A bucket of Legos has been sitting dormant in our basement since the Clinton era. Not totally dormant. Since the bucket is now twice as full as when it got shoved under the basement steps, we assume the pieces get lively around Lego mating season.
Now that our youngest grandchild reached the Age of Reason, (no longer consuming every potential choking hazard), we excavated under the stairs and unearthed the red bin.
But before the grandsons are let loose on the toys their daddies played with, their grandma has work to do.
The sorting of the Legos has begun.
One grandson jump-started the process when he turned the bin upside down to find a particular Lego piece.
And I’ve now spent half an unabridged audiobook and two podcasts sorting the dross from the gold, tiny specialty pieces from the standard Lego bases and blocks, thumbtacks and screws from the $100 Star Wars set.
“Tacks and screws?” The alert reader may ask. Yes. If memory serves me correctly we didn’t give our children sharp objects to play with. Here’s what I think happened, in those long ago clean-this-mess-or-else days. They tended to sweep everything from floor and dressers into the Lego bin. Which accounts for the ancient candy wrappers, pennies, and Mancala stones. And K-nex pieces. Do they even make K-nex any more? I’m a little concerned about the counting bears. We used to have hundreds. Now down to two. Maybe Legos eat them as part of their mating rituals?
And what kind of high-falutin’ set did we buy that has chess pieces?
Also. I wouldn’t want to be alone in a room with the only fighting guy who has all his body parts.
These are the Lego accoutrements.
Tiny coins, chalices, leering heads and weapons.
Do you know that a 2 millimeter drinking stein is as painful to kneel on as a lumpy rock?
This sorting business is the kind of self-appointed task that leads me to reflect on the compulsive desire to do something stupid.
Like the child who throws a softball at a wasps’ nest. Mid-flight he ponders. Was this a good idea?
Like the suburbanite who rakes leaves while autumn gales blow or snowplows the driveway during a blizzard. In the upper Midwest we commonly refer to these as ‘exercises in futility.’
Like the gambler who puts all his money on the long shot at the track because the horse reminded him of his mother and too late wonders if he should have thought this decision through.
I should realize the the grands probably won’t fully appreciate the effort that went into the Lego Sorting Project. They most certainly won’t maintain the separation of bits from pieces for long.
Shouldn’t the little voice in my head say, ”Don’t you have more productive and slightly less futile tasks to do? Pay the monthly bills, feed your husband, clean the floor around the toilet from the last time the little boys came before they come again?”
Likely, I’ll continue to suppress the voice.
I’ll imagine the excitement I hope to see on my grandson’s faces when they find just the right Lego figure for their current make-believe scenario.
And that possibility will make this lousy idea, exercise in futility, poorly thought-out scheme all worth while.