You know how, when you anticipate sharing an experience with your children, you build it up in your mind? You picture the joy on their faces. You imagine the wonder and delight. You think, “This is the stuff memories are made of.”
And then, you actually do that memory-making thing. And most of the time, it doesn’t quite match up with beautiful picture you created in your mind. For example, you definitely did not picture this much weeping and whining and wailing, or this many dollars flying out of your wallet. I have been there, fellow memory-makers. It can be rough.
The upside is, when the vision and the reality do match up, it is even sweeter. Such was the case last weekend, when the Cumings family attended The Fourteenth Annual Prairie Winds Kite Fly!
It sounded whimsical. It sounded magical. It sounded like a fun, inexpensive family outing on a beautiful (and windy) fall day. And guess what? It was. It really was!
We drove the forty-five minutes to the Jackson Municpal Airport. You could see the kites from the highway, and the kids were transfixed. They stared. They grinned. They laughed with delight as we got closer and closer to those magnificent kites.
We checked in (the event was free) and headed over to the “amateur flying area.” (Pro Tip: If you know what it takes to be a “professional” kite flyer, and what that actually means, I would love to hear about it.) Mike got our decidedly amateur (read: My Little Pony and Minion) kites ready to go.
Listen. We are not professional kite flyers. (Which, again, is some kind of a thing.) We are not even seasoned amateurs. So there was some whining because our kites were not as fabulous as other kites, and they did not fly as high. But, here is the trick to matching reality and expectation: I totally expected that whining. In fact, I expected even more of it!
After about half an hour of kite flying / tangling / untangling / running / jumping / dancing, we explored the rest of the event. We learned about wind and kites in the Ecobus. We admired the airplanes. We got hot dogs and pulled pork and sweet corn ice cream and chips from a food truck. We settled down on our blanket (Pro Tip: Always have a blanket handy) to eat our food and watch the incredible kites.
Truly, it was every bit as whimsical and lovely as I imagined. The sun shone, the kites danced in the wind, and an amazing mix of 1970s tunes played in the background. The kids joined hands and ventured into the field of professional kites. They chased them; they watched them; they had a ball.
And so did we. And it was very good.
When has your vision matched your reality (or not)?