As a kid I loved to play with blocks. It was a fascination of mine from early childhood. I credit those blocks from my childhood with inspiring me to build, tinker, and in many ways become a maker. Those blocks gave me a foundation and belief that I could make anything I wanted. A rocket ship, of course. A table? Easy. A tower to put my G.I. Joe’s to defend against Cobra? Most likely.
Now, as a parent, I get to play with blocks again. In fact one of the giddiest moments I have had since becoming a parent was when my oldest daughter turned one. Why you may ask? Because I was able to run to the store and buy the big blocks for her to play with. And while it took several months for her to understand and interact with the blocks enough to build that tower, I was happy to help her every day. Now when I get home at night I can say “Honey, want to build with the blocks?” and watch as she excitedly races and dumps the blocks out all over the floor. We build for a few hours, mostly towers, some space ships if I get my way. It is a pleasure to watch her experience the blocks like I used to, and to see her mind grow as she comes up with new ideas.
These are now more than blocks. They are part of the fabric of who she will be one day. These toy blocks are helping cement our relationship. They are helping cement her curiosity and creativity. The blocks are helping to build her foundations as they did for me when I was a child. These are more than toy blocks, they are memories with dad, they are inspirational moments to lead her down her own paths, and they are the building blocks of the rest of her life. Where I used to see the pieces of a space ship scattered across the floor, now I see the moments I will spend helping inspire my daughter. Somehow our toy blocks became much more than toys.