The day’ s perfect, but there is an errand for Grandpa, then lunch, then a concert and nap, and then, finally, the long awaited inaugural flight of the kite.
Ben wants his sunglasses on--a wrap around Hot Wheels variety, deep red, blood red. He wants to ride his bike to the kite flying site—not too many trees, no power lines and a big hill to run down to get the kite up. The same hill we were sledding down in moonlight just a few months ago. Perfect thermals, judging from the two turkey vultures who hang around, watching from way up high as they float like kites without strings: too far away to see their ugliness, they can be mistaken for eagles.
My son is an expert after a few false starts and one tangle with the only tree (we are able to free the kite with minimal damage.) He spends the rest of the time in the bright late afternoon sun effortlessly holding the taught line, watching the kite soaring and fluttering in the too blue sky, half as high as the vultures.
People come along and watch the kite, some smile from passing cars, a Chihuahua looks up and barks a warning. A few kids come and Ben graciously gives them a turn on the string. One dad, wistfully smiling, takes a turn too, saying they have a kite they haven’t flown yet at home. “Go get it “ says Ben, a blunt invitation to join the celebration, a statement of obvious, universal wisdom, undoubtedly ignored to the peril of the dad’s spirit.
There is no better way to spend the late afternoon than watching the kite. I lay on my back in the newly dry grass, watching the fluttering vision of Mater and Lightening McQueen high above us, relishing every moment of this magical first day of kite flying ever for my four year old who confidently holds the line, smiling broadly at his prone mother.
He wants to ride the kite, I try to explain he can’t, but he’s unconvinced until I bring the kite down to the grass, and let him sit on it, and show him it cannot rise with him on it; a hard lesson to realize that the object of our fantastic dream cannot sustain, support the weight of our reality. Clarity comes only when we are able to replace false hope with love of the moment. He will have more lessons like that, but this is enough for today. He gets up, and asks to fly it again, a smile returning to his briefly frowning face.
Later, I waltz with my father to music our neighbor composed. Ben plays air guitar.
A perfect day.