Tonight after we left the gym, Hugo and I decided to play with the Legos. I brought up the six boxes from the laundry room, and we opened them one by one as we watched the latest episode of Desperate Housewives and The West Wing on our Media Center.
As I lifted each set out of it’s box, I recalled how old I was when I got it, how I got it, or who got it for me. It was a feast of nostalgia.
One Christmas when I was probably about nine, I got $50 spending money. We were in Cleveland, at Yia Yia and Papou’s just like any year back then. After Christmas, I went to the local K-Mart or Odd Lots with my Mom specifically to go Lego shopping. That is the day I bought my the fire station.
Mom and Dad got me the pirate ship as a reward for being chosen into the “SES” gifted and talented program in elementary school. They clearly thought it was a bigger deal than I did. That program allowed for the participating students to come early one day a week for a special elective class of their choosing. I chose computers. The computers we had in the North Park Elementary computer lab were Apple IIe’s with two 5.25″ floppy drives. One was for the operating system. The other was for the program you wanted to run. (Did you ever wonder why your computer skips B: when assigning drive letters?)
The hospital was one of the first big sets I ever got. I vaguely remember discovering it peeking out from the top shelf of my parent’s closet a few weeks prior to Christmas. I don’t remember if I ever told my mom. I probably acted surprised anyway. It remains one of my coolest sets.
Every set has a story, and each one is like a little bookmark into my past. Thinking about it now, it makes me miss being a kid, even though I don’t really want to go back. I do realize now that my childhood was very pleasant. If there were anything I would want to modify about being a kid, though, it would be to make myself more busy. And to have the internet ten years sooner. The only thing … well, not the only thing… the only unpleasant feelings I remember about being that young are 1. being frustrated at not knowing things, or keeping the same open questions for months or years and 2. being frustrated at how time moved so slowly. I can say, with confidence, that both of these are no longer a problem. The internet allows me to answer nearly any (nominally trivial) question instantly. And the rate at which I experience time has been increasing as long I have been alive.
Which brings me to the original intent of this post. It has been almost one year since I moved to Seattle. It just hit me before I came downstairs that it was probably one year ago to the day that I last played with the Legos, so pulled up the photo gallery which contains the picture in this post. Sure enough, Brette, Brendan, and I played with the Legos on January 24, 2005.
I can’t really explain this, but I always have two seemingly contradictory feelings about the passage of time. It seems like it goes by quickly. And at the same time, if you think back to a specific event, it feels like a such a long time has passed.