I think my oldest son was about 5 when we discovered Legos. Of course, we always knew they existed but he was our first child so this was the very beginning of the infiltration of Legos into our home. I had no idea years later they would reproduce in odd and unusual places, deep in the plush living room rug, tucked in the corners of the Master Bathroom (how in the world?) and, somehow, always underfoot as you traipse across a dark room in the middle of the night.
Like a bad strain of the flu, Legos reproduce quickly and take over a home.
A year or two into our Lego collection, I made my first real attempt to control the madness. Their vast and colorful shapes and sizes had made for an overflowing tub of messiness, so I decided we needed a healthy dose of organization. Together my son and I spent the entire day sorting bricks and pieces by color. I bought coordinating bins and we sifted through piles of Legos until each piece found it’s appropriate color coordinated home. I was so proud of our efforts. If I would have known what Pinterest was back then I would have photographed and Pinned it. It was that kind of fabulous.
Days went by and each time my son would reach for his Legos I would pull out my best June Cleaver voice and remind him to “please replace each brick in it’s proper color coordinated bin when you are finished playing“. Legos were not going to conquer our home, I was the mom who would conquer them!
But after about a week into my conquering, I noticed something. My son stopped playing with his Legos. There was no big resolution or discussion, he just kind of, stopped.
My son is a creative type. He loves Legos because he loves to create expansive worlds and wild and unusual creatures. He enjoys putting together a new set, but even more, he loves tearing that new set apart so he can use those new pieces in creations that he is constantly forming in his own mind.
He is more of a Type B personality, born to a Type A mama. A Type A mama who just completely stymied her son’s creativity with her marvelous system of organization. Ouch.
You see, what I didn’t take time to realize is that color coordinated bins don’t lend themselves to his style of creating because his creations involve lots of color, pieces from each and every bin we sorted. And putting Legos away became twice the chore because he now had to unshelf nearly a dozen bins to get everything back in the correct place lest his mama dropped the June Cleaver voice and got annoyed at the mess.
My son would much rather dive into one gigantic bin of Legos and be inspired by all the varied pieces, shapes and sizes. He thrives in that bit of chaos, his creativity is stimulated by that.
And so I learned something about my life as mom that day.
I can have fabulous ideas. I can read wonderful books and seek out the latest parenting advice for raising this brilliant boy (and the other three children God has blessed me with). I can even Pin fabulous and creative ideas that help me along the way, but none of that knowledge, those good ideas and inspiration, will help if I don’t know my son.
In order to grow him, I need to know his strengths and weaknesses.
In order to train him, I need to know his heart.
And in order to love him well, I need to seek God daily for how he would have me lead him.In order to love my son well, I need to seek God daily. #boymom Click To Tweet
We’re not just raising boys here, we’re raising our sons. Unique and fabulous individuals, sons who are fearfully and wonderfully made. Sons that God gave, not just to anyone, but to us. He trusted you and me to do this well.
I’m not knocking parenting advice; I’ve learned so much from great books and mentors, but it is vital that I filter that knowledge through the truth of who my son is, how he responds and reacts, what makes him tick.
Your son is a unique and fabulous gift, unlike the neighbor boy or your best friend’s boy or any other boy you’ll meet. Know him; grow him well. It’s ones of the greatest efforts you will spend your life on.
And in case you are wondering how we organize Legos these days. All of the glorious rainbow assortment of Legos find their home in shallow, under-bed type bins, only half full for easier hunting and searching for that perfect piece and easily scooped up and dumped into at clean up time. And even so, we still find that random Lego underfoot in the living rug, occasionally.
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