Sophie and I saw the Lego movie yesterday. It made me recall something from my childhood. I don’t think there are any Lego Movie spoilers here. Obviously, you all know that pretty much everything in the movie is made of Legos. Some things in the movie are made exactly as the directions say they should be made. Some things in the movie are not. We’ll just leave it at that.
I was a member of the ‘model of the month club’ when I was a kid (yes, nerd then, nerd now). I can’t recall exactly how old I was. My guess is around 8 or 9 years old. It was FANTASTIC. We lived out in the country in Seagrove, NC and at the time, there was no Amazon. Frequent orders for merchandise were a bit of an anomaly in rural Seagrove. However, once a month, this giant yellow Estes transfer truck would stop in the middle of the road in front of our house and the driver would throw open the back, climb in and come out with this little bitty box in his hand. I’m sure the driver hated this. He probably had to drive an hour out of his way to deliver that little box to me. To me, this box was gold.
I was a member of the ‘Snap Tite’ model club. For these models, no glue was required. All the pieces just snapped together. I was young and my mom was neat and the thoughts of me raining model glue down all over the house didn’t exactly sit well with her. It was a compromise I was willing to make. I got all kinds of model kits. I got Dukes of Hazzard cars (Daisy’s jeep included), sports cars, classic cars, trucks, airplanes and boats. But my favorite model, was the Space Shuttle kit. It was splendid. The cargo bay opened and I could put stuff in it and fly it around my room.
I accumulated quite a collection of these in my room. Some were assembled, some were still in the box. The ones I hadn’t put together hadn’t really appealed to me. They were probably models of a Chevy Van or some cheesy Hot Rod from a Scooby Doo cartoon. By this time, I had managed to convince Grandma to buy me some real modeling glue. I then realized that if these models could ‘snap together’ that meant they could be taken apart…
I disassembled a few models, opened a couple of new kits, mixed all the parts together and with no directions at all, glued them exactly as I thought they should go. It was as though the grand gates of some forbidden modeling world had been flung open. As I recall, the thing I ended up with was some type of van with wings. What I clearly remember about it was not exactly what it looked like but, that my grand creation then became my favorite model.
Instructions (basic and advanced) for some tasks are required and necessary. I needed the instructions for the space shuttle and all the other ones to get me going and to learn some concepts. But, I think every now and then we need to mix the pieces up a bit and see what our kids, and ourselves come up with.