Ben’s birthday is today. I know he’d love more Star Wars LEGOs, but he won’t be getting them from me. And despite everything Lucas has done, it’s not about Star Wars.
I played with LEGOs as a kid whenever I could. They’re the ultimate in undirected play. They don’t require great dexterity, they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and they don’t get knocked over by stray breezes or brothers. LEGOs were great.
Then, a few years ago, I walked into the LEGO store at Hugedale (Snoopydale at the time). It’s a great looking place, with art that explores the limits of what can be done with their product. It’s also filled with ecstatic screaming children, miserable screaming children, and children screaming that they need “THIS–RIGHT NOW!” Ahem. Anyway.
A couple of steps into the store was a barrel of LEGO-figure key chains. It took me a few seconds to process what I was seeing. Then a few more to get my breath back. I chirped, “Hey, Ben, look. You can grow up to be a fireman.” Hold up one key chain. “Or a doctor.” Another. “Or a policeman. Or Darth Vader. Or an astronaut.” Drop the voice by an octave. “Or a girl!”
No more LEGOs for Ben’s birthday. Not this year. Not ever.