I keep a bushel of Lego blocks for my grandchildren and husband who likes Legos almost as much as he likes puzzles.
Before we met my son’s family in Branson, I packed up half the Legos along with kits to make wooden butterfly houses and a 1,500 piece puzzle with clear blue sky that covered about a fifth of the picture. I purchased the puzzle as a “thinking of you” gift for my son when I saw his name on its half a dozen billboards advertising “Nathan’s Hot Dogs.”
We had the kids for a couple day. The minute they walked in, I pulled out the wooden kits. “Does anyone want to build a butterfly house?”
Sophie, 9, chose a hammer and whacked the nails into place. Sam, 7, pounded and pounded until he declared, “I don’t want to do it anymore.” Henry, 4, grabbed the hammer, “I wanna do it. I wanna do it.” He finished Sam’s house. Sam did another house later.
The kids swam, played with Legos and read books. The Nathan puzzle dominated the dining room table and the adults’ free time. Ironic since I never considered we might try to assemble the thing. Once we started, we could not stop. We focused on the easy center pieces with the Nathan billboards. We assembled the shops and the strip of street at the bottom. We each tried the top third with its blue sky before admitting “I don’t want to do it anymore.”
I assumed my husband would finish it.
The kids created with Legos. Sophie used the pink, purple and light green pieces to design an elaborate house floor plan, including furniture and accessories. Sam and Henry shared and fought over the Lego cars, the Lego blocks, the floor space for playing with the Legos and finally settled on just seeing which could annoy the other the most
“Mom, he’s copying me,” Sam whined. Henry immediately grinned and said, “Mom, he’s copying me.” Joy looked up from the puzzle long enough to separate the two before returning to the puzzle. That sky defied my husband’s usual persistence and puzzle logic. “Not all the straight edged pieces go on the edge. That is just not right,” he protested.
I left the puzzle table and pulled out the paints. “Henry, do you want to paint your butterfly house?” Henry pawed through the craft box, chose a paint, smeared it on and then liberally shook a bottle of glitter over the wet paint.
Sam copied Henry and doused his house with glitter. Henry never complained about being copied. They left behind a pond of paint with a massive beach of glitter. As I swept up the glitter, my bare feet found the tiniest, nearly invisible Lego pieces making me do the Lego Dance. If we had not needed the flat space for meals, I would have left the mess for the kids. However, we could not all squeeze around the edge of the Nathan puzzle.
Failing to fit together pieces for the blue sky, Hubby, for the first time in his life, said, “I would not be upset if someone put it away.”
“Just leave it,” Nathan said. We did and between meals and swimming, hubby found all the edge pieces and started to fill in the sky. Then we had to leave. He slid slabs of puzzle into the box, added packing to hold every piece in place and taped it shut. Someday, when we try again, we will have only to complete the puzzle’s daunting blue sky which probably makes up half of that puzzle.