We spent a huge amount of time over the break playing Legos. In fact, every morning when R went down for her nap, the tubs would come out and the living room would turn into this…
I didn’t really play with Legos much as a kid. To be fair to my family’s toy buying efforts, I’m not sure how much of this was my own obsession with Barbie dolls, My Little Pony and Quints. Do you remember Quints?! Those little connected accessory sets were a bomb of joy to my brain as a child. My mom still has mine and I will be stealing them back soon!
Q has learned very quickly that if he wants something built with Legos, daddy is the one to ask. He’ll ask for a car with goggly eyes and wings and Ryan will go all Rain Man and within a few minutes the object of Q’s desire is assembled and in his hands. When he asks me to build a dump truck, or let’s be honest here, just to fix a dump truck that had a few pieces break off, he gets a big “Ummmmmmmmmmmm, I think this piece goes here?”
I don’t know if it’s my lack of background with them, or if I’m just not creative enough, but I don’t look at piles of bricks and imagine how to make them into anything besides a square house. Though I do rock at building square houses.
But… give me some directions and I can do anything!*
For Christmas, Ryan bought me my first ever Lego set that was all mine. I was pretty excited, because it’s an RV! (Or a little bungalow, or even a boat, 3 in 1, you kill me crazy Lego geniuses!)
And if you’ve ever put together a large Lego project, you know that the instruction book is 1,200 pages with 2 part directions; find these pieces and put them together like so.
*I frequently need help finding the correct pieces. My eyes cannot always discern whether the minuscule lego piece is black or dark grey, or light grey, or has the required number of bumps.
But, for the first time in my life, I completely assembled a Lego object all by myself! And let me tell you, this RV was so much fun. I would be putting something together, not really understanding what it was going to do, then voila! It’s a stove that opens! A bed, that lifts up to store a suitcase! A sliding compartment that pulls out! And my personal favorite, folding chairs and a table that attach to the roof to be pulled down when you stop to go camping! Q likes that there is a lady and a little boy with a skateboard. He says it is me and him on an adventure! And I couldn’t agree more.
I must have sounded like a kid in a toy store as each revelation occurred. “Look, it moves, slides, opens, wiggles, turns!” It was blissed out nerd time and I’m so proud of the finished product. Also strangely territorial, Q started to drive it around the living room and I had to take it away from him because it was moving too fast and I feared for my newly installed awning!
What’s really special about my new Lego camper, is a future dream that it represents.
We’ve been abroad for 7 years now, and will likely continue this lifestyle for many more. But sometime in the next 5-10 years the plan is to take a break. Maybe we’ll take a year off in between moves from one country to another. In that year, we want to come back to the U.S. and travel the country in an RV. And it’s a dream that is bubbling up in my brain more and more regularly because it encompasses so many passions. Travel, experiencing new cultures, family, camping, outdoors, learning through experiences. I envision the kids learning American history by visiting battlefields and monuments, learning science from visits to national parks and exploring the amazingly varied landscapes of our country.
I also want to find more roots to understanding America as a whole. I’ve traveled to many states, but most stops have been to major cities or very specific landmarks. This would be a chance to diverge from the beaten path and see normal life in each state as well as what it offers for tourists.
So we shall see! I’ve learned two very important lessons about life over the last few years. I can’t build up too much of a mental picture about future events because my expectations can sometimes tarnish real life. But I’ve also learned that we really can live whatever life we wish, as long as we’re willing to do the work to make it happen. The dream remains, and I continue to fuel its’ fire by reading blogs about other families who have done similar trips. My personal favorite is Gone with the Wynns, they are this amazing couple who traveled around the states in an RV for like 6 years and have now transitioned to living on a sailboat. Mind… blown…
Life can be a pretty cool adventure, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where ours takes us, even if it’s just back to the Lego store for our next fix.