Written by: ilene bauer

Remember Paint-by-Numbers?
I loved them as a kid.
You filled in all the numbered spaces
Marked out on the grid.

You had your plastic pots of paint,
Each one a numbered match.
Creative juices didn’t flow,
No effort made from scratch.

Yet if you stayed within the lines,
A masterpiece appeared.
You didn’t need instruction
So no parents interfered.

The end result produced a smile
And bursting sense of pride;
A feeling of accomplishment
Just couldn’t be denied.

A lashing out at Lego toys
Brought back my painted treasures.
Some criticize new Lego sets
Which, though providing pleasures,

Deprive the seed of fantasy
Existing in each child
From blossoming and thus,
Imagination can’t run wild.

A Lego Star Wars figure
Builds just that and that alone,
Preventing kids from coming up
With patterns of their own.

To this I say, just let them play
Or paint or draw or build.
Whatever talents wait inside
Will somehow be fulfilled.