There were trains, planes, and cranes, houses, theatres and the Australian Open; a two-foot tall “miniature” boy eating a hotdog and a gigantic two-foot tall jar of vegemite. Star Wars fans went weak at the knees at the sight of the ARC-170 re-creation and who knew that Jabba the Hutt was a regular attendee at the Sydney Opera House? Thousands of mini-figs, tens of thousands of hours and millions of pieces of Lego combined to create a wonderland of inspiration and joy for young, and not so young, Lego fans. Amongst the enthusiasts were my three Aspies. For two eye-popping hours, they were in heaven.
But what “happened” at Brickvention, didn’t actually “happen” until we left. Leaving was difficult. Bailey burst into tears, he did not want to go home, and Casey begged to stay for just a few more minutes. All of their feet dragged, especially Archie’s, across the pavement as we headed back to the car. Their little minds still buzzing with excitement and probably somewhat over stimulated as the meltdowns began. Two hours of being perfectly behaved and following all the rules had caught up with our Aspies, as it often does, and even their favourite soundtrack in the car couldn’t settle their internal excitement, as little sparks of passion had been well and truly ignited.
The building continued, and a week later, as I left the house for work this morning, my dining table had been turned into “The Battle for Hoth”, with AT-AT’s and storm troopers all posed for battle and the Republic Gunship loaded up with droids and weapons. Across the table was a “Robot Challenge Ring” with two Lego Robots about to do battle and a mini-fig arena full of spectators. Lego has come alive in our home, and the scenarios are wonderfully creative, all inspired by two hours at Brickvention.
These school holidays I’ve made an effort to keep the amount of screen time down to a minimum. I’ve encouraged board games, jigsaw puzzles and reading. The overall anxiety in the home has been significantly less. The adrenaline that video games and IPad games create is substantial as the game must be won and failure is not an option. Having Lego become the focus of my boy’s time and creativity again has meant that the games are turned off and their communication with each other, and their Lego “friends” has improved significantly.
When the boys visited Inside the Brick this week, they had a blast. The big success for me was finding an environment where the boys were accepted and welcomed and they had a wonderful time too. They each got to take home a “small” box of Lego from the shop and we promised to return soon.
Brickvention, we will be back next year. The boys are already planning to be exhibitors. We have no idea what will be created yet, but there is no shortage of inspiration and enthusiasm to build. I also picked up some Lego for myself this week, my own nametag. I guess that officially makes me a Lego fan too!