My parents did not swear, ever. I say that because believe it or not, they really didn’t. Not that Daddy didn’t find the need to curse occasionally; it was just that Mom was adamant that her children wouldn’t hear foul language in her home. And Daddy loved her enough to abide by her wishes. So Dad found inventive ways to express his anger. One of his favorite sayings was “Well, he can just go fly a kite!”
This spring I got the chance to literally “go fly a kite” with my grandsons. I was in the Washington DC area and we were in town for the cherry blossom festival. There is a large flat area without too many trees behind the Jefferson Memorial. Normally it hosts baseball games on the nicely landscaped fields but it was during normal working hours that we visited the cherry blossom festival so the fields were empty. For the past several years, we have taken the opportunity to fly a kite over Washington during this festival and the boys love it. Flying a kite at the cherry blossom festival is becoming a tradition for them.
Visiting any structured event with little ones can be a trying experience. Sometimes there is too much noise, too many people, too little space, too much excitement, etc. I’ve always believed that the best trips are made more fun, crisis free and easily endured by pre-planning. Just a little time planning to find some down time during your adventure can really make a huge difference when traveling with little ones.
I’ll grant you, flying a kite seems exciting if you’re 3 and 7 years old but by choosing a space to fly the kite that is not in the middle of the festival, my grandsons got some well needed down time. There were people trying to fly kites out on the National Mall in front of the Smithsonian Museums but they were having a difficult time keeping the kites out of the huge trees that line the mall and their children were not as happy with a kite stuck in a tree. Out behind the Jefferson Memorial, no one was in the baseball fields with us even though many people were walking on the path from the Jefferson Memorial to the FDR Memorial. So, the boys got the freedom to blow off some energy and run without our having to chase them for fear of loosing them in a crowd. They got the joy of seeing their kite soar into the unobstructed sky. Their giggles, cheers, and laughter was our payment for anticipating their need to be away from people and go for a little run before the crush of the festival became a problem.
So the next time you need a diversion for little ones, think of something ahead of time if possible and Go Fly a Kite!