Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kite Day! (A Lesson in Delayed Gratification)

Today was THE day -- Kite Flying Day with my 4th graders.  All week, the kites have been coming in.  By this afternoon, the classroom was so festooned with them that it was a challenge simply maneuvering to the pencil sharpener without stepping on a kite tail or getting tangled in a line.  The new decor delighted the students, but dismayed our custodian (and her vacuum cleaner) no end.
The big day had been set for Tuesday, but when that afternoon rolled around, there was scarcely a breath of wind.  Like true nine-year-olds, the children wanted to try to fly their kites anyway, wind or no wind.  I held firm.  No.

I'm glad I did, because today was the all-time perfect weather for flying a kite -- gusty breezes of 7-12 mph.  The kind of wind that, when you hold a kite aloft, simply picks it up and carries it skyward.  Like magic.  Our principal brought out a speaker system and suddenly "Let's Go Fly A Kite"( from "Mary Poppins") sang out as children ran around the field doing exactly that.

 About 7 parents showed up (including 2 dads) and they did troubleshooting for kids whose kites were not doing what they were told.

So I had nothing left to organize, nothing to monitor, nothing to worry about.  All I did was wander about the field admiring kites as they played in the air.  My heart was happier than it's been in a long time, watching the children racing about as they hauled their dancing assortment of dragons, parrots, frogs and prisms through the sky after them.

I felt suitably vindicated that I chose to wait until we had a suitably windy day for our celebration.  If we'd done it on Tuesday as planned, it would have been a frustrating experience.

As it was, on a day when the air was singing with wind, the kites seemed to fill with a life-force of their own as they swooped and sailed.  Such a difference from the  inanimate jumbles of sticks and plastic that have cluttered my classroom for the past week.

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