My daughter Lainey is 6 years old, and I love her. She enjoys , but sometimes the swing set, jump rope, , hula-hoop and just aren’t enough.
“Want to play kite with me?” Lainey smiled. “Come on!”
“I don’t know,” my wife groaned. “There are lots of cables over there. I think that’s more of a toy.”
I shrugged, “I’ll play.”
Lainey smiled and grabbed her kite in the garage. She led me into the side yard and unwound about 15 feet of string off her spool. The pink princess kite, with a long yellow tail, rested in the grass at her feet.
“Grab the kite, dad.” Lainey directed. “I’ll tell you when to let go.” She took off , “Now!”
I released the kite, and it shot into the air. Lainey didn’t bother letting out more string, she just ran and ran. She neared the sidewalk, turned and ran towards me. The turn slowed the kite, and it fluttered to the ground.
“Good job, Lainey!” I cheered. “Flying pretty high.”
“Let’s do it again!” Lainey laughed.
After a couple more runs, Lainey got sloppy. She took off running while the kite was still on the ground. The kite violently tumbled along, yet miraculously remained unharmed. Another time Lainey ran too close to the house. The kite bounced hard off the siding and forcefully crashed to the ground.
“It’s OK,” Lainey decided after a quick inspection.
“One more run, and it’s bedtime.” I said.
Lainey smiled, “This is going to be a good one.” She ran, “Now!”
The kite shot into the air and veered hard toward the neighbor’s house, ricocheted off their siding and stopped, stuck in the second-story cable lines, dangling helplessly out of reach.
“What are you guys doing?” my wife asked, coming around the corner. “Tangled, huh?” she said.
“Busted, Lainey,” I shook my head, threw the spool into the air, and eventually the kite fell free, with all parties unharmed.
There are different approaches to parenting, and everyone can be right and wrong, but dads like me are usually the rogue parent. In the meantime, Lainey sees both sides, and takes it all in. She still flies the kite in the yard, just not quite so high.