Minnesota writer Sara Biren talks about her son Jude's obsession with Legos, making childhood dreams come true, and Hoth.
My son Jude lives and breathes Legos.
It’s no surprise that he wants to be a Lego set designer when he grows up. One of the first things on the baby registry was the My First Lego Shape Sorter. It didn’t matter to my husband if we had a boy or a girl, as long as he or she liked to play Legos.
Fast-forward eight years. Legos are in this kid’s blood (his little sister’s, too) and our home is filled and overflowing with Legos. Star Wars. Castles. Atlantis. Indiana Jones. Lego City. Harry Potter (my personal favorite). His favorite video games are Lego games. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, even St. Nicholas bring Lego sets. Birthday lists are copied directly from the Lego catalog. Most of the gifts he picks out for his friends – and for his dad (“We can share this one, right, Dad?) – are from the Lego aisle.
Jude knows the history of Lego, knows what year what sets came out, which are “Hard to Find.” He will offer random Lego facts at any moment of the day. He is proud to say that the first mini-figures with natural skin tones (as opposed to the classic yellow) came out the year he was born. He celebrated the 10th anniversary of the introduction of Lego Star Wars all year long. This past Christmas, instead of our usual scene of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer figurines on the fireplace mantel, Jude and his dad built Lego Hoth.
He reads gigantic books about Legos. He has saved every single Lego catalog and Brickmaster magazine that has come into this house since he was four years old. Every now and then he pages through them to look at retired sets. He once figured out how many chores he would have to do to earn enough money to buy the Death Star, the most awesome Lego set ever – 1,200 chores, plus extra for tax, in case you’re wondering. Last summer he tried more than thirty different vegetables and earned the Battle of Endor as an incentive. That poor kid tried vegetables even I didn’t like.
Jude’s Lego obsession sounds a bit excessive, and there are moments – especially in the early morning when I walk across his room barefoot to wake him and step on yet another sharp little brick – when I look around in exasperation. What on earth are we going to do with all these Legos? He’s just about to turn eight – what will it be like when he’s 18?
As overwhelming as it can sometimes be to live in a house of bricks, it’s amazing and wonderful, too. Ask Jude the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and you’ll get the same answer that he’s been offering for more than two years. Lego set designer.
And why not? Why not do something that you love, that’s exciting, that burns inside you? There are no limits, there are no boundaries. That’s what childhood dreams are all about. And I love that Maris was able to capture that in the portraits from Jude’s Childhood Dreams session.
Jude, you can be anything you want to be. You can be anything and go anywhere. And I will do whatever I need to do to help you get there.
Check out Sara's blog!
Check out Sara's blog!