When I was about 10, I received a Christmas gift that would last until this day, a lego train set! This set had a working engine, 3 cars, a small loading station, and a WHOLE heap of fun. I slowly collected the various cars, stations, extra track, and I think everything in the collection. I kept this set in pristine collection and loved pulling it out every year and setup a new track around the Christmas tree. Fast forward 25 years and now my kids have learned about daddy’s collection...
I first pulled out the train set again two or three years ago. My girls, lego fiends that they are, loved this thing. It took some direction about how to setup the track, but they had their own plans for everything. Within no time, my prized collection looked something like this:
I’m a pretty type A kind of guy, so seeing all this hard work (and treasured pieces) from my childhood get dismantled and reconstructed [gasp - incorrectly too!] was a bit hard to take. However, I played the “good daddy” role and let things pan out as they did. We boxed everything up after our time together, making sure all the set pieces stayed together and not get mixed into the “big bin”, and went on.
Somewhere between then and now we saw Toy Story 3 AND Lego Movie. Yeah, I know, a story about toys is bound to land somewhere in here. More importantly though, I realized the importance of having fun and the legacy of being able to pass this down to my kids. Sure it may not be as “pristine” as I had originally wanted it, but man, you should see how the eyes light up as the set comes out and they dream up big ideas about what tracks are going where and which buildings to setup. In that moment it all becomes worth it, no matter what state the train set is in.
This year, we pulled out the train again. The girls immediately started going to town on things. We have a new tree, and a little more space to afford to put around it, so they got their creative juices flowing...
You can see this year they pulled out Grandpa Harry’s old Christmas Village set (well, part of it) to make things more festive. They even built their first tunnel this year out of a cardboard box (over on the right). They woke up the other morning, had breakfast, and immediately ran over to the train set afterwards to play with it. Our engine is showing some wear and tear (and noise) with age, so currently we can only fit three cars on it, but I’m starting to look for a new one. We intended for some presents to fit down there, but it looks like Santa will have to get creative and look somewhere else to place things 8^D.
Sure it may seem a little “bare” (the train station and cargo holds need to be rebuild and we don’t have room this year) but this is their own configuration and we got to work on it together, which means the world to me. Next year we can figure out how to make things even bigger and as long as we keep the pieces and parts in their own tub (that has the original directions too), the type A personality inside of me stays content. 8^D