Feel the Force.
A short while ago I received a communication from my sister.
Her eldest daughter was playing in a piano concert, and my sister couldn’t see her five-year old blonde bombshell of a brother sitting still in a piano recital for an hour.
Could Big Al come to spend Sunday afternoon with us?
Well, of course, I said. Bring him right along.
Phil ambled past to be briefed on our nephew’s arrival. He grinned affably. “That’s ok,” he observed happily, “we’ll just get out the Lego.”
It was easier said than done persuading my son to bring down his precious box of Lego pieces for Al. Because we all know that my nephew is an experimental soul, and it is quite gobsmacking what a five-year old can find to do with these unassuming little blocks.
Finally, the box was bought down out of sheer filial obedience. And the strangest thing happened when it arrived in the sitting room. Of course Al pounced on it, of course he did; but as well as me supervising him, Felix settled contentedly down to construct something spectacular.
And finally, so did his father.
So there they were, the father, the son and the nephew, utterly absorbed in building spacecraft.
Phil was building the classic rocket-with-gantry affair you would expect from a child of NASA and he sixties. Felix went for wide spaceships with Star Wars proportions.
And Al lined up all the little Lego people and swapped the legs and wigs around.
This concerned Felix, who enjoys order. I pledged to restore things after the play session, and then cursed my naivety. The legs and the headgear are endlessly variable. We had spacemen legs with ninja torsos and star wars helmets. It was deeply creative but somehow, it felt so wrong.
And then Al found Frodo Baggins.
Did you know Lego have produced Lord Of The Rings models? They have. And Frodo Baggins is what you would call a non-standard Lego person.
His legs are shorter than all the others.
This bothered Al. He wanted to take the little legs off and put big legs on. But that bothered Felix, because in the order of things Frodo must have short legs. I decided to become oblivious to the small Lego person politics, and did that immensely satisfying rifling in the box thing.
I searched out all the little people, and I made sure that even if they did not have their own legs specifically, no-one was legless. Or wigless. Or at least, if they didn’t have hair they had a decent helmet, or snake-headdress, or whatever.
I looked up. And we were all happy, doing our own thing, making our own creation.
And once again, I silently thanked The Force for the endless magic that is a box of Lego.