Tuesday, April 22, 2014


"K is for Kite."

Little kids know all about kites, but you rarely see kids actually flying kites these days. At least not in the city. On Sunday night we took a stroller ride around the neighborhood. It's how we kill time during the evening witching hour. It's how we keep the girls content while burning Jasper's energy. It's how we entertain our neighbors who sit outside enjoying retirement with whiskey and cigars. Bastards.

We were a few blocks from home when we ran into a gaggle of boys - cousins all trying to fly a cheap kite behind a bike. Jasper was enthralled and we watched for over an hour. Most of the time was spent untangling the string or throwing sticks at a tree to get it down. Adults would drive and bike by, remembering their own childhood antics and joyfully offering to help. But the boys refused politely each time. This was their kite, their adventure.

This may have been the first real kite in Jasper's world, which seemed a bit pathetic. So last night we invested in a Lightening McQueen kite from the Dollar Tree and set him up with some low expectations on the way to the park.

It might not fly. It might fall apart. The string might get tangled up. 

Our tidy little boy likes to know all the possibilities before venturing into a new situation. While we prepared for him to be bored or disappointed, he skipped down the sidewalk, eager to let it rip.

And it soared! I don't want to brag, but my husband can fly a mean kite while wearing a baby in a front carrier. Jasper squealed and chased it. He talked to the kite and Matt steered it away from the soccer games nearby. Other kids wandered over to see the kite and clapped when it rose higher than the school's roof.

"That kite is so cool, Mister!" And then the coach called the child's attention back to the game. My husband: Mister-Cool-Kite-Guy.

These evenings have been hard. And loud. And demanding. But for a moment, I saw Matt as a little boy, running and flying and free to play in the spring's dusk light. Jasper danced around in his shadow, thrilled from head to toe. I smiled at the crummy little kite flying higher than our meager expectations, catching us all by surprise.


Emmy Kegler said...

This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing, Meta.

Carl Robie said...

Fabulous. Thanx Meta.

Jill said...

Beautiful post. Where was Matt Monday afternoon when we were trying to fly our pathetic $1.00 kites at Lake Calhoun. The wind was so strong they just swirled around and nose-dived into the ground over and over again.