Boy finished the last of his Christmas Lego sets last night, a Star Wars AT-AT. This morning Girl finished one of her Lego sets, the Lego Friends pool club. It takes Girl a lot longer than Boy to put together a set, but she’s still very good at it for someone her age. It was the first thing she did when she woke up this morning. She got out her instruction book and picked up where she left off last night. Boy was playing with his AT-AT while she was doing it. I could hear him making AT-AT walking noises: ZZZZT. ZZZZT. And then I realized that it was attacking the Lego Friends pool. The Lego Friends gave those stormtroopers an earful.
And then they all worked out their differences. The stormtroopers were swimming in the pool with Andrea and Isabella and cannon-balling off the diving board, and then they gave the girls a tour and a ride in the AT-AT. The Friends even got to bring their pet bunny aboard. Evidently the AT-AT has a television screen and can stream movies, because for a while they were all hanging out and watching something together, and trading life-stories.
I overheard one of the Lego Friends telling a stormtrooper that her family had all died, and all she had now was her friend and her pet rabbit, and that she was kind of lonely, and asking if he wanted to come live with them. He said he couldn’t because he had to serve the emperor, because he was a clone, that the emperor was always telling him what to do. The Friend said that was okay, maybe the emperor could come live there too. Stormtrooper said that wasn’t a good idea, that the emperor was pretty mean and would boss her around. Friend replied that she didn’t mind; her family had been pretty mean to her too, before they died, and anyway she knew karate and would kick the emperor if he tried to be mean to her.
And so it went on.
Until Boy’s friend arrived for their second playdate in two days, and they all disappeared into the kids’ room to work on the Lego creation they’d started the day before, not to be seen or heard from for two hours. Except for one time when Girl came out to get chocolate for everyone.
Then after I forced them all to come in the kitchen and eat a little (so no one would get crabby) they had some kind of play-battle in the kids’ room, at the end of which the Lego construction was nothing but rubble.
And then the kids decided to go outside and play with the dog. I could see them out there a little, between and behind things, running around, talking, swinging. But I let them have their privacy and their own play and stayed inside. There was no fighting, no complaining to me about anything.
And so it starts. The mystery of your kids’ lives, and their friendships. The things that aren’t for you to know about.
After Boy’s friend left, and after we ate dinner, Boy asked Papa to go in his room with him to help him clean up the Legos, but also start building their land again. He told Papa that his friend “expects there to be progress by the next time he visits.” Papa told me this, and only then did we realize the depth of his liking for this friend, how much the playdates mean to him. When Girl went in to ‘help’ build Boy came out almost in tears, saying that she was going to build “girly” stuff in his military factory compound. Maybe even a….makeup place (no!).
And he asked if he could call his friend to talk to him about it. It was the first time he’d ever asked to call a friend, just to talk about something that was on his mind.