I found a red Lego toy piece in the yard yesterday. It’s a small plastic rectangle, its holes crusted with dirt. Where did it come from? My life with Fred has never included Legos, although I have played with them in doctors’ waiting rooms and other people’s houses. I have always liked toys with which you could build things. But how did a Lego get here? We haven’t even had any young children visit us in the 11 years Fred and I have owned this house. Our house is surrounded by trees, no other house close enough for toys to wander our way.
The only answer is that the dogs dug up a piece of history from the family that lived here before, the Fends. They had four children, two sons and two daughters. Big pictures of them hung on the living room walls. Their oldest daughter was living on her own. The younger daughter, high school age, had cerebral palsy. We met her crawling from her bedroom into the hallway the day we took our second look at the house.
The room I use as my office belonged to the boys, who slept in bunk beds and left color crayon marks on the walls. While the older boy worked at his computer, the younger boy showed me his craft projects sitting on the windowsill. Now the walls have been repainted, the windows replaced, and the closet turned into a file room. My desk, shelves and writing paraphernalia fill the room where the boys used to sleep.
The Fends fell on hard times and had to leave the house that was probably the only home their children had known. Now it is a home where all signs of children have been erased. Souvenirs from our travels and our collections of ruby glass and shot glasses decorate the living room and den. It is definitely not a childproof house. But why bother? Children don’t come here.
I don’t want to throw the Lego piece away. It’s as if I have found one piece, and now I need to find the puzzle to which it belongs. I think that’s how it always with childless women. Something is missing. We’ve got one lost Lego and we don’t know what to do with it.