I was sweeping, and a small Lego brick skittered across the floor, dislodged by my broom. I bent down to pick it up, sighing. I wiped dust off the glossy blue surface and looked at it. It was one of the tiny ones, a single dot on top for wedging in the bottom of another brick. It was one of the legion that lurks in every corner of my house.
I thought about the Legos in the couch, and under the couch. Legos lined up on the ledge, waiting to be taken back downstairs where they live. A Lego that turned up, inexplicably, in the silverware basket of the dishwasher. Legos on the piano.
There will ALWAYS be Legos, I thought.
Of course, I know that's not true. There are so many things that I thought were fixtures in our lives, that are simply gone. Once upon a time Tre was obsessed with paper airplanes, and behind every piece of furniture you could find at least one hoop-nosed scooter. Today our home is entirely paper airplane free. It wasn't that long ago that Max persisted in bringing in ants - just carrying around a single, tiny black ant, that would inevitably be left orphaned in the bathroom sink, or on the kitchen table. I despaired of ever convincing him to leave the ants outside, but today I never even think about it. I asked him about it the other day, if he remembered when he was four and carried ants into the house, and he looked at me like I'd lost my mind. And so it goes. In the last few years, in barely a breath of time, Jennie has gone from a reserved, suspicious, softly rounded little girl to a long, lean woman, with a nearly adult sense of graciousness and joy. The never ending Shooperman phase of Raphael's is barely a memory now. One day soon all the boys will be done with Legos, and I will forget that they were ubiquitous. Ubrickuitous.
I feel like I finally get it, I finally understand what those women were always trying to tell me in the grocery store when I was a brand new mom. They would lean in and coo at Tre (and usually call him a girl, because if you have hair and long eyelashes, you are obviously a girl, even if your mom has dressed you in blue overalls). And then they would look at me intensely, maybe even grip my arm, and say,
"ENJOY this. It goes so fast.
I'd nod and smile and promise I would, but in my head I was thinking, pssht. Walk a mile in my soggy nursing bra, honey. This is endless.
But of course, it was not. And in the span of minutes, those days have twined and melted into thin air, and my tiny perfect baby not-a-girl is now a teen, breathing down the neck of adulthood, and I get it. These endless days really are made out of smoke, and although I can't keep a grip on them I have to watch.
However, as it turns out...
There will be Legos for a little while longer.