No Fly Zone
Once a year or so, I take my kids to a park to run them around under the guise of showing them how much fun it is to fly a kite. I also take them fishing once a year, expecting the march to the fishin’ hole to extract a certain number of the day’s footsteps from their under-exercised frames. The difference is, when I take them fishing they ultimately catch fish, whereas when I take them kite flying they do not catch fish. Unfortunately, neither do they end up flying kites.
We have a large park in our neighborhood, with tennis courts, basketball courts, 3 ball fields, and lots of nooks and crannies for teens to brood in while drinking their peculiar mixture of highly caffeinated energy drinks, low-end vodka, and embalming fluid. In our quasi-urban environment, it’s about as good as kite flying territory gets. I took the kids to this park recently in near hurricane conditions in a vain, final attempt to get their kites into the air long enough for them to experience boredom and never again ask to fly a kite. However, despite the high winds, the three (admittedly cheap) kites we brought refused to rise to the occasion. I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem is the park’s lowland geography relative to the land surrounding it. This must cause some sort of natural downdraft such that every time we manage to catch a little air, another gust sends our devices crashing to the ground.
The good news is that the kids don’t seem to mind too much, at first at least. They run back and forth with these flightless kites bouncing along, upside down, on the ground behind themselves. Eventually, boredom is achieved, though not for the reasons I had hoped.