It started pretty much from birth.
When she was just an infant, Lily was given a big plastic bus that came with a small set of Mega-Blocks. We would attach the blocks to make a tower, and she would bust them apart and suck on them. Again and again. Build, bust, repeat. Build, bust, repeat!
Then she graduated to Duplos. Specifically, a small Winnie-the-Pooh set. Lily loved the little Duplo Pooh that came with the set, and the blocks she cast aside — except for the golden one that looked like honey, and the clear one with a bumble bee decal on it.
Next came an entire bucket of Duplos. Contained in the bucket were small plastic Duplo flowers that could be attached and reattached to a big green flat piece — a field of plastic Duplo flowers to bloom over and over again.
And when she turned three, she was given her first real Lego set for her birthday. It was a plastic briefcase with a Lego horse, a fence, and the pieces to make a barn. Again and again she would ask, “Mommy can you make the set for me?” Over and over I would build the set while she watched carefully, never wanting to attach any pieces, just watching.
Over time, a dragon set was added, and a firetruck set, and a police car and police motorcycle. Relatives gave as gifts the equivalent of a whole town full of Lego Friends and their various homes and businesses. A prized Harry Potter set showed up in a stocking one Christmas.
Soon, a gigantic bucket was needed to hold all the Lego pieces. Lily began to build her own creations. A castle. A jungle world. Legions of Lego minifigures. Last summer she went to Lego camp for a week and suddenly Lego inventions of all shapes and sizes filled the shelves of our living room.
Earlier today, while I was busy doing laundry and sweeping floors, Lily went through her basket of Lego catalogues and pulled out pages and cut out pictures to make her very own catalogue. For an hour she studied pictures, crossed parts out, and circled and drew arrows to others. She carefully laid out her pages in order on the coffee table and rearranged them again and again. I barely noticed what she was up to until she ran into the kitchen, eyes wide and full of excitement.
“Mommy! Look what I made!” she shouted, thrusting her pile of Lego pages toward me. “I’m going to bring it on share day so that I can teach everybody that Lego dragons are not just for boys!” She scampered off to find a piece of paper to make a cover for it.
And tonight, at bedtime, she read her book to me, pointing to all the important parts and telling me what made each Lego set interesting.
Tonight, she’ll sleep with visions of Legos dancing in her head.