The Art of Kite Flying

I was first introduced to the art of kite flying by my husband shortly after we got married. That means I was 29 years old before I flew a kite for the first time in my life. I can still remember it vividly. I was pregnant with my first daughter and my belly threw off my equilibrium. There we were in an open field of a park near our apartment and my husband is coaching me through the art. “I can’t believe you’ve never flown a kite before.” That’s more of a snide remark than a coaching tip, but that’s my husband.

Eventually we get the kite in the air only to watch it nose-dive to the ground moments later. Laughter ensued, primarily by me, a first time kiteflyer. My husband, serious as all get out, is determined to get this kite to fly. It is an art, afterall. This teeter-totter of flight to ground happened several times before finally, there it was, soaring 50 feet above our heads, towering high above the treetops, flapping in the powerful breeze, our kite was suspended.

Today, we had the perfect conditions for kite flying. The icon on the weather channel even included a tiny wind swirl, indicating heavy winds with even heavier gusts.

My husband and I packed up the girls for a car ride to our local park where we again, pursued the art of kite flying. (My husband is certainly not going to let my two daughters grow up without having flown kites. Nope. Not happening.) We get the girls out onto the baseball field, seemingly the ideal spot for kite flying, and my husband takes the lead. Holding the string and reel my husband again coaches, “Joy, hold the kite until you feel a strong gust, then let ‘er rip.” The girls are running around, giggling, chasing the kite, which resembles a tumbleweed cartwheeling across the field instead of a plane soaring above us. Needless to say, it was another afternoon of un-mastering the art of kite flying.

I feel light about this situation, still new to this whole kite-flying business. My girls are happy, getting fresh air, laughing and truly enjoying the moment. My husband, on the other hand, grunts in frustration. “What is with this kite? They just don’t make kites like they used to. I’m calling this Melissa and Doug company.”

After giving up and making our way over to the playground equipment (the place my 2-year old really wanted to be), my husband walks over still wearing a slight frown and expresses in frustration, “I really wanted the girls to see some real kite flying today.” It is so bold of him to want that for the girls. I respond, “Hun, the girls had a blast today and someday, when they get a really good kite, they will learn to master the art of kite flying.”

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