how to get your family to sit quietly for 90 minutes

So you’re scared and your thinking
That maybe we ain’t that young anymore
Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night…
-From Springsteen’s Thunder Road

Quiet and focused, just like this, for 90 minutes!
Today, we took the kids to see the big legos exhibit at Penn Square Mall. It features a bunch of popular Oklahoma City landmarks like the Chesapeake Energy Campus; Bricktown; The Skirvin; The National Memorial and the Devon Tower (still under construction). There are only two days left to see the exhibit, which runs through January 3. I heard the cashier tell a visitor that the buildings will be moved into storage until next year. More structures will be added (including additional motorized features) and a new exhibit created. I think this is designed to continue into infinity and beyond.
Robert in front of the replica of the First National Center where he works. 
It doesn’t take long to move through the exhibit. The kids couldn’t wait to get to the big legos table. They sat quietly for well over an hour, creating all kinds of fun stuff. It was really neat seeing all the Gen X dads focused on building stuff with their kids. There were lots of affirming comments like, “Wow, Suzy! Look at what a great, big, sophisticated tower you built! Daddy is soooooo proud of you!”
Did I mention that Suzy was six months old?
Gen X parents can really be annoying, huh?
Did I just say that?
I am never an annoying parent. All my children are brilliant. They totally could have built that lego town blindfolded. =)
Juliette’s Garage and Car
I must say, the Gen X parents weren’t the only ones confirming stereotypes. In addition to the hyper-proud dads, there were plenty of know-it-all kids totally bossing me around. They were grabbing legos out of my hands as I attempted to make a replica of our green house. A very brainy 13-year-old said, “You need 1x1s for that, and there aren’t any in green. You’ll need to make it orange if you want to do that.”
Well, OK then.
When I spelled Bridgy’s name with orange legos, a 5-year-old told me the “B” looked more like an “8.” He told me this five times.
I’d be lost without you, kid.
We did have a great time, and of course, I’m forever observing the Gen Xers in the room. It was great to see the dads, with their graying temples, playing with their kids. At the table of colorful interlocking bricks, we supsended for a time all our collective worries: wars that never end; retirements that never come; children who grow up too fast.
While I moved around the table taking pictures, one of the dads was building a road with his son out of orange legos. He inlaid it with blue, and then asked his son what the colors brought to mind. The boy said the Thunder! It’s true. Orange and blue are the colors of Oklahoma City’s NBA team.
“So what would we call the road?” the dad asked.
“Thunder Road!” the boy answered.
“That’s right,” the dad said, “Thunder Road.”
And, I wanted to say, hey, that’s a Sprinsteen song! But, instead I let the suggestion hang in the air like an undigitized lego cloud. Some things between strangers are better left unspoken. Like what I’ve been thinking and not asking all week.
How old were those CIA agents and did any of them have little kids?
Hey what else can we do now ?

Except roll down the window
And let the wind blow
Back your hair.
The nights busting open
These two lanes will take us anywhere…


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  1. says

    We have spent the best part of days since xmas in our own lego land … at just seven first born is a WHIZZ … must be his genes … by brother, now 42, was a State Champion Leggo builder in his hey day :)

    Great pics Jen – so vivid – best le xo