The Bag of Lego Purgatory
|"It'll be just like Beggar's Canyon back home!"|
Like children all over, my kids have been playing with Legos since they were toddlers and have amassed an enormous collection. Unfortunately, whenever they get a new set, they typically build it once, maybe twice, and then dump all the pieces into a giant bag we bought for them to store their massive accumulation of blocks. At that point, the pieces are only good for building the small, oddball creations that they put together out of their own imaginations, because finding specific parts among thousands of others is so tedious. Now, part of me greatly prefers they build things using their imagination, even if they are small and oddball. It's undoubtedly better for them. But another part of me gets really irritated by it because they already have way more than enough Legos to put together the creations they make up, and now they've wasted my money buying something they put together a grand total of one time, so they could immediately add the pieces to an already over-sized collection that the wife and I will have to fight with them to clean up!
The X-Wing fighter was a gift from their overly-generous aunt (it's a $60 set -- Legos are freakin' expensive!). It was really too elaborate for a 4- and 6-year old. So they got it about half-way built and after a few weeks, the pieces made their way into The Bag of Lego Purgatory. Grrrr. This time, it wasn't even built once! But after a year of being in The Bag, my incredible wife got ambitious and helped the older boy put it together, searching for and finding each and every piece in the cavernous bag. Like finding particular grains of sand on the beach. 560 pieces in all! My wife can be one driven gal when she wants to be. In the end, they found every piece (or a substitute of different color) except one and got it put together. Amazing. And the design is a clever bit of engineering, including retractable landing gear, a gearing mechanism to open and close the X-wings, and a pretty robust structure overall.
I decided to commemorate the event and create a lasting memorial to the X-Wing fighter, once thought lost to the Bag of Lego Purgatory. And in my own Type A way (the part of me that wants children to keep all their Lego sets separated and organized), I over-complicated the project with a backdrop, lighting, and a full-on compositing job over a star field background. I'll probably have a print made and give it to my older kid. Then maybe it won't bother me as much when the pieces make it back to The Bag.