April 26, 2012
Kite flying masters
With spring here in Harbin, people take to flying kites. Although a few brave kite flying masters practiced in the dead of winter, in the spring people dust off their soot covered kites and head outside. Kanyon admires every kite saying, “I want to fly a kite. When do I get to fly a kite? Daddy, you should buy me a kite."
It’s his request every time we go out for our “daddy date.” Each week, I take Kanyon out to do something manly, like playing on slides, riding bikes, or running in circles playing freeze tag. I promised Kanyon we’d fly a kite soon. Fortunately for Kanyon (unfortunately for me) we received a package from my brother that included a kite, “Sky Foil, nylon frameless kite, no assembly required.” On the next date, Kanyon and I headed out to fly the kite.
With just enough wind, I struggled to get the kite off the ground. This is always the most humiliating part. I tried the traditional American two person launch. M’Lynn tossed the kite up while I held the string. Failed. I tried the traditional American one person launch and let out some string and ran like an escaping bank robber. Failed. Failed. Failed. Everything I tried, I failed.
I wonder how the old Chinese men do it. Their kites fly. Somehow the Chinese grandpa with string half a mile long attached to a wheel strapped to his chest starts his kite without running. He dances his kite on a never ending string to the stratosphere like a Jedi master. The kite is so high it's only found using a star chart.
I finally found success running like a possessed crazy man to get my kite off the ground. I floated the kite to the end of its string when Kanyon encouraged me, “That’s not very high.”