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1280px-Lego_Color_Bricks“Dad, come see this!”

My son’s voice echoed down the hall. It was the day after Christmas, and he’d arranged all his legos from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. For a few minutes, I plopped down in his room as he recounted every moment of the epic battle the legos had just finished.

“Look, Dad!” and “Let me show you this, Mom” are phrases we hear frequently around the house. If it’s not legos, it’s one of our kids showing us the world they’ve created on Minecraft, or their princess tea party protocol, or the bath toys that have been transformed into vessels for a sea battle.

While we were walking by the river last month, my daughter asked me to tell her a story about “Jimmy and Jasmine” (my imaginary tales about two children who are, conspicuously, the same ages as our oldest two kids). I quickly made up a story for her, and then I asked her to tell me one. She talked for fifteen minutes. It was the longest story arc I’ve encountered from a six-year-old!

“Dad, listen!” and “Mom, look!”

Due to the busyness of our lifestyles, I hate to admit that sometimes I’ve treated ”look at this!” or “look what I made!” like a distraction, an intrusion into my adult world. I’ve gotten away with giving my kids a passing glance, a quick word (“That’s neat!”), before going back to whatever it was I was focused on.

I’ve been missing out. Our kids aren’t intruding. They’re inviting.

When a kid says, “Look at what I made!” they are inviting us into the world of their imagination. They want us to share in the sparkle of their creativity. They want us to know their stories, their battles, their imaginary worlds of lego men and princess dolls.

What a privilege it is to be invited into the world of a child! To once again see those legos come alive, to feel the world on fire with wonder, to encounter toys that talk and move and breathe and feel!

I don’t want to be the dad of a passing glance. I want to enter the world of my children, just like God entered ours. I want to be a father who delights in the imaginary innovations of my children, just like God enjoys watching His children make something of this world He has given us.

In a few years, our sons will outgrow their lego sets. Our daughter won’t be recreating Frozen with Anna and Elsa dolls. They won’t remember all the stories and adventures they made up.

But I hope they remember that Dad was there, and he loved it.

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8 thoughts on ““Dad, Look!” When Your Kids Invite You Into Their World”

  1. Alan says:

    Oh no! TGC has been hit by the bane of the AFOL world! The plural of Lego is Lego; it’s a mass noun, not a count noun.
    Seriously, you thought Calvinism vs Arminianism or which-millennial are you were the biggest and most fiercely fought debates going, but you’ve just opened up a whole new world of controversy! :P

    Couldn’t agree more with everything else though (the bits that matter!), don’t talk down to kids or assume their worlds are childish and you’ll be amazed at what you find. They might show up more than a few flaws in our own so-called adult worlds too.

  2. Wesley says:

    Awesome reminder Trevin. The busier my life gets the more prone I am to seeing “look at this” as a disruption from getting my “important” stuff done. What a small window we have, too, where our kids actually want us to enter in to their world – may we all make better use of that opportunity. Thank you for this today.

  3. Absolutely true about Lego creations and all the way into the teen years and beyond. Very thankful now for the times I looked up, dried my hands or put down the book, gave my attention and was present to my boys’ little announcements. My husband and I want to be the first to hear the big announcements that come later.

  4. Paul says:

    I wouldn’t count on them outgrowing Legos (sorry for using the wrong plural but it sounds better here). With your mention of Lord of the Rings, my 28-year-old brother has collected all of those. Granted he didn’t have those when he was a kid, but… My point stands that Legos are a perfectly acceptable hobby for all ages ;)

    1. Alan says:

      In case it wasn’t obvious I was joking. What I said about the plural is technically true and accepted (it’s actually Lego official policy!) but grammar rules are broken all the time in the name of colloquialisms, legos is one of those so it’ll sound right to you, just plain wrong to me, someone else will ask “Who cares?” and all in all it hardly matters. ;)

  5. Duane French says:

    Thanks for smacking me in between the eyes with a 2×4 Trevin. I was just treating one of those “Look what I made” invitations with a passing glance last night because I was busy doing something that I now realize was more trivial. I appreciate that wake up call.

  6. VaSanganyado says:

    Though I often brush aside such moments when they arise, I have learned they are valuable for rest. Sharing moments with my two sons, is gives me the break I need. I pray I will be able to look forward for such moments and embrace them with all my might.

  7. Matt says:

    Outgrow LEGO? NEVER!!!!!!

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Trevin Wax

​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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