When the boys were little, and probably still, they loved playing with Lego’s. Being the kind of “mean mom” who would not allow her kids to park themselves in front of a TV, Lego’s were something that kept them entertained for hours. One day each week, we had a Non-Electronic Day. The kids were not allowed to watch TV or play with video games. In fact, even toys that required batteries were outlawed on Non-Electronic Day. T used to laugh and ask my why I did such a thing to myself! Sure, it wasn’t the easiest day each week, but it was fun to see the kids have no choice but to think creatively. We started out with a little Lego table. It had a mesh basket in the center of the table to hold the blocks . The boys quickly outgrew the little basket, and we added several other containers full of Lego’s. I can still picture our old playroom with the little table and the colorful boxes of full of Lego’s.
One day years ago, the boys made Lego Lady for me. They were really proud of her, so I put her on the plate shelf in the kitchen. Lego Lady sat in a little Lego lounge chair complete with an umbrella. She held a glass of Lego wine in her hand. If I remember correctly, the boys gave her to me as a symbol of what a mom might like to do if she ever had time to relax. 🙂 Lego Lady lived peacefully on her shelf in the kitchen until one day when I decided to do some spring cleaning. I took Lego Lady down so I could dust the shelf, and I decided not to put her back. The shelf is actually a plate rail that T built that goes all around the kitchen. Lego Lady didn’t really match my collection of Depression glass, so I decided to get rid of her. I thought I could sneak her back in with the other Lego’s, and the boys wouldn’t even notice. I set her aside, and forgot about her, intending to put her away later.
It was a mid-April and unusually warm. After dinner that evening, T and I went outside with the kids. We were in the process of getting our vegetable garden ready for planting. The kids were little. Andrew was six; Luke was three, and Emily was just over a year old. Em played happily in the dirt while T and I worked in the garden. The boys were playing with the neighbor boy in the front yard. Suddenly, I heard an unearthly scream. All of these years later, and I can still hear that sound ringing through my head if I summon it up. I don’t, though. It’s an old memory now and not a good one. T and I stopped our work at the sound. We exchanged a look. What was that? Andrew came running around the house. Luke was hurt. The neighbor boy, who was quite a bit older, was holding Luke carefully still. He told us that he had heard a SNAP. Luke’s leg was broken. The poor little guy had broken his femur. We rushed our little three-year-old son to the emergency room. He had pins put in his leg and was in traction for 17 days. After the traction, he graduated to a body cast from his chest clear down BOTH legs. It was a terrible time. As with many things in life, as the years have passed, we recall funny stories and moments from that crazy time. One of those things is Lego Lady. Three year old Luke was utterly convinced that it was MY FAULT for moving Lego Lady from the shelf. Even while he was in the hospital, he made me promise to place Lego Lady back in her rightful position as Queen of the Kitchen.
Fast forward six years to another April and another unseasonably warm day. Once again, I was in the middle of spring cleaning. Once again, I was cleaning the plate shelf. Once again, I took Lego Lady down. It was a Friday night, and once again, we were all outside. The kids were older this time. Andrew was 12; Luke was 9; Emily was 7. The boys and T were playing basketball in the driveway. Em and I were out in the field behind the house picking violets. Em and I heard a noise that made us look up. T and the boys were running into the house, so we came running in from the field. When we got to the kitchen, we saw a mess. They had heard it from the driveway. No one was in the house but Lego Lady, and a plate had crashed to the floor from the shelf on the wall. Lego Lady wasn’t on the shelf. She was on the counter where I had put her. It seems she knew that I had no intention of returning her to her place on the shelf. She knew that I was going to usurp her reign over my kitchen and put her in with the common Lego’s. The kids all got excited and said that I had to put Lego Lady back on the shelf. I refused. I said that it was all nonsense. I was tired of Lego Lady, and she was going to be be put away. That was final.
The next day was the day of Andrew’s terrible accident. As they wheeled my son into surgery, I thought of Lego Lady sitting at home on the counter ready to be put away. I had an unreasonable urge to leave the hospital and return home to place her back in her spot on the plate shelf. After 48 hours of praying, bargaining, and begging for my son’s life while he lay unmoving and in a coma, I went home to take a shower. The first thing I did when I walked through the door was to move Lego Lady back to her spot on the shelf. After weeks in the hospital, several surgeries, two broken legs, and three weeks in a coma, Andrew still remembered that I had moved Lego Lady the day before his accident. The whole damn thing had been MY FAULT!
Lego Lady’s powers grew into legendary proportions in our family. She has been the subject of many lively discussions.
The kids have enjoyed regaling dinner guests with the stories of Lego Lady’s power over our family and her reign over our kitchen. Little Lola was not about to be left out. She hadn’t even been born when any of these things had happened, but the
stories had become part of the fabric of her life, too. She intended to make her mark on the family legend. Thankfully, Lola didn’t take that far enough to move Lego Lady and risk bodily injury. Instead, she decided to make Lego Lady happier. A few years ago, with the help of her brother Luke, Lola made Lego Lady a husband. Lego Lady’s man is a briefcase-wielding cowboy. He sits in a diminutive chair, just a smidge lower, than Lego Lady’s regal throne. The two of them DO seem quite happy.
Last night, I was once again cleaning the plate shelf. I’m trying to get a head start on the perfectly clean house I hope to have when I host (crazy! foolish!) Thanksgiving dinner for the entire extended family. Once again, I took Lego Lady, along with her husband, off of the shelf. I popped them into the sink full of bubbly water. As I sprayed them off, I considered putting them away for good. Two of the kids are gone. I wondered if the girls would even care. I held the Lego couple in my hands, and thought, “Oh, no. I’m not going to be blamed for another family tragedy over you, Lego Lady,” so I sent out a Facebook message to my children. This time, I would let them decide. Luke responded to my post, “LOL. Put her away.” My phone rang immediately. It was Andrew calling from Chicago. He said, “Don’t you dare put Lego Lady away.” Emily said, “Don’t do it! I’m driving into the city tomorrow.”
There. It has been decided. Lego Lady and her little husband will remain in their spot watching over our family.