Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Go Fly a Kite

"Let's go buy a kite," T said last week.  

His suggestion was not only surprising but a bit mystifying to me.  Thoughts of kites conjured up a mix of fanciful final scenes from Mary Poppins and confounding, unsuccessful experiences with supposed-be-flying objects from my childhood.

I have never been able to fly a kite.  

There was a sparkle in T's eye as he made his suggestion, a sparkle I hadn't seen in some time.  How could I refuse?  Plus, he was home early from work, all the kids were napping (hallelujah?!) and Nana was visiting (a babysitter!).  The moment was perfect.  We may have levitated as we skipped out the door to the mall.  

The saleswomen was young and cheerful, impressively enthusiastic when we told her we were looking for a kite.  "I LOVE kites," she said, "I actually know quite a bit about kites."  Her tutorial quadrupled our knowledge in about 90 seconds:

1.  The larger the kite, the better it flies.

2.  Delta (triangle shaped) or parafoil kites are the easiest to fly.  

3.  Diamond-shaped kites are actually surprisingly difficult to fly.

4.  No need to wait for a blustery day to fly a kite.  In fact, a really windy day often makes it harder to fly a kite.  A large parafoil or delta-shaped kite will fly with as little as 5 mph of wind, which is just enough to blow the tops of the trees.

We bought a frameless parafoil kite, successfully avoiding the inevitable disappointment that would result should someone step on the frame and break it within the first 10 minutes out of the wrapper.  Last night we took the kids over to the park to try it out.  

The air was calm at the park, but that didn't stop our crew.
We found a gentle breeze at the wide open running track field.

The kids were mesmerized. They loved it.
That was even before we got the kite to fly :)

If the wind was just right, our kite would lift off right out of my hand.
The kids ran themselves into exhaustion chasing after it.

By the end of the evening, even G-Bear and E-Bear had successfully flown the kite.
Who knew we would have so much fun?  

It is supposed to rain the next two days.

But you can bet that when the wind picks up to blow these rain clouds away,
we'll be back out at the park

ready to fly our kite.

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