I remember a summer from my childhood, in the park with my dad. He had bought a kite for my birthday and it was my first day testing it out. I had so much fun that day. So on my daughter’s tenth birthday, only one gift makes sense to give her: a kite.
“How does it work Mummy?” Melody asks.
“You unroll the string and then you run with it,” I say.
“I’m gonna check YouTube,” she says.
“OK,” I say with a laugh.
She pulls out her phone and makes her checks. I see her face scrunch up with concentration. No one else at the park has a kite and I cannot remember the last time I saw one.
I am about to spiral into thoughts about my age, about how features of my childhood are now things that people have to research, then Melody says, “OK. I think I’ve got it.”
Melody unfurls the string of the kite. Then she begins to run, the kite in her outstretched hand behind her. The winds quickly pick up the kite and it dances up into the air. It rises and rises until the string is taught. Melody is holding the handle tightly. She quickly figures out how to manoeuvre the kite. She swerves it about high above her head and the the tails flicker in the sky. I know what she is feeling. Wonder, that a small handle and a piece of string can give you control over something so elevated and elegant.
The winds abate and the kite drifts slowly to the ground. Melody runs to the kite and picks it up, then she runs back towards me.
“Did you see it, Mummy?” Melody asks.
“I saw it, baby,” I reply. “That was amazing!”