narrate how the little orange fish (he identified it as “tilapia”) was cooking in the RV oven. And the police dog was driving the police truck. And “would you like this cup of coffee I just made for you? Don’t spill it, it’s hot.”
As I watched what is likely the beginning of the final chapter of Legos with my grandchildren, I got a little teary.
And I was overcome with a vivid realization. All this pretend play with the grandkids over the years, all my intense obsession to keep the Lego sets intact? The correlation is pretty clear. You might relate.
I want everything in my family’s life to hold together like perfect Lego sets. I look at these grandkids and I desperately want to keep them young, healthy, innocent, perfectly mine forever. No falling apart. No broken pieces. No heart break. No failures. No debilitating fears. No children suffering from disease and dying at a young age. No families obliterated by addiction. No children being abandoned by a broken parent. No parents dying while their children are still young.
You want the same. Am I right?
But that’s not the way life works. It all started with an apple in the Garden of Eden. Sin destroys. And there’s only one solution. His name is Jesus. He’s the healer of brokenness. He even finds beauty in our brokenness. Shattered and broken children don’t scare him. He’s the Master of makeovers. He loves us exactly as we are. Broken and beautiful.
These pieces of our heart called children and grandchildren? We can trust the One who gave us those blessings. He loves them even more than we do. He’ll carry them through their (inevitable) broken chapters in the same way He’s carried us through our own broken chapters. In the arms of love. To the very end.
Time for Grandma B to let go of her Legos. Figuratively speaking of course. They will never be disposed of.
While I’d like to keep my perfect grandchildren high on a shelf in a protective case, never to be broken, that of course won’t happen. And everything will definitely work out to be good. (Romans 8:28)
Update: Two days after I wrote this blog post my two oldest grandkids came for a visit. And would you look at this! We dug out all the Lego sets pieces in their bags and buckets. And this is the result!!! I love these grandkids so very much.
Update #2: Just yesterday while at my house the once reluctant Lego-nonbuilder grandson, now age 10, very quickly assembled a new Star Wars Lego kit. !! He asked for my help one time and when it took my old eyes too long to suit him he said “Never mind”. Later he showed me the finished product and before he left for home he whispered in my ear “I put this Lego back in the secret drawer to keep it safe”. ❤