The Enchanted Land of Little Girls. It’s the world my little girls live in. It’s pink and purple, full of tutus and tea times, dress up and make up, magic wands and fairy dust. There are new adventures around every corner, limited only by the amount of string you allow your imaginary kite to fly. Laugh if you will, but I learn a lot from my time in this pretty and fluffy little land.
Yesterday, being sunny and 60 after a winter full of ‘below zero,’ the kingdom of little girls decided to venture out of the castle and over to Grammy and Papa’s to fly kites. It was there, I witnessed a literal example of what happens when The Enchanted Land of Little Girls and the actual world, full of things like wind, rocks and gravity, come colliding together.
Now, as a side note, I hope teaching my older daughter to tie her shoes and drive a car will be easier than teaching her how to fly a kite. There’s a little bit of patience involved in all of that. I may be doomed.
As for kite-flying….first, came the independent streak. “Mom, I can do it myself.”
Thump. Kite on the ground. Thump. Kite on the ground. Thump-
“Mom! It won’t fly!!”
Eager to rush her into stage two, where I rescue her from her frustration by teaching her the correct way to fly the kite, I pick up the kite and launch it into the air. After quite a few failed attempts sent the kite crashing into the rocks, I needed backup.
On to stage three…call in Grandpa because I can’t remember how to fly a kite. Together we whip up a strategy, and I offered to hold Brianne’s kite up for her until the wind kicked it up a bit, and then signal her to take off running.
“Just for a little bit, then you have to stop and let it fly.” I explained to her.
The wind picked up, I gave her the go…and off she went. It flew, alright! Success!
“Brianne! It’s flying!!! Look!” I exclaimed. “Brianne! Bri! BRIANNE!”
Still running. And letting more, and more string out.
“It needs more string to go higher and higher up into the sky.” she yelled from a distance.
She finally stopped, and shortly after she turned around to glance at her kite flying high up in the sky (Mary Poppins ‘Go Fly a Kite’ blaring in her ears-this I’m sure), a tree ate her kite. In her mind, the scene was about to be glorious. Her kite way up in the sky, her letting more and more string out…
The look on her face as she saw the tree munching on her kite was not that of total bliss. Nor was the one she sported while yanking and tugging on the string to get it down from the tree. One last tug and it was out…and started to fly again…right into Grandpa’s head! The dance he did to try and get out of that kite’s way was the funniest thing I’ve seen in months. I hit the ground laughing harder than my kids do when they’re tickled. It may not have been the seen from the movie where the whole family is laughing and smiling at the kite flying through the sky…but the whole family sure was laughing and smiling!
That kite made it through three more rounds with that tree branch, before the light-post sent it into early retirement. It’s a tricky thing, trying to explain to a four year old how much string is the appropriate amount. And a test of my patience to keep reeling it back in over and over again….helping Brianne re-launch the kite over and over and then watching and waiting to see if it would fly.
Children are like that, aren’t they? As parents, we do our best to put together a sound and sturdy kite, with just the right amount of string. We try to create a clear path, void of trees that the kite can be caught in, forgetting that some of the most valuable moments are getting caught up in the branches. Forgetting what its like to use our imagination. To dream big. To just lift the string up to the heavens, and just let go…
In Brianne’s mind, she was imagining that kite flying up so high she could barely see it. She’s wasn’t concerned with the rules of kite flying or with gravity pulling it down. The thought never even crossed her mind. She’s focused on making that kite soar. Even my two-year-old Lo took off running with her little kite…not doubting for a second if it could fly.
After all, she lives in The Enchanted Land of Little Girls. Her imagination is used to soaring. She hears Cinderella’s voice ringing in her ears telling her never to give up on her dreams. This kite flying experience will be the talk of the tea party, tomorrow, I can guarantee that.
I hope my daughters always have the courage to let the string out to the sky and just let go.
Happy Kite Flying 🙂