Tips & Ideas

Tips & Ideas

LEGO LEGACY

submitted by: Angela W.

Right before Christmas of 1998, my then-boyfriend-now-husband Jason and I were driving around town, when the subject of Christmases past came up.  I  asked him what gift he loved to receive the most for Christmas, as a child. He answered, “Legos” (his mom gave him Legos every Christmas without fail).
I thought about giving Jay a “gag gift” of Legos… but since it was too late to buy him something extra for Christmas, I pushed it out of my mind.In January of ’99, I remembered the exchange we shared on Christmas gifts, and had a bizarre thought: why not give Jay some Legos for Valentine’s Day?  The more I considered it, the more I couldn’t wait to do this.  Hmm, how could I just hand some Legos over to him?  Then I got another crazy idea: make him a heart from Legos!  I smiled to myself as I decided that would be his Valentine’s Day present.

So, I went shopping for Legos.  I ended up buying two cases to make sure I had enough pieces.  I quickly went to work building a Lego heart.  It had been a while since I played with Legos!  Then, I thought of a creative way to wrap the gift… I’d make a box out of Legos (using the larger flat green-grass Lego as a base and top) and put the heart inside.  That way, when Jay “unwrapped” the box, I could say he broke the walls around my heart.

I learned a few things while building the Lego heart: 1. Legos are much easier to handle if you are a child, or at least have kid-sized hands.2. When building a Lego heart, do not place the pieces on a flimsy box lid and lay that on your lap, or else Legos will fall all over the place.

3. One layer of Legos is not enough to build a heart.  In order for the heart to stick together, you need at least 3 layers of Legos, going crosswise.  I decided on a white base – smaller than the others – to signify the foundation our relationship was built on – and the next white base was a bit bigger, with a yellow center (read the poem and you’ll see why) – and the last was made of red Legos.

4. A cat will chase any Lego that has fallen to the floor and will claim it as hers.

As if that wasn’t enough, another wild idea surfaced…I’d create a poem for Jay based on the Lego Heart.

Time passed, and Valentine’s Day drew nearer, and I still didn’t have a poem  to give.  Yet, a poem soon came to me, most likely God-sent.

The Lego Poem   2/99 by Angie H. to Jay

“I ‘Lego’ my heart  and give it to you
Every part, my all
It’s a bit fragile, but open and free
Now that you broke down the walls.

It may be a bit rough around the edges
But under the surface, you’ll find
A heart of gold, one that’s true
One that’s forever kind.

All I ask is that you keep it safe
Don’t let it drop or crack
Don’t disassemble it to see how it’s made
Unless you can put all the pieces back.

Now I trust you with it, to hold it, love it
Please handle it with care.
There’s so much love inside Jay
So much that I want to share

And every year, I’ll add a layer
A heart of new Legos
To show how more pieces of time make it stronger
And how my love for you always grows!”

Valentine’s Day 1999 rolled around and I was anxious for Jay to unwrap his gift. We were both at his place and we exchanged gifts.  After that, I paused and  said, “oh yes, there’s something else for you, hold on” and went in the kitchen to retrieve the plastic bag containing the Lego box/heart.  Boy, was he surprised when he found out what was it the bag!

He turned silent when he opened the box and pulled out the heart.  I then proceeded to recite the poem and give him the story behind the Lego heart idea.  As he stared at the heart he got tears in his eyes, but didn’t let them fall as he said, “never in my life has anyone given me something so personal.”

The Lego heart truly is a legacy.  As the last lines of my poem state, I have added a new layer of Legos every Valentine’s Day.

In 2000, I added a yellow and black layer.
In 2001, a blue layer.
In 2002, a “flag” layer to commemorate 9/11/01.
In 2003 – our wedding year! – a white layer, of course!  I left one piece unplaced until our wedding day 8/31/03 in which I gave him the final white  piece as we recited the vows we dedicated to each other.
In 2004, I added a blue and green layer.

We look forward every year to adding more Lego heart layers.  Let’s just hope they never stop making Legos!

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