Jonny McCambridge: When Hopes Soar, Just Like The Kite
It’s like every time I get a call on my cell phone from an unknown English number. Against all odds, there’s always a part of me that believes this could be good news. Maybe a publishing giant noticed one of my stories and spontaneously calls me to offer me a million-pound book.
Which makes it all the more bitter when it inevitably turns out that someone asks me if I’ve been in an accident in the past five years.
And that’s how I have felt about kites since I was a kid.
I have always been enchanted by the concept and intoxicated by the possibilities of controlling an object hovering gracefully above the treetops.
But experience has taught me that they never work.
I endured a series of disappointments with kites as a child, both homemade kites and cheap, garishly colored items bought in stores.
The story was always the same. A confused and messy mass of sticks, string and plastic that stubbornly refuses to ascend into the sky.
Stupidly, I ran along the beaches and fields, dragging soft objects behind me, like a reluctant dog to be taken for a walk. Every now and then a gust of wind can lift it a few feet in the air, causing it to howl in excitement, only to fall back to the ground seconds later, limp and flabby, like a seagull that has been shot down. with a gun.
And then I end up throwing in the cheap kite, registering it as just another of life’s broken promises; still a little lost innocence.
Now I’m not suggesting here as a general statement that kites don’t work. I’m not saying the whole concept is a complicated hoax. Of course, people who know what they are doing and have a well-made kite can enjoy this hobby very successfully.
It’s just that, for a child, the practice was not immediately accessible. It never worked quickly or well. Therefore, it is recorded as a mishap. This is one of the many things that just isn’t as good as you might expect.
And now, as a parent, the story has continued with the same tale.
A few years ago, I bought a kite for my son. It was a complicated-looking creation, painted with eyes and teeth bared. He was full of excitement as I started to run along Newcastle beach.
But in less than five minutes he had abandoned it and gone to pick up some pebbles as I tried in vain to convince the miserable article to climb above ankle height. It was very windy, but it made no difference.
The fact that there was another father on the beach dazzling his children while controlling a flying drone only increased my feeling of inadequacy and unconsciousness.
It was bad enough when I couldn’t get a kite to work for myself. But the hurt is even sharper when I try to explain to my own boy why I can’t get the kite out of the sand.
Which means I got a stomach ache when my son came home from school to tell me his class would be making kites the next day. I didn’t want his hopes to fly, knowing that they would inevitably crash to the ground, just like the kite.
But I didn’t tell him that, and when he came back the next day, bursting with pride at the drawing of Mr. Men that he had drawn on his little white kite, I smiled at him and told him it was was wonderful.
And, of course, he wanted to see it fly immediately. So we started the short drive to the forest park.
As we walked towards the green zone, my little boy kept telling his mother about his pride in the kite, showing it to her over and over again. I was walking a step or two behind, already mentally repeating what I would say to her when it didn’t work.
We entered the middle of the field. My son handed me the kite, smiling nervously. I examined the object – small, white, triangular, held together by sticks and with long ribbons sweeping underneath. It looked like a well-made kite.
I untangled the string as I felt the wind start to pick up. Then I started to run. I ran for a while before looking back.
When I did, the kite was high in the air. Very, very high.
And besides, he stayed there.
My son danced underneath with boundless joy.
We stayed in the field for a long time. The kite flew high for me. He flew high for my wife. And, more importantly, it flew high for my son.
It was almost too successful. At one point he was being pulled so forcefully by the wind that my son seemed to think he was going to be lifted into the air next to him and shouted “Daddy, I’m scared! “
But I was quickly next to him to hold his hand and tell him that he was doing brilliantly.
I kept telling no one, ‘It works, it really works.’
Even after my son got bored and decided he wanted to go to McDonald’s, I still ran the kite, until sweat stained my shirt.
Then we left the field, feeling a little more satisfied with ourselves than the mere flight of a kite probably warrants.
And as we walked back to the car, my mind was filled with thoughts. There are a lot of things in life that don’t turn out the way you hope and it’s all too easy to become cynical and fearful. But every once in a while, something turns out just the way you want it to. Then you might see your little boy dancing for joy. And the world seems to be a slightly better place.
On our way back to our car, we met the mother of another child who is in my son’s school year. She greeted us and noticed that I was holding the kite.
“We released ours earlier, and it really works! “
“Yes,” I replied. ‘Yes.’
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