So I’m sitting at the park the other day watching soccer practice with my son. It’s a cool, very windy day, with plenty of windbreakers and muffs afoot. Out of the corner of my eye I see a slightly overweight woman (I only mention her weight because the weight adds to the mental picture later) attempting to fly a kite for a precocious 4-year hyperactive boy. A more serene sight could not be found anywhere. It was the American dream – about to become a nightmare.
The kite is only getting about 20 feet off the ground and the woman is struggling to hold it steady in the strong wind. I say to myself “I bet that boy really wants to fly that kite himself.” No sooner than that thought came to my head that he came running up to the lady (I’m assuming his mom from this point forward) and gave her a full body slam with all of the glee and joy of a hyper, annoying 4-year old boy – basically saying MY TURN! I said to myself – this is not going to end well. The Mom manages to maintain her balance and does the unthinkable.
Mom hands the giant spool of unwound string and 20-30 feet of wind-whipped kite to the boy. To be fair, amazingly the brat flew the sucker for about 12 seconds. But then it came crashing down to the ground. I breathe a quiet sigh of relief that it didn’t end worse.
Unfortunately the kid (hereafter called ‘the kid’) didn’t have his fill yet. Mom dutifully picks up the kite and because of the November gale that was blowing in April (my salute to the Edmund Fitzgerald) it is up and flying again before I could even stop my panicked legs from shaking. And here comes kid. Mom dutifully hands off the keys to the kingdom again and the same 12 seconds pass.
Unfortunately this time the legend DID live on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee – and the kite is torn from the kid’s hands and this time instead of crashing to the ground, it goes soaring on the breezes of the Earth. I will now proceed to finish the story in short sentences and extremely creative drawings – because that’s how my mind was processing what happened.
Full sprint for overweight Mom due North after kite – ignoring screaming kid currently fleeing in full fear South.
Mom, shirt flying all akimbo, finally notices that kid is running the opposite way at full speed.
Mom Stops. Looks. Screams for kid. THEN TAKES OFF RUNNING AGAIN AFTER KITE.
Kid continues his Southerly run at full speed towards the parking lot.
Mom takes second glance at kid and brilliantly decides that he is more important than the $3.99 kite.
Mom takes off (FINALLY!) after kid – screaming at him to stop.
Kid slows down and slowly starts walking back to mom. Main crisis averted.
Mom meets up with kid, grabs his hand like HE’S the idiot and then walks him back to the kite.
Mom pushes the kid’s head DOWN into the kite and rubs his nose in it to show him what he did wrong.
I’m not saying that this is a fantastic story, but my little internal man laughed hilariously at the whole situation. I saw everything happening before it did and still let it happen as if it were a movie in front of me. At no time were the hatchways about to give in and no one was in real danger as I watched this scene with utter fascination – although if the kid would have continued to run South he would have eventually run into a very angry girl’s lacrosse team. I’m not sure if it was more the Mom’s fault or more the kid’s fault – but I always tend to point myself squarely at the parent.
LIFE LESSON: Superior, they said, never gives up her dead when the gales of November (or April) come early.