Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Kid and a Kite

Even though fall is my favorite season, of late I've come to realize how much I always enjoyed spring. I think that's because of my dad's enthusiasm for the season. He's the one who made a big deal out of Groundhog Day, and he's also the one who taught me to fly a kite.

When I was in second grade, I entered a kite contest sponsored by the local Lion's Club. I remember entering at school, then going home and telling my dad we needed to make a kite. All the kids were talking about their elaborate designs but my dad and I decided to stick with your basic diamond-shaped kite. In 1972, I was really into black and yellow and the whole Smiley face idea, so we spray-painted the thing black and then spray-painted a big yellow Smiley face in the middle.

Come contest day, I quickly realized my kite was not a thing of beauty, compared to the Chinese dragon kites and box kites the other kids had constructed. My hopes of winning anything were soon dampened, both by the site of all the other kites, and also by the damp chilly weather, a typical Pittsburgh spring day.

Kid after kid attempted to get their clunky masterpieces off the ground without success. At last my turn came. I knew how to fly a kite. I took off running, holding the spool in one hand, and the kite in the other, willing it to catch a breeze . . . and it did. Higher and higher it went, the lone kite in the sky that day. The smiley face had become a smug grin, matching the grin on my dad's face and mine. Our little ole' plain paper kite had won the big one!

Tonight Mike and I took his nephew on his first kite flying adventure. I, the master kite-flyer, took great pride in patiently instructing the youngster in the art of kite-flying. We gave it our best effort but the wind just wouldn't cooperate and we couldn't get it more than 50' high. Nevertheless, it brought back great memories of one of the biggest days in my life as a kid. The day my dad and I won the kite-flying contest!

I still look forward to flying a kite every spring. What about you? Did you fly kites as a kid? Do you ever do it now, as an adult? If you have kids, why not give it a try now that spring is finally here?

14 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Di, I love to read stories of you and Daddy when you were young. Most of these I had forgotten about..so keep them coming! They are a blessing to me and so is he...teasing and all.
Mom

gail said...

I haven't thought about kites in a while....we did fly them a lot in the spring when our kids were younger! It was always fun for them. Great memory Dianne. Wonder if I can find a little kid to take to fly one!

Dianne said...

Thanks mom!

Christina Berry said...

When I was little, I flew a kite with a sunny face on it and a flaming tail. I weighed next to nothing--being a little string bean--and my parents actually worried I might blow away with it on the windy, windy days. My kids love flying kites, too, though we've only used the dollar store ones so far.

Barb said...

Oh, what a happy post, Dianne. And yes, we kids (six of us) used every scrap of every flyable thing we could find to make out own kits. Remember those cloth bow-tie looking things you had to tie at the top of the kite string to give it balance? What sweet memories you've brought back. Nope. Haven't flown a kit in years. But I have a little grandson and......

I finished The Doctor's Wife last night. My word, that was a very moving but disturbing and thought-provoking book, Dianne. Thank you for sending it to me. I think I'm going to read Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind next. You know. Just to calm down a little. :-)

I can't tell you how much Rob and I are enjoying the big box of great books you sent us.

And who is Mary Ann? She left me a comment, said you told her to read my blog but her link leads me back to nothing. Can't find her.

Barb said...

I seem to be having a little "e" issue this afternoon. Kite. KITE. KITE!!!!

But really, "kit" almost worked, right?

Tonja said...

What a sweet memory! My dad and sister and I used to fly kites, too. And sometimes we would take them to the beach and fly them. They always went higher and faster there. Thanks for reminding me!

Lori Madison said...

Hello.
What a wonderful story. As I read through it, I started to think back to the time in my life when I used to fly kites. I used to hold my breath as the kite would fly higher and higher, I was always a little disappointed that I couldn't fly like that! God Bless..

Tammy said...

We love to fly kites, too...we haven't done this since last fall, and your post reminded me that March is kite month...so, I guess we'll brush ours off and take the girls soon!

Jennifer said...

This is great. My daughter LOVES flying a kite, and no, we don't do it as much as we should.

Katrina said...

What a great story! I am horrible about taking Camden out to fly a kite. I like to wait until it's "warm enough," and by then, it's usually not good kite-flying weather. I need to get on the ball though... maybe this spring, I'll get to it in time, and help him form some of those wonderful memories.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

What a wonderful post! I loved reading about your smiley face kite and how you guys won. That's so sweet that you took your nephew to fly kites. You know, I have a vague memory of trying to do this with my nephew. I was never any good at it, though.

Oh, and I just remembered - Tim bought me a kite years ago as a surprise. It's still sitting in the closet, and has never once been opened or used. I need to talk to him about that!

:)

Rachel Anne said...

Thanks so much for your visit. I loved this memory about kites...one of my most prized memories is watchin my daughter fly a kite as the sun was setting when she was about 4. It was a golden moment. Thanks for reminding me.

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

This brought back memories - we'd literally find long straight sticks, cut up newspapers, make flour paste and glue the sides of the kite over, beg my mom for sheets to cut up to make the tail - we literally made our own kites and they were never things of beauty but what pride when they flew. If this infernal snow flurry mess would stop, maybe I could give another one a whirl.