Kite Flying

I flew a kite today.  In the hot sun.  Attempting to instruct my five-year old grandson in steering.

This is one of those thrift kites, put together by plastic and thin sticks, but it serves it’s purpose. It rode the wind a few times.

“The kite wants to ride the wind,” I told him. He smiled, put his hands over his mouth attempting not to laugh. I laughed.

“But the wind has a different idea,” I say. “He doesn’t want any freeloaders, so he blows when we’re not looking. Tries to surprise us. That’s why we have to keep watch.”

Justyn holds on to the tail, allowing the bulk of the kite to stand upright against the small gusts that take it.

“Can I fly it Oma?”

“I want you to fly it, but I don’t want you to crash it,” I say.

“You need to learn to steer it first.” I bekon to him and he moves closer, looking at the string hand and the control hand. The one I use to guide the kite.

“Okay, put your hand on my hand,” I say. He’s learning to feel the way the string moves through the hand. How we pull it back or give it slack at just the right moment.

I realize kite flying isn’t about controlling it. Letting the kite ride the wind might be a metaphor for something else.

Literally, we develop a feeling for how the kite moves. I don’t know if that can be taught. It’s in the hands. Some extra sense that feels the wind and the string.

I want to hand over the reins, but then pull back. No. I don’t want him to crash the thing. This one will break apart easily and we won’t have another kite for awhile.

“Oma, It’s too hot out here. I’m thirsty.”

I wind the string up. Maybe next time I’ll give it up. I’ll let him take over and just watch.


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