Oh, my dear sweet boy. I wish I could make it easier. And I will never, so that you can hear, tell you that it will get much, much worse. This is already more than your little heart can handle, and all I can do is offer a shoulder to cry on, a warm hug, and a fierce advocate in your efforts to pick up the pieces.
I know your heart is breaking. I know this news has disrupted your sense of self, rocked the security of your community, and upended your trust in security.
But it is, really is, going to be okay.
Some friends at school told you the news today that LEGO is phasing out Ninjago. They don’t know you well enough to tell you the right way. They are six; they had no idea they needed to cushion the blow and to frame it properly. They didn’t think they needed to tell you carefully, so they just dumped the announcement on you.
And you tried so hard to make it through the day without breaking down. Once we had said goodbye to everyone, you made it halfway across the playground before you just lost it. Heart breaking, tears streaming, you told me. Softly.
“They took Ninjago away.”
The school did? You mean your small group of friends who cares for nothing but pretending to be ninjas, fighting off playground evils with the powers of ice, lightning, earth, and fire incensed those dolts who run the show? They’ve taken the tools of your play and your first real bridge to community? Bastards! Bureaucrats! Troglodytes!
“No, no. LEGO took them. They’re taking them all away from the stores.”
Recall? Figures. Those corporate whores are always trying to make goods cheaper so they can pocket the profits. I can’t believe they’ve endangered you just to make a few bucks.
Wrong again. Honestly, I don’t get much right.
After a lot more tears and some help from one of your friends I understood. LEGO is phasing out Ninjago for another theme. They’ve saturated the market, gone as long as they can with this batch of good vs. evil and are retiring it.
“But they’ll replace it with something else,” I explained. “They’re just trying to get us to buy more stuff.” (Oh, stupid woman. Don’t go all anti-consumerist right now. Your Berkeley is showing and it’s ugly in the face of this young man’s devastation.)
“But the ninjas are just another iteration of bionicles and hero factory and…” (Oh, ye sightless and heartless wench. They’re not the same. Never say that.)
“But you just learned about them and asked for them for Hannukah and Solstice and Christmas, and you’re still going to get them. They’re not taking them out of stores. They’ve made millions and they’re just going to stop making more so they can make something else. And we can still buy them if that’s what’s most important on your gift list.” (You’re getting closer, lady.)
“Here. What is your plan with Ninjago? And does this news change your plans?”
You explained that your plans are to acquire ninja figures and make them battle, and surround yourself with a darling community of like-minded ninjas who also want to battle.
“Well, you can still do all that.”
(Ah. Finally. Saved it just at the end there, cupcake.)
Motherhood title not revoked. Close enough to smell your undying disdain. But we’re still okay.
And to get bonus points, I jumped at the chance to join your club. The group of ninjitsu devotees talked at school today and you’re all starting a club to convince LEGO to bring back Ninjago.
Strongly worded letters. My spe-ci-a-lity.
Here’s what you drafted before dinner:
I hop yes, too, buddy. I hop it’s as easy as getting corporate to mark the “yes” box on your ballot.
I love you. And your strongly worded letter. And your persuasive ballot.
And I won’t tell you until tomorrow that a cursory search online tonight has yielded no confirmation of the terrible, terrible first-grade rumor about Ninjago’s demise.
Let’s all hope that, either way, your letter will persuade LEGO to come to their senses and keep making the cement that bonds your school relationships.
But if they do pull Ninjago from production, I promise to play “If You Leave” on an endless loop for you.
The most sincere wish I have for you is that your generation has a John-Hughes-esque artist to help you make sense of your heartbreaks.