Monday, January 24, 2011

Kite Adventure

My husband, Ryan suggested we go to a community activity yesterday.  Kite making and flying at La Salle College.  I dragged my feet a bit.... who exactly was going to do the kite making then?  My four year old?  I don't think so.  My husband - nope, he would be holding and entertaining the 12kg 17 month year old.  So the onus of creating rested solely on me.  Luckily said 12kg 17 month old was having a late afternoon nap, as we got home late from lunch at Ryan's nana's.  Hopefully it would be late enough to miss the event completely...

However 15 minutes after my mother called to confirm we were attending, Sabin woke up.  I had made dinner for my parents and my family, so after the dishes were done everyone, except me, eagerly hopped into the car.  I guess I should explain myself, I'm not usually a grumpy spoil sport, but I had a bit too much to drink the night before and stayed up a bit too late as well.  So while not super hung over.... I was feeling a little under the weather.

When we arrived at La Salle and the kite making was fully under way.  I stood on the outskirts of the group and listened, thinking, oh good we are too late!  Then I noticed my brother-in-law, James handing my 4 year old all the "ingredients" to construct a kite.  He then waved me over with more bits and pieces in his hand.  I quite unwillingly handed Sabin over to my mother and joined Chynna and James in position at the table.

I stood next to a lovely older Malaysian woman, who took charge of my kite making (James attended to Chynna).  She was really great, otherwise I might still be standing at the table, unmotivated today.  She mentioned she used to fly kites in Malaysia.  I think kite flying is quite big in most Asian countries.  I remember being in Tiananmen Square in Beijing or in the parks of Shanghai and Wuxi and there would always be people flying kites.  I have also read the novel, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini where there are kite races - kites fights are common in these races where your kites line is bonded with glass particles to cut your oppositions lines mid flight.  Sounds exciting right?  Well I doubted that my kite flying experience was going to be anywhere near as exciting, although I was feeling more inspired.

Eventually we caught up to the instructor when we needed to draw a design on our kites.  Given that I had just been speaking about kite fights I knew I wanted to draw a mean face on my kite.  My niece drew some flowers... my nephew after some deliberation, decided to draw the sun and my daughter drew a happy face.  They were going to be no match for my demon kite from hell!

Out on the oval kids ran around like crazy trying to get their kites up in the air.  I must admit, although I ran slower, I did a similar thing.  The instructor yelled to everyone that there was no need to run.  So with a gust of wind my kite launched.  I let out some string and it sailed a little higher into the sky.  Then disaster... the wind dropped and so did my kite, right out of the sky.  Maiden flight failure!!  I noted, the Malaysian woman's kite, was sailing high in the sky, so I wandered over to her to gather a few pointers.  Most importantly she said that when the wind drops, give a few tugs on the line to see if you could catch some wind.  My family seemed nicely occupied with their kites in the air more than on the ground, so with that I made my way further across the oval.

The wind seemed a bit fickle... it waxed and waned, but it probably wasn't going to get any better.  I let out some string, let the kite catch some wind and The Demon was off.  I looked around at everyone else and again took pointers from the Malaysian woman, who wasn't winding her line back on it's handle.  One less thing to concentrate on while I was trying to control The Demon - good idea.

Not long after, The Demon fell, very inelegantly from the sky.  A boy, probably not more than 10 years old, ran towards me yelling, look at my kite, look at my kite!  I followed his string, up, up, up into the air and there was his kite.  It was half way to the moon and at least a quarter of an oval away from him.  I jumped up and down yelling at him, that is so cool - your kite is amazing!  He was so happy and excited, that we kept our conversation going while I relaunched The Demon.  I thought if he can do it I can too.

I let the string out further and further, carefully pulling a little in when the wind dropped.  The Demon, was truly magnificent.  He seemed to have a mind of his own up there, doing a random zippy twirl here and there.  I must admit, it did cross my mind that if a kite did a zippy twirl and didn't take flight upwards again that it could take off a head on it's plummet back to earth!!   Just in case I made my way slightly further around the oval...

I was so excited that I jumped around whooping it up when I let the final bit of line off my reel.  The Demon was at full flight - it was impossible for him to go any higher.  I hollered at my husband, half an oval away - look at this, look at my kite.  He waved and smiled, but didn't share my enthusiasm.  The Demon was free, so free that I almost let him goes to see if he would just sail away.

All too soon, my husband blared that it was time to pack it all up.  It was such a shame to have to bring The Demon in... but standing in the middle of an oval, I just couldn't think of an excuse to keep him up.  Slowly I coaxed him in.  Once on the ground, I had to coil the line back onto the reel.  Normally this would be a painstaking slow and boring job, but I was in no hurry, happy to gloat in my own success.

When I was all done, I wandered over to my husband who was standing at the fence waiting for me.  He said, do you know what time it is?  I said, nope.  He replied, 6 o'clock.  Where is everyone?  They left ages ago, and the kids are buckled up in the car ready to go.  That should tell you about my time in the park with The Demon kite - I lost track of the time and was oblivious to where my children were!  What an ADVENTURE - not bad for 2 hours, in a local park on a Sunday afternoon.

When you have fun like a kid... all of your troubles just fade into the background.  So it is fair to say that yesterday arvo I was just like anyone else on the oval.  Not someone who injects themselves every day.  Although I don't have much to complain about on that front.  Stinging, redness, lumps and welts - the usual.  I seemed to have had a few days with no itching, but it's back today.  It's bearable, so still nothing to complain about.  Cheers!

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