Fly a Kite

Something a dad should be able to do; I verified my ability to do so last Sunday. 
It was Waffle Sunday but we needed milk so I went to the store to get some milk. On the way there, being as it was Mothers' Day, I decided that my superstition could suck it (bad luck to wish a pregnant lady Happy Mothers' Day only 11 weeks in?) and I was going to do it up for Pam. Flowers, chocolate-covered strawberries, a not-so-sappy non-Hallmark card, lemon Italian soda, a couple of ribeyes... you know, the good stuff. I came home and made a couple of yogurt parfaits (is that redundant?) and then some waffles with berries on top and grade-A maple syrup.

Then, as it was really a beautiful day and Pam couldn't stand the thought of being indoors, we threw some stuff in a bag and went down to Zilker Park. We spread out a blanket and had some cheese and Italian soda in wine glasses (courtesy of this wine tote we hadn't had a chance to use yet). It was sunny and breezy and people were playing soccer and extreme frisbee, walking dogs, hanging out, and flying kites. A couple years back, maybe more, we'd gone out to a kite festival and bought one but had never flown it so we brought it with us. All I could think was that I needed to make sure I could do this because it seems like a can't-miss hit with the kids; I know it was for me. 

For a while, my dad lived across the street from a park, most of which was a big open field. Every so often, we'd go over with a kite and see how high up we could get it. Once, we took one of the dogs with us and Dad attached the string to her leash. It was pretty cool to watch Suzie the pug fly a kite.

But all those times, Dad had been the one to launch the kite. I would watch and sometimes he'd hand over the string and I'd hold it. It all seemed simple enough, but as I recalled, launching required running with the kite trailing behind you and getting some speed and wind to pick it up. It wasn't something I didn't think I could do, but it still seemed like some kind of skill or finesse would be needed, some (semi-)proper form of technique.

Maybe those were just on some not-so-windy days, or because he only had some too-short kid with him. Because we just had to let out some string and pull it tight as the other person let the kite go. Then we'd let our string out and try to keep it up as long as we could, adjusting for the gusts, and hoping it wouldn't dive-bomb into anybody. Except maybe for the people who didn't look after their dog, which tried to eat our cheese. (Never, and I mean never, go after a Whitehouse's cheese uninvited. Or be ok with pulling back a bloody stump.)

This parenthood thing... it can be daunting if you think about it too much. There's a lot to learn/consider/digest. I find myself singing the theme song from Smokey & the Bandit, or at least the line "we've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there..." just to keep myself in check. And I know that there's plenty you just can't prepare for and will totally be on-the-job training (hello diaper changing) but I figure it can't hurt to learn a thing or two in advance. 

Kite-flying can now be checked off the list.

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