Tuesday, June 14, 2011

There's such pleasure in simplicity

Yesterday our family drove up to Michigan to enjoy a great small-town, main-street parade that we attend each year. We usually make a day of it, hanging out at the local parks, having lunch, walking downtown. This year, my in-laws came along with us and after the parade, we went over to one of the parks for the kids to run around. My 7-year-old had three dollars burning a hole in his pocket. He asked if we could walk over to the pharmacy for a kite.

At first I balked at the idea. That would be $3 down the drain, I figured, since my boys always seem to break such things in less than five minutes. It also mean that his brothers would be whining for one of their own. It meant I'd have to sneak away from the rest of the gang to walk over there. It mean they might not even have kites and the walk over there would be for nothing. Or worse yet, they'd have kites, but they would cost twice as much and I'd end up pitching in the difference. After a minute, I figured I'd take him over and perhaps the kite would last long enough to provide a little entertainment while we waiting for a nearby eatery to clear out from the parade crowd.

We went over to the pharmacy and there was a display of kites. $2.99 each! Perfect. We get back to the park, put it together. It's not going up. After a couple minutes it's up in the air. The kids are all excited. I say to my m-i-l "I give it 10 minutes before it's in pieces." As I finished the sentence, the kite crashed to the ground, with a piece breaking loose. Dad tried to put it together as best he could. We went and had lunch. The boys wanted to stop at another park. We'd driven separate vehicles, so my oldest son, my f-i-l, my 12-year-old and my 6-year-old decided to head back. That left my husband, m-i-l, 7-year-old and 9-year-old. We stopped at another park. My husband rearranged the string on the kite. Within a couple minutes, they had it flying high. And it was staying there. A steady breeze kept it up in the air for about 45 minutes while we chatted and the kids enjoyed the kite and the playground. A day out in the fresh air and a $3 kite....life's simple pleasures.

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