We took our two boys to see The Lego Movie this weekend. Legos are a big part of our life so seeing this movie was a no-brainer.
The story is set in Lego City where everything is awesome…as long as everyone follows the instructions, does what they are told, does not question authority and does not express their creativity. The antagonist, Lord Business, played by Will Ferrill, demands consistency and order. He has evil plans to freeze the Lego world so he can keep everything just the way he wants it. However, his plan can be stopped by a chosen one, the Special. The hero, Emmet, played by Chris Pratt, is an ordinary guy but discovers something special within himself to save his world and his friends.
Right away I was struck by just how cool this movie looked. I knew in my head that it was all cg but they did such a great job with it that my eyes told me it was all made out of real Legos. Another thing I loved about this movie were all the fun movie references. Obvious ones like Bat Man and Star Wars but also subtle references from The Matrix, Star Trek The Next Generation and others.
The story and effects were great but there was something else that I found just as enjoyable. The message for parents to let go of their need for perfection. The theme song Everything Is Awesome is still stuck in my head. It’s a song that Facebook wants everyone to believe. It’s a message that many moms try and make other moms believe. As I thought more about the movie over the weekend, and hummed the song, I couldn’t stop thinking that in real life everything is not awesome, but that’s okay.
When it comes to our kids we want everything to be just right for them. We make perfect little lunches and insanely cute Valentine treats. We want their rooms to look like a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. But what do they want? They want us. Sure, the lunches are cute and the crafts sweet but what they really want is our attention. They want us down on the floor playing with them, taking an interest in their interests or just listening.
At the end of the movie, Emmet learns that he is as special as he wants to be. Lord Business goes on a rant about how everyone is mediocre and we shouldn’t give out metals just for showing up. I agree with Lord Business about the medals. When we dish out accolades for normal behavior then we create a false sense of self-worth and inflate the ego. However, what I do believe and what Emmet discovers, is that we are all unique. Each child brings something unique into this world. Discovering that talent and fostering what makes each child unique and wonderful is what gives them the healthy self-worth they need without inflating their ego.
No, everything is not awesome, but that’s okay. You know what is awesome? Taking the time to put down our phones, put away the distractions, the to-do lists and discover just how unique and awesome our kids are. I know, that is easier said than done. It took me two days just to write this post because I had to follow my own advice, multiple times, because my 4 year old asked me to play with him. My to-do list may take three times as long to get done but it’s totally worth it.