My dad has taken to making repetitive motions. He rubs his hand back and forth across the top and around the edge of the kitchen table. So Mom gives him a dishcloth and tells him to wipe the table off for her. Sometimes he slaps his leg incessantly. Recently a home health aide witnessing this said to my mom, “He needs something to do with his hands. Try getting a remote-control car or Legos.”
Legos I can do. I have two huge plastic-lidded tubs of Legos and Lego sets in my basement.
I love Legos.
When I was young my brother got Legos one year for Christmas. They were the simple primary colored ones; I’m not even sure they had white or black ones then. They came only in rectangular shapes—the fours, sixes and eights named by the number of little nibs they had on the top. My brother’s Legos also came with a book of instructions to build various models. I loved that Lego set. I systematically built all the models in the book. I played with that Lego set more than my brother did.
When my children were young I started them out on Duplo blocks (the large Legos for toddlers). Then we moved to tubs of regular Legos not unlike what I played with as a child but with the modern additions of doors, windows and wheels. From here we graduated to Lego sets of all kinds—small $3.00 ones of a vehicle or building to large complex sets of pirates, castles, and space craft that contained all kinds of intricate parts and cost a small fortune.
Yesterday I dug out the plain rectangular, primary-colored Lego blocks and took them to Dayton when I visited my parents. After lunch I brought them to the kitchen table where Dad and I worked separately and silently, side-by-side building with the Legos. As I picked up the colorful little blocks, in my mind, I could see the small fingers of my sons handling the Legos, snapping them together.
Dad did pretty good with the Legos, but occasionally tried to connect the wrong sides of two blocks together.
I built a simple rectangular building with a door, window, and roof. Dad built a top or roof onto a boat form and two simple vehicles using a few of the wheels. My building was neat and conventional. Dad’s constructions were unorthodox and unconventional. But he seemed content and pleasantly occupied while working with the Legos. It was a pleasant way to pass some time.
I love Legos.