It's sitting in my front passenger seat, even now. I do my best, when I'm putting my purse and other assorted bags next to me, to try to arrange things so that the thing doesn't get ripped or crushed. It is ever-ready to go, and I know I'll have to move it someplace else if I have to get more people in the car...but for the time being, it's comforting to have this giant plastic lorakeet beside me, its wingspan stretching from the car floor to the head restraint of the passenger seat.
Yesterday, my son took it out and ran around the park for a bit with the kite trailing behind him before heading off to dig in his favorite sand pit next to the new playground equipment. It never caught a wind that made it soar behind him, and, as it was getting warm in the field, with the sun burning down over it all, he went for the shady, sandy refuge, and I decided to give it a try.
There are moments in trying to make a kite soar when you're not sure if it's really going to work. If you can't defy gravity, how can this plastic parrot do it? It doesn't even have a streaming kite tail on it. Up until the moment I decided to go at it in earnest, the lorakeet hadn't been much higher in the air than some of the youngest, skinniest trees that had just been planted in the park.
However, luck was with me as well as some solid gusts of wind way up high, well above the tallest trees in the small park in the middle of the sliver by the river. Later on, when I had to untangle the mess of string I'd made, I couldn't believe I'd gotten the parrot to go that far up in the air, but there it was. I called my son over to see and to get a handle on it if he wanted to, but he stayed in the sand, looking up in the air for a few moments at the kite that was keeping company with the other birds that hovered above the park, then digging his hands back into the dirt. There were moments when the air seemed to drop the kite as though it were throwing away some scrap of paper and it looked like the parrot would be grounded for good in a tree or near the power lines, but I stuck with it, weaving the string carefully around outstretched branches and maneuvering the kite away from the voltage up on the poles. For a half hour, I was feeling golden.
But all good things must come to an inevitable end. The wind dropped out from under the lorakeet for good, and I sat on a nearby bench and patiently followed the string out of its tangled mass to get it all perfectly rolled back up on its spindle. The whole time, the little guy's attention was on his hands finding the wetter sand beneath the dry grains on the surface and making instant rocks he could pulverize after showing me what he'd made just by clenching his fist. When we left for the car, he wanted to run again with the kite just after him, close by where he could hear its wings flapping a little in the wind he created through his own power.
It drove home to me how different our personal interests were...not to mention the proximity of our pleasures. The kite had to be fairly close by my son for him to get a thrill from the sensory experience of it, while I gloried in it from afar. But then, there we both had been, side by side, he obsessed with bits of dirt, and I with a piece of string.
And I was so glad we'd had the time for it all.