He was three or four years old, running with the confidence of the innocent on a sandy beach. Lite, curly, brown hair framed his face; a face brimming with smiles and laughter.
Off a heavy string floating behind him was a giant kite in the two-dimensional shape of an owl, its bright colors of yellow and green contrasting with the blue sky. It was held up by a mom who would not disappoint. His laughter, his joy was contagious. We laughed joyfully watching him.
He shouted at his mom and the wind carried the words to us, over the sand and the waves “This is the best day of the year flying a kite!”
What if every day could hold that kind of laughter, that kind of joy?
He was three years old, holding up arms that were still ripe with toddler chubbyness – the perfect kind.
“Mommy, Hold me! Mommy I’m tired!” His pleading was insistent, his blue eyes compelling.
The hill was high and we had walked for some time.
Should I tell him?
Joel – I can’t carry you! Mommy’s tired, Mommy’s having another baby!
He stopped short, a grin of sheer joy spreading over his face.
“That’s okay Mommy! I can walk.”
He resolutely took my hand and together we walked the remaining distance to the large white house on the top of the hill.
Watching the little boy on the beach took me back 21 years to the time on the hill. Maybe it was the innocence, maybe it was the look of complete joy that brought back my son’s face to me.
When parenting brings heart ache or loss, or when you feel a wistfulness for what was, the unique closeness that we have with our children during childhood, it’s a gift to be reminded of the times of laughter, of pure joy. The times when you would not trade where you were and who you were with for anything in the world. The times when small hearts were easily satisfied, and tears healed simply by a mom or dad’s touch
When life gets complicated I want to have memories of best days of the year, flying a kite.
When was your best day of the year flying a kite? What memories do you have of your kids lost in complete joy?
- The Red Kite – Spring Contest (childrensbooksheal.com)
13 thoughts on ““This is the Best Day of the Year Flying a Kite!””
I’m with Robynn. I so long to have the peace and quiet and time to think that it’s good to be reminded to enjoy the joy and silliness and to enter into it now while I can.
I watched this episode of The Middle today….http://www.hulu.com/watch/492302
It captures some of what you wrote Marilyn!
Love The Middle and can’t wait to watch this episode!
Oh Marilyn….I think today’s post is just for me. Today is the last day of school here in Manhattan and I’ve been battling a type of panic. Our three are so competitive. They fight non-stop. I hate conflict. I have work to do: administrative, writing, thinking–it’s all work best done in quiet. Our three are always loud. One stays up late. Two wake up early. There will be very little quiet this summer. Anxiety builds as I wonder when I’ll work, when I’ll write.
So to be reminded that there is joy in mothering..that some how that joy is a currency so precious and valuable it can’t be exchanged…that really comforted me today. The idea of you being wistful over the laughter of children makes me realize I should enjoy the laughter while we have it….
And we do have it…as much as we fight we also laugh. A lot…and Loudly! Our three are always loud!
I have tears running down my face as I type this. Thank you friend.
Love this comment and really love your fuller response through today’s post.
Lovely. What a gift to have these memories of pure joy. One for me is a summer day in our back yard when our oldest found a litter of wild kittens on an old shed roof! I don’t even like cats…but all four kids were so elated with these small mewing kitties that I couldn’t resist joining in their joy! We did eventually find homes for all of them, but have wonderful photos and they still remember the crazy names they gave the kittens:)
Aimee – I love love this story. And it is all the more poignant given you don’t like cats :)
I wonder if whoever came up with the phrase “go fly a kite” really knew the value of such an experience as yours and your mom’s reflect. I’ve had many and they still occur. Just the other day our college grandson popped in with 3 friends, quite unexpectedly. Thawing out some frozen muffins and serving some freshly picked strawberries we shared a few minutes of serendipity. A long distance call last night from another grandchild who couldn’t wait to share some good news brought pure joy. In moments like these I get “high as a kite.” Thanks Marilyn.
Good point on the “Go fly a kite” idiom!! I love this story of your grandson popping in! What a wonderful picture of family you give!
Oh, Marilyn, this is beautiful. In all my memories of Pakistan, our first beach week at the old CMS beach hut at Sandspit stands out. We arrived the afternoon before the Taylors left. Dad and Phil had a time pitching our tent in the sand with a strong breeze blowing. By the time I had you 4 children bedded down, I wondered why we had come at all. Tom looked up at me with shining eyes, “Mommy, I love sleeping in a tent!” Dad had some kind of meetings in the city, so he was gone most days. My watch was in the shop, so the sun was our only clock. You were two and so sweet in that orange swim suit with it’s sun cape (handed down from some slightly older child). We played on the beach in the morning. When the sun got hot, we went in and made PB&J sandwiches, 7th Day Adventist PB. We read stories and played games- the boys did. And perhaps it’s selective memory, but it seems to me that you kids didn’t fight at the beach! Even with our great mountain vacations and our later beach weeks at the C-Breeze at Hawkes Bay, this one stands out as pure joy.
And Joel has a birthday this week – you just helped me remember how old he is! His card will be in the mail today
How lovely to hear your memories of the CMS beach hut Polly! One of my earliest memories is of lying in the bunk bed with the hurricane lamp swinging as the wild wind blew sand round the beach outside. It was the last days of the wooden hut that had been made from a fighter jet packing crate before they made a concrete version of it.
Love this mom! and those memories at the beach hut — we didn’t fight – ever that I can remember! It truly was magic. Also Sophie – love your memories of the beach hut.