My middle daughter just graduated from PreK. It was an experience I had already been through with my oldest, but for some reason, this ceremony and what it meant melted me into an instant puddle. Tears streamed down my face the second the intro music started, and the baby pictures were on the front screen.
After their songs about growing up, and cowboys and cowgirls, our beautiful preschool teacher read a poem to close the ceremony. The poem compares children to kites and the role we, as parents, play in getting that kite off the ground and soaring. Since hearing it, I have not stopped thinking about this poem; Children Are Like Kites by Erma Bombeck, or its message.
Children Are Like Kites by Erma Bombeck
Children Are Like Kites.
You spend years trying to get them off the ground.
You run with them until you are both breathless. They crash…they hit the roof…you patch, comfort and assure them that someday they will fly.
Finally, they are airborne.
They need more string, and you keep letting it out.
They tug, and with each twist of the twine, there is sadness that goes with joy.
The kite becomes more distant, and you know it won’t be long before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you together and will soar as meant to soar…free and alone.
Only then do you know that you have done your job.
Motherhood is exactly like flying a kite. I bumped and crashed through the early years and continue to as we reach new obstacles and stages of growing up. Navigating the dramas of early elementary school and fighting between three sisters has caused me to do lots of comforting and patching to skinned knees, bruised egos, and hurt feelings.
Holding the strings of my three kites is the most exhausting, scary, and beautiful journey I could have asked for. I struggle to give them more string and let them fly freely on their own.