A love letter to LEGO


I love LEGO.  I always have.  This, above, is our old train table, which years ago was requisitioned to be a LEGO table.  As you can see, Grace’s half seems to be winning, but what you can’t see is the four large bins of LEGO pieces, all full, stacked to the side.  One of the drawers under the table is also full of LEGO pieces.

I show this mess only to demonstrate my family’s passionate commitment to LEGO.  I have no idea how many pieces we have, but I do know that a couple of years ago Matt decided we ought to sort them by color.  This effort, with fully four of us working, took a whole weekend.

That was a coupe of years ago.  Suffice it to say there are more now.  Even Grace has gotten into the swing of things, with a strong interest in LEGO Friends (the plethora above mostly came through birthday and Christmas presents this past year).  While I am generally opposed to the “girl versions” of ANY toy, I like that she’s playing with LEGO at all, so I’ll let it slide.

Several years ago I observed (and wrote) that watching a small child work on a LEGO kit is an excellent metaphor for parenting in general: you watch them do it wrong, and you have to sit on your hands and not jump in to correct them, even though you know the pain and undoing-and-redoing that lies ahead for them (and you).  These days, Whit flies through the kits on his own, and presents us with huge ships and rockets and vehicles he has made on his own.


For example, here.  This picture provides another shot of the LEGO table, and also a punch in the gut gasp when I see him without his front teeth.  Though Whit loves an elaborate LEGO kit, he also spends at least as much time making things up, building ships and spacecraft that he designs in his own head.  Personally I think this imaginative, free-form play is probably even more valuable than learning how to follow the technical manuals.

Our passion for LEGO is also evidenced in our the three visits we’ve paid to Legoland.  Something about Legoland is sheer magic for the children and for me.

And then there’s just that it’s such a wonderful company.  This story here, about the letter a boy wrote to LEGO after he lost a minifig, and their totally awesome response, brought me to tears.

And finally, there’s the reason for this love letter.  My father-in-law sent Whit a large LEGO for his birthday.  FedEx showed that it had been delivered, but nothing had shown up at our house.  I called LEGO, distraught.  I explained that my son was a huge LEGO fan, that he was turning 8, and that he was desperate for the Excavator.  I think we can all agree that LEGO was in no way at fault here; they had shipped according to when they promised, and according to all records, the box had been delivered.  Yet the man on the other end of the line told me he would re-send another Excavator, and he would do so with expedited delivery, with no additional charge to us to to Whit’s grandfather, just to make sure that my eight-year-old had the set he so longed for to open on his big day.

I just wanted to publicly demonstrate and declare that my family has always been, and will always be, unshakably and immensely devoted to LEGO as a product, a concept, and a company.


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  1. Posted January 28, 2013 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    We are just starting to embark on a gigantic Lego journey… Fynn has the itch now from a few Star Wars (little) sets… we’ve always had them around, but just recently both kids have been really interested and it is awesome to see how their creativity comes out with the timeless treasures 🙂
    (and bravo to Lego for these incredible stories of customer service!!)

  2. Posted January 28, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I love the LEGO table! Ours are all poured into stacked bins on the desk next to our dining room table and they’ve pretty much taken over the room. I keep meaning to figure out a way to organize them and get them a spot of their own, and the old train table looks like a great idea. We have a love affair with LEGO in our household too. I love that Sam can do the kits and learn to read and follow directions, but my favorite part is when he takes the kits apart and creates monsters and building and racers and spaceships and stories. There’s a reason LEGO has been around for so long.

  3. Kathie Wachs
    Posted January 28, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    We love LEGO too and I can totally relate. They do have great customer service. 🙂

  4. Posted January 28, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Makes me smile to see all these Legos! Jack’s are still in my parents’ basement, in plastic bins — awaiting the next generation??

  5. Posted January 28, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Love LegoLand! It’s just so clean, you know? They keep that park spic-and-span.

    One thing I don’t love about Legos: stepping on them during a midnight trek to the bathroom. 😉

  6. Posted January 28, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Oh I hear you. We have lego creations in every single room of the house. What I love most is that after the boys put their creations together per the directions, they take them apart and make these crazy new planes and trains and “spy vehicles.”

    The Lego Friend series makes me crazy. I wrote to Lego about it. Pink? Seriously?? Ugh.

  7. Posted January 29, 2013 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    I’m with you, Lindsey! My boys have spent hours and days and months and years playing with, creating, and playing with again, all combinations of Lego. They have been the favorite pass-time. Needless to say, it doesn’t last forever … and we’re starting to move the Legos aside. But they’ll always be a treasure. And like Katrina said, awaiting the next generation? 🙂 Time moves so fast. Enjoy!

  8. Posted January 29, 2013 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    I love how LEGO handled the situation–A+. And I wholeheartedly agree with you about the free-form LEGO play–I feel like amazing things are happening within their heads when left with time to be “bored”.

  9. Kristin H. Macomber
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Batch reading, just found this post today. And oh, can I relate! Boys in college, and still we have an armoire stuffed with Legos! Which would be mildly annoying, were it not for my young nephew, who, when he comes to visit, asks straight off if he can visit the magic cabinet. There is all sorts of magic in those bins, that’s for sure.

    Speaking of sorting, I hate to tell you, but in our house, color turned out to be the least important attribute of a critical piece that had gone missing. Here’s the filing system my guys came up with, which mostly lives on. We have one container each for base pieces, basic pieces, building (i.e. doors, windows, Fort Legorado, etc) pieces, vehicle pieces, Lego people pieces, including their headwear and handheld accoutrements, and finally, tiny pieces. Seems to have served them through the years. And my nephew likes just going straight to the people box.

    As for my big guys, I’m not sure if they’ll ever entirely have aged out on Legos. I still find little sets to put in their stockings. Wouldn’t be Christmas morning, without someone working on a Lego project…

  10. Posted January 29, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    LegoLand is the only theme park I ever truly liked when my kids were little. Love that gap-toothed smile on your son. This post brings back so many good memories for me.

  11. Posted January 29, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Love how the space on the Lego table was divided :). My son is just starting his love affair with Lego and the creativity amazes me.

  12. Posted February 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    We LOVE Legos AND this book :: http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-Ideas-Book-Daniel-Lipkowitz/dp/0756686067 !!!

    admin Reply:

    Oh, yes. We love that book too!!