Your child does a little toddling sprint toward milk and cookies. A friend goes, “Ha! A little Bolt in the making!” Or the little one scrawls a crayon drawing that may or may not resemble anything at all. “Ha! A future Picasso!” A first dip in the deep end of the pool becomes an Olympic gold medal in swimming; a barely audible reading of a class essay becomes a storied career as a White House speech writer. We love the small accomplishments the kids in our lives show us, and we do hold on to the hopes we have for them of great things to come: prestigious careers, enviable skills, talents that they are able to market at least well enough so that we’re not still buying groceries for five people when we’re seventy.
But mainly we just want them to have fun. As adults we have built and continue to build things for ourselves and our families, either literally or figuratively or both, with the ideal outcome being the duplication of our work ethic in our youngsters: a grownup’s idea of fun. To inspire others, especially those little snug-a-bugs, to achievements of their own, is a source of true satisfaction.
If you want to see what a child under your care will build with the inspiration they’ve gotten from you, at least on their small scale, you really can’t beat watching them stack, snap and connect Legos, adorable looks of intense concentration on the kids’ faces all the while. Of course, those miniature plastic bricks are expensive, especially the multiple kits that become necessary as materials for the project your youngster has in mind. But don’t worry. The Freeport Community Library (10 Library Dr.) and the South Portland Public Library (482 Broadway) both have prodigious supplies of Legos that they are in the friendly habit of hauling out for kids who think big.
Both libraries’ Lego hours take place on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. A ton of collaboration, construction and celebration take place, and staff members promise not to repeat the word ‘architect’ too often. Enjoyment is the key. Give them the tools, and they’ll know what to do.