Monday, October 24, 2011

Lessons from a Kite Flyer

Today Joy’s class came bounding out of their school exit several minutes early, holding paper kites on strings, and sharing happy smiles. Her teacher Mrs. C ran toward the field and students followed, like a ribbon of excitement. They left their backpacks on the basketball courts and chased each other on the grass, straining to hold their strings high so the attached kites could fly and swing around. A sunny day welcomed them, offering great opportunity for such an occasion to be outside and run. But sadly, there was no wind, and these sweet children all appeared as though they were toting around an old, deflated balloon.
Joy’s teacher ran over to tell me that the class labored over these paper kites for almost an hour, and she was sincerely hoping for some wind. The weather report warned against high winds, so where was that breeze? We laughed at the stillness of the moment, at the lack of wind, and her enthusiastic teacher shrugged her shoulders and mentioned her gladness at the fun they were still having. Mrs. C ran back into the chaos of her delightfully screaming second graders, and in that instant, the wind picked up and blew onto the grassy field. Two dozen children erupted in thankful cheers, and their little paper kites flew high into the air.
I was amazed at such a display! Parents gathered by the field, even though the end-of-day bell rang and crowds of families were heading home. Joy was leaping in the air, dancing in her own little adventure of the moment, and singing in the middle of those crowded, swirling, sweaty children. Eventually we all needed to go home, and she carried that paper kite to the car.
Once we were home, the girls rode their bicycles in the neighborhood, admiring the yellow aspen leaves and serene temperatures. While riding her bicycle, Joy continued to share stories about her kite, and smiled every time. Later, in the house, she happened to rip that sweet little kite, which brought tears, and tape. And at bedtime, she placed the kite on a chair in her room, for another adventure, on another day.
Tomorrow will bring colder weather, with wind (of course), and snow. But what a beloved experience from a simple craft, and what great delight Joy held in joining her friends in dancing uninhibitedly! If only we could retain such delicate innocence, such carefree, surrendered enjoyment in living in that very moment. My girls continue to re-teach me such important lessons, even while unknowing their significance. What blessings this motherhood brings!

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