We are almost as much a Lego family as a Marvel family, so when Lego releases a new Marvel set, it quickly finds its way into our house.

A 3,128-piece Lego Captain America Shield had been sitting in a box in the basement for a few weeks. One day, my son casually mentioned that he was working on it, and then, a few days later, he said he had finished. He brought us down to look at it, and it was amazing. He was so proud of himself for accomplishing such a marvelous (ha!) feat.

The next morning, I went to the basement to grab trash from work we had done. There were long metal rails supporting the old ceiling tiles that we took down, which I had bundled. I picked them up, and as I turned towards the door, I heard a crash behind me.

I turned and saw the Captain America shield that my son had spent days making and had completed just the day before knocked over, with pieces strewn across the floor.

My heart sank. I was devastated, thinking how devasted my son would be when he saw what happened.

I was going to head to work after taking out the trash, but I knew I couldn’t leave before attempting to put the set back together.

I collected the pieces and found the instructions, which were in a book that was about half an inch thick. I flipped open the pages, and it was at that moment that I realized I might be in trouble. The set was extremely complicated. I’m a pretty good engineer and skilled at figuring things out, but it took me some time to understand the construction. Square bricks making a round shape is not an intuitive concept.

It took me more than an hour to repair what I had done. Fortunately, the broken-off segments stayed intact, and the individual pieces were easy to identify and replace. But, in scanning the instructions, I had that feeling that I sometimes get when, for as much as my son struggles, he does something like this, and it blows my mind.

When I told my son what happened, I made a big deal about how impressed I was that he did the set all by himself. I told him how overwhelmed I was when I opened the instructions and tried to understand how the pieces fit together. Then I reminded myself of what he does when he believes he can do anything. Once I adopted that mindset, I was able to fix the shield.

He was proud of himself, not only for accomplishing the daunting task but also for inspiring me to believe that I could do anything. He doesn’t realize that he teaches me that every day by demonstrating it time and again.

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