Monday, September 28, 2009

Go Fly A Kite!

When we were kids, JohnnyMac and I used to love to fly kites. We'd pool our money and search under the couch cushions for change in order to buy one. I don't remember much about those days, except that launching was tedious and often required multiple attempts. Once we got the damn thing in the air, though, it was an awesome experience. We felt like Mission Control guiding Apollo 11 to the Moon. Unfortunately, even the most seemingly harmless crash would crack the balsa wood skeleton of the kite, thus rendering it useless and making us feel like we were Mission Control for Apollo 1.

I recall that, on at least one occasion, we tried to fashion a crude kite out of Popsicle sticks and a garbage bag. I'm pretty sure that contraption didn't get too far off of the ground.

Three months ago, I found myself in some miscellaneous seasonal section of the store. My daughter inquired about the brightly colored kites and wondered what they were for. I told her about kite flying and, out of nostalgia more than any expectation that we'd actually use it, I bought one. It was shaped like a lady bug. I would have preferred the Spider-Man kite, but this was my daughter's choice and she wanted the lady bug, damn it. The kite sat on the shelf for nearly three months. Until yesterday.

Early in the morning, the winds were gusting. As I took her to school, my daughter remarked "This would be a good day to fly a kite". She was right. After school, we set out to the nearest open field. Kite technology had certainly changed over the years. Instead of a balsa wood skeleton, this kite employed flexible plastic. I'm sure the skin of the kite was something more advanced from what I had been used to as well. Whatever had been changed had certainly been changed for the better. The kite launched within seconds. No longer would I have to run with it until the wind caught it. The slightest gust of wind took the kite from my hands and pushed it into the sky. It was so easy to launch that my daughter got the hang of it within minutes.

After getting the kite up a respectable distance into the air, I proudly handed the controls over to my daughter. She did well, learning how to get the kite to do some basic tricks. Remarkably, when the kite crashed, it didn't break apart. She just picked it up and launched it again. Gotta love modern technology.

Eventually, she felt it was time to go home. "One minute", I said. "I need to have a turn too".

A late afternoon of fun for $2.00 and a little bit of effort. What more could you ask for?


  1. This is cute. I do hope you wrote to her about this!

  2. I enjoyed reading your kite experience I only wish more young people would take up the hobby, it's great exercise outdoors fresh air much better than sitting in front of a PC monitor playing mind-numbing games, great stuff keep it up kindest regards Peter Linn.

  3. Thanks for the link and comment, Peter. I had forgotten how much fun it was to fly a kite. Hoping to have one more go at it before the weather gets too cold.

  4. Thought I would add a little update to this. While at the parent/teacher conference for my daughter yesterday, I was given a story she wrote. The topic was "The Best Day Ever". She wrote "The best day ever was when I flew my kite. It was fun. It was a ladybug kite".