Last weekend, Grammy and I took The Boy to see the Lego Movie, and if you haven’t seen it, you should. It is delightful, and not just for children.
The main reason I enjoyed it was the message. For years, I have lamented the lack of room for creativity in today’s schools. I used to have a poem somewhere about how school crushes creativity by creating sameness, and the paradox is that in a society that claims to celebrate the individual, the opposite is usually the case, at least as I have observed.
When I was young, I was involved in Odyssey of the Mind, which was a contest in creativity, giving kids the parameters of a problem, and seeing how they could solve the problem. I don’t even know if it exitsts anymore, but I doubt kids today would have any interest in something like that, let alone excel in it, and it’s through no fault of their own.
The Boy’s building – no instructions! – constructed at the Lego exhibit at the museum last year
In fact, Legos themselves have changed over the years, increasingly being sold in kits with directions on how to make something specific, rather than a bucket of bricks with which to make anything a kid desires. This can create problems in an autism household when a specific brick goes missing, and therefore the directions cannot be followed! I posted about a fix for this a long while ago, but directions can become a problem, for sure. The message of the movie, surprisingly, was that it doesn’t have to be that way. That there is a benefit in following the directions, and teamwork, but that it has to be balanced with individual desires, and creative thinking.
From the autism mom’s perspective, I watched my son actively engaged throughout the movie, often laughing loudly, and catching lots of the subtle jokes. It was fantastic to see him enjoy it so much. And Grammy and I enjoyed it thoroughly, as well. If you haven’t gone, you need to. There’s a reason it’s still in the theaters!