Widgets Magazine

Apr 7, 2015

Guest Blog: Flying Kites by Sweetie


It all started a few weeks ago. Baby Doll brought a small kite to me on Sunday afternoon after church.  “Daddy, can we fly a kite?” Well, I’m experienced enough to know that kite flying with small children is about like fishing with small children (without the hooks and blood)…a lot of tangled string, frustration, and the inevitable tears.
But the pleading eyes of a 4-year-old are hard to ignore. Add in the fact that she’s the youngest, cute as a bug, and goes around singing about how she loves her daddy…

Resistance was futile... but it was Sunday… I was still in my suit and there wasn’t even a wisp of wind. I looked down at the kite. It was a small one like you can sometimes get at the Dollar Store. What’s the worst thing? We destroy a Dollar Store kite running up and down the neighborhood?

As I started assembling the kite, Curly showed up with one as well. Within minutes they were running up and down in front of the house with about 3 feet of string out. It lasts about twenty minutes...all smiles… no tears… no blood and no tangles. Oh, a smart dad would have left it there. Kites done for the year… good memories...

But as I child I loved kites. I had my own design (a garbage bag and three sticks) that was practically fool proof. I once had 7 or 8 full balls of string and back then kite string had some serious length not like the ones they have now…

So like a glutton for punishment I utter the words,  “When it’s windy we will go to the park and really fly them.” Really fly them? Really? Why would I say that? I just took a good memory from them and tainted it…

Which brings us to today. It was the last day of spring break and I stayed home to play with my kids. And the wind was blowing so…yes, out of my own free will, I suggested we head to the park. But before we even got there we had major trauma. There were only two kites that were not pink and Barbie or Princess-themed, and 4 boys.

Curly and Taco immediately headed for the playground. Baby Doll stood patiently waiting for her kite to be assembled for a whole 30 seconds before (in such a grown up way that I felt like a slothful servant, not a dad) she announced that she was going to go to the playground, but would be back when her kite was assembled. By the time I had all of the kites assembled, Sport and Fajita had theirs high in the air and were actually flying kites! I reverted to my childhood and grabbed the extra ball of string. I would go show them how it was really done. The only kite available was a pink Cinderella kite, but who cares... I am the king… the wind was perfect…

But for the life of me, I couldn’t get my kite to stay in the air for more than a minute or two. It kept diving to the earth. I added more weight to the tail, rearranged the lead point, gave it a nickname, but to no avail. 

Eventually Baby Doll came back to fly her kite. She happily ran into and with the wind, mostly dragging the kite across the ground then the tangles started. At one point I had three pink kites and tails all tangled up, and Sport and Fajita still had their kites in the air.

Eventually all of the kids went to the playground, which means Sport gave me his kite to use. I quickly added string, just to have it land in a tree, free itself from a tree and eventually the tree was flying it instead of me. Needless to say, Scout was appalled at my kite skills. About then I heard the cries and sobs and sure enough there was the tears and blood. Curly had fallen and cut his lip, so into the van we went, but as we closed the door, the tails of the pink kites were sticking out, blowing in the wind. The kids thought it was cool so off we drove with pink streamers waving to all the other cars and the kids all laughing. Even Curly was laughing in a block or two. Maybe the silliness of the drive home is what they will remember, not the tangles, tears, and blood… or my kite skills.

3 comments:

Anna Banana said...

What a great dad! We parents are gluttons for punishment sometimes. We know things probably won't go very well, but we desperately want our kids to have a few golden memories and so we keep trying.

LeAnn said...

Oh this was just a delightful story of kite flying. I am sure your children will have this day embedded in their memories just like you did as a child.
This was a fun on and I am smiling a lot. I can just picture it all.

Shell said...

We always have a hard time with kites, too! The only times we've been able to get them to work is when we fly them on the beach.

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