Let’s Go Fly a Kite

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An old friend stopped by today. I used to babysit his kids when they were little. Now they’re all big, almost done with high school, and he actually said “I remember looking at this and wondering how I was gonna do it, and now, it’s done!” Yes my friend, it’s done. For you anyway, I still have a few more to go. It had me thinking again, about life and how fast it changes.

It’s almost my birthday again, and that has me thinking too- about my grandpa, and how wonderful he was. (I have some exciting birthday news to share this year, but I’m going to save it for a few more days!) I think Grandparents are the single most amazing gift we can give our children. My children are certainly blessed with a good six-pack of them!!

Yesterday I was watching my father-in-law. He brought over a handful of kites. We assembled them, and off the kids went. I was frantically counting my quarters because I’m about 3 days away from payday, and you know what that means, BROKE! So as I dug through the various stashes around my room pulling out a dollar here and a few quarters there and calling in for the balance on an old Wal-Mart gift card, I heard screams of laughter coming from the front yard!

I went outside to make my way to the store, and there they were, 1 kid on the ground taping a kite back together, 1 kite tangled in a tree, one kite around the block, one kite mid-air, and one really good grandfather standing behind them all, laughing right along with them. Now, this story can’t be really told if I don’t tell you that this particular grandpa once pretended he didn’t like kids. He did NOT like them at all, he said. But I caught him- snuggled on the couch watching cartoons every now and then. And then I noticed, when things got really tough, when I felt all alone, drowning in a sea of laundry and fruit snack wrappers, he was there. He’s herded them to pick up their messes, stood them in time out with the sternest of expressions, and scolded them to “mind your mother”, but underneath it all, just like my grandfather was, he’s become a big old Softy!  It warms my heart to see him standing there, with that smirk on his face.

This morning, I got in my car, and backed out of the driveway the same way I do every day, and the car erupted with shouts and screams and laughter and utter chaos and I hollered “What is going on?!” just in time to look in the rearview mirror. There was Dora, bopping along in the wind, tied to the bumper. (I would have taken a picture for you, but somehow driving while Instagramming doesn’t seem like setting a good example for the teenager in the front seat.)

I had to laugh. I was tempted to let it fly all over town this morning, but instead I pulled over, and threw it in the back of the Yukon among the baseball bags and smelly cleats and off we went, to another day, but at least it started out with a few giggles, courtesy of one heckuva grandpa and a mischievous brother who tied a kite to the back of the car….

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