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Kites: We Write To Remember

Dawn Florino, M.Ed., Ed.D. candidate

I splashed in the Pacific Ocean with the kite floating above my head, my feet sinking into the wet sand as I ran. My kite and me, free, spontaneous, and joyful. Unlike the rocky coastlines of New England, California beaches are perfect for kites, deep, wide and everlasting.

My Dad burst in the door and wrapped us into his arms, “Girls, get in the car.” We looked at each other and because of his confusing enthusiasm, we followed along, Mom gathering our little brother, still a toddler.

The beach was just two miles away, but the sun was already starting to set, sparkling on the top of the water. He reached into the back, flung his hand in the paper bag between my sister and me, and pulled out two slim plastic packages. “Let’s go!”

We toppled out of the car and followed him as he climbed swiftly over the dune. He sunk down onto his knees in the soft, warm sand and started ripping the packages open and assembled the crosses in the wind. He attached the butterfly kites together and tied the strings to the center. “Ready, Girls? Wait till you see this.”

He handed the first to my little sister, holding it over her head like an airplane, and told her to run as far from him as she could. His delight was contagious! She took off down the beach as the spool spun.

“Let it go!” he shouted against the wind. She looked back over her shoulder, her long dark hair whipping in her face, laughing. The kite lifted sharply upward and swam into the sky, twirling and twisting as he held it tight, anchored to the ground. I stood beside him with a light spirit anxiously waiting for my own turn to fly a kite.

The golden hours of that day passed as the three of us breathlessly running up and down the beach with joyful abandon and grocery store kites, the strings stretched straight until they became part of the deep blue sky. In the days before and the days that followed, I’ve never seen my dad so spontaneous, youthful, peaceful and free, like one of our kites.


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