May 1, 2013

I see children as kites...

Happy May Day!  Does anyone remember hanging May baskets on doors, ringing the doorbell and running away as fast as you can?  Or taking a special May basket to a teacher?  I used to love listening to my mother's recording of Camelot, where Julie Andrew would gleefully sing "It's May, it's May, the lusty month of May".  Welcome, May, and may you be a whole lot more spring-like than your cousin April!

Yesterday I shared with you the fun my older boys had learning the art of kite flying with their grandfather.  They had the opportunity to spend more time with my dad before he became less mobile, so they became the kite fliers in the family (well, except for my husband but that's another day's story!).  My younger two weren't left out, however, as their elementary classrooms received visits from their grandfather and demonstrations on how to build and fly your own kite.  Here's a newspaper clipping from a classroom visit my dad made to DeSmet High School (home of Laura Ingalls Wilder.)
The article states that at that time my dad had made more than 800 kites, designing them himself and having my mother sew along the splines of the kite.  The kites were made from parachute silk, and he was quoted as saying that 'he's only made three kites that have failed to fly in the past four years.'  You can see more of his handiwork behind him.  Aren't they stunning? 

My younger two children had a talent show one year that was 'kite' themed, so we offered our large family kite as wall decor, as you can see in the next two pictures.  The first shows my daughter (far right with the  bun) and two of her friends doing a tap dance routine, with the kite background.  The kites are nice, but I really put this one in because my daughter is just so darned cute!
And guess what!  Remember in March how I bemoaned the fact that I knew better than to put a picture of my son dancing a la Michael Flatley in Lord of the Dance?   Well, I've decided it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission, and hopefully he will either not see this post or if he does, he will forgive me.  I'm sure he will...Mother's Day is coming up soon, right?  Besides, I have FAR worse photos than this one, so he's getting off lucky in my opinion.  Anyway, here he is, black outfit and headband in place, getting ready to Irish clog his way to talent school fame, but I'm only posting it because it fits with today's kite post and is such a nice clear shot of our family kite.  (You believe me, right?)  This special kite has it's own story and will reappear over the next two days!

I'll leave you today with a great little saying from Erma Bombeck.  I had this framed and on my bedroom dresser for years.  "There is a sadness that goes with the joy"...isn't that just so true?  You turn your back for a second and your sweet baby is soaring, no longer tied to you.  But our children were born to fly, and oh, the image they make in the sky is unforgettable.   
Have a wonderful, kite soaring kind of day!

I see children as kites
You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground.
You run with them until you're both breathless...
they crash...
they hit the rooftop...
You patch and comfort, adjust and teach.

You watch them lifted by the wind and assure them that they fly.
Finally they are airborne.
They need more string and you keep letting it out.
But with each twist of the ball of twine,
There is a sadness that goes with the joy.

The kite becomes more distant, and you know it won't be long
Before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds
You together and will soar as it is meant to soar,

Only then do you know that you did your job well.

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