Children Are Like Kites. Also, Children Like Kites.

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“I went to the park and saw this kid flying a kite. The kid was really excited. I don’t know why, that’s what they’re supposed to do. Now if he had had a chair on the other end of that string, I would have been impressed.”

-Mitch Hedberg

It’s funny how you lose sight of who you were as a child.

When my parents died, I had to ruthlessly toss boxes and boxes of photos. My father documented everything when we were young (OK, it’s hereditary, what of it?) and I just couldn’t save every photo.

Among the few that I saved were shots of my brother and me flying kites at Cape Henlopen State Park. It’s one of those quiet moments that one recalls decades later with perfect clarity for no good reason: the wind blowing your hair in your face, the tug of the string.

Judging by the look on Cassidy’s face in the photo above, this was a moment I had neglected to share with her before now. She was beside herself when that kite caught and took off.

Do you remember what it was like, when you were amazed that a kite could fly?

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Now, I see people and their kids flying kites all the time, especially at the beach. It is a different thing entirely to hold the string yourself, feel the pull, shake the hair being blown in your face. Flying a kite is to return to the child you once were.

These are the moments I strive to provide for my kids, these simple memories of catching fireflies, skipping stones, climbing trees. The sort of uncomplicated memories that get called up from the depths by the smooth feel of a stone, the beat of tiny insect wings on your skin, the sound of leaves rustling. The tug of a kite at the end of the line. The sorts of memories that give you peace.

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The boys were not so overt in their enthusiasm for kite flying- seems they found out somewhere that there are these things called kites, and they go up in the sky using the power of wind– but they were certainly quick to claim their turn.

Of course, when they were actually holding the string, they had to go and be all nonchalant. “What, me? I’m just hanging out in the water. I’m holding this kite for my sister so it doesn’t get away. I’m so not involved with the flying of this kite, I’m not even looking at it.”


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Here’s a little something to leave you with this weekend. I couldn’t locate an author to attribute it to:

Children are like kites.

You work so hard trying your best to get
them off the ground. You run with them until
you are both breathless, dodging obstacles,
avoiding tangles. They hit roof tops. They
crash. You patch things up, make adjustments
and learn.
You watch them lifted by the fickle
wind and pray it will help keep them up.
You assure them that someday they will reach
great heights. But they always need more
string to soar.

Go fly a kite, people. Fly ’em with your kids so that when, as an adult, they hold a kite for someone, they can be reminded with perfect clarity this quiet time they once shared with you.


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