It was the month of March, and the principal of Edison Elementary announced that we would be having a kite flying contest the next day at recess. This caused immediate excitement among us kids. This was a big deal.
So I went home and told my mom, but there was a problem: My dad was at work and, the thing is, my dad was almost always at work. My dad worked all the time. He was hardly at home at that point in our lives. And mom didn’t drive. So I had no way to get a kite. What’s a boy to do?
Fortunately, I have a great mom.
We found some sticks, mom and me, and we made a kite. A very special kite. It was made out of my moms nylons, pulled over the sticks into a kite shape. And it was amazing. I tried it in the front yard and the thing was like a bird. It wanted to soar. It was extremely light weight and it caught the wind like a miracle . . . and I knew, I KNEW, I was going to win that competition the next day. Who needs one of those dumb store bought kites anyway?
The next morning I got ready for school and I literally had a smile in my heart. I’m not kidding, there’s no better way to describe it. All was right with the world as I got ready and took my kite out the door, headed for the bus stop. When I got there, the other kids weren’t sure what to make of my kite, but when they started to think about it, they realized it could work. I could be the king of the playground. It actually caused a little buzz on the bus as we drove to school.
When we arrived at school, everyone got up to get off the bus. Suddenly, the kids behind me started to push. They were just messing around. They weren’t thinking. It was normal kid stuff, but they pushed so hard that I couldn’t stop it and I fell forward into the kid in front of me, crushing my kite, breaking it into several pieces. It was completely destroyed.
My teacher tried to help me put it back together but it was useless. Nothing was going to fix it. It sat next to my desk, pathetic and hopeless.
I can remember, during recess, looking up in the sky at the other kites, floating above our heads all around the playground. All the colors. The wind moving gently through a perfect blue sky. It was beautiful. Everyone was having a great time.
Well. Almost everyone.
It’s a hard thing to feel joy and happiness passing you by, like a bus going to paradise, and there’s nothing you can do to make it stop and not leave you behind. It is a bitter thing to lose opportunity and hope, then have to stand watching others taste the joy you wished for but cannot have.
Sometimes I don’t know how we survive childhood without losing our minds. Seriously.
Peace to you.
© LW Publishing 2010