We own three kites. Two are very nice and we probably paid too much for them. The third is a cruddy dollar-store purchase. Guess which one flies the best.
So last Sunday--an absolutely perfect day filled with sun and hardly a breath of wind--when the kids asked to fly kites, I was skeptical. The day before, I'd tried to launch all three to put one in each of the kids' hands. It was a remarkable failure. Not only did none of them sustain flight for longer than 30 seconds, there was a time when all three were tangled together.
I agreed to one kite. If it flew, they could take turns holding the string. Feeling the windless air, I knew it was a large if.
Whoosh. It swept into the sky. I unhooked the line and let it go. The thing went straight up in the air and sat there as if some unseen god were holding it in place.
"Cool," I thought.
I looked around to find a kid to hand the line to. They were all gone, off doing something else.
I watched the kite for a while, amazed at how steadily it flew. Not wanting to end such a perfect flight, I walked around the perimeter of our yard (outside the fence). The gate was all the way around the other side.
Henry: Look! Daddy's taking his kite for a walk!
I entered the yard. The kite kept flying. I anchored the line to the kids' swing set. The kite kept flying. That was 9:30.
It was still flying when I hopped in the car at 10.
It was still flying when I came home at noon. While I was gone, the kids had named the kite. Every once in a while, they'd pause from whatever game they were playing to chant: Go, George Washington! Go! Go, George Washington! Go!...
It came down about a half hour later. We were in the house and didn't rush out to pick it up. Five minutes later, George Washington launched himself back into the air with the help of a tiny gust that came out of nowhere. He came down for good about a half hour later.