Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kite Flying can be like life

A dear friend sent kites to our kids.  The kites are great because they are "pocket kites" and have no sticks.  They are rectangular pockets that fill with wind and have a really long tail.  

We had one partially successful and frustrating day of flying when we were visiting a friend in Hope, but the winds stopped, so hoped to have a really good day of kite flying when we got home to Steveston.

Atticus really trying
Phin taking his kite for a drag
When we were home, and I had my day with the kids and Joanne was at the office, I noticed it was really windy.  So after we finished our home-schooling we went to the park that is right on a point jutting into the Georgia Straight and is known as a windy spot favoured by kite-flyers.

I had underestimated how windy it was, and that it may be foolish to try this on my own.

I was able to get one kite unwound and launched.  Up it went, and I had one thrilled child and two that were now eager and impatient.  I started to work on the second kite.

While I am doing that, my four year old, excited and impatient, pulls his out of it's pouch and proceeds to shake it, vigorously.   "No Phin, please wait, no... no!"  Too late.  Kite #3 is now a tangled mess.  

So I get the second kite launched and then I start trying to untangle Phin's, and while I am doing that, the other two kites cross lines in the air, dance around each other and come crashing to the ground.  And there I am, with a howling wind, and three kites in a tangled heap on the ground.   Atticus pleads with me, "Papa can you fix them?"  "Maybe, but it's going to take some time."

Beatrice grabs one of the spools and starts running in circles around us with great glee.   I try to get up and stop her, but then the three kites I'm kneeling on start blowing away, so I have to rush back to hold them down.  It's my turn to plead, "Please stop sweetheart, you're making it worse."  She giggles and continues to make a cocoon around us.  I need to do something before we resemble Frodo prepped to be carried off to Shelob's lair.

"Atticus, help me.  Stop her please."  Atticus, in a swift judgement call, decides to stop her with a flying tackle.  "Atticus!  You didn't have to do that!"   He retorts, "You said to stop her!"  That's true, I did.  Now Beatrice is sobbing, I'm trying to console her, and both boys are standing beside me, begging for their kites, like they would petition for the life of an ill pet.  "Please Papa?  Pleeeeeassse?  I am saying pleeease!"

With one sobbing little girl on my shoulder, and two little boys pulling on each pant leg, and a heap of tangled kites at my feet, I want to laugh and cry and let loose with a primal scream that will rip the sky.  But instead I whimper a prayer, ""  (I wish I'd done the primal scream as well.)

I take a deep breath and break the news to them.  "We are not going to be able to fly kites any more today.  We are going to have to go home, and I will work on them there."

Beatrice continues to sob.  Phin's heart is broken and he begins to wail.  Atticus shifts to anger.  "You can fix them!  You can!  You just don't want to!"

More than anything at that moment, I wanted to see those three kites in the air and three happy little faces.

Some of us, impatient with how our life is unfolding, have shaken it out, only to have a jumble of string and cloth that never gets off the ground.

Others have soared for a bit, only to cross other people's lines, and the entanglement has brought us crashing to the ground.

Sometimes we get mad at God when we look at our tangled up life that's not soaring like we'd hoped and we yell, "You can fix it.  You just don't want to!"  And I think God says to us, "I can fix it, but it's going to take some time."  And He might need to bring us in out of the wind for a while.