Austin is host to the Zilker Kite Festival, the oldest kite festival in the country. Tim and I have gone together nearly every year since we started dating and were very excited to be taking our new, bigger family this year. It was a beautiful, windy day and the park was more packed than ever. We did what I think everyone else in Austin did - laid out a blanket and hoped to catch a breeze.
In years past, we have come kiteless and just looked at the others. One memorable year, Tim was dubbed The Kite Whisperer. He had the awesome ability to walk up to kites that had taken a nosedive, lift them up, and help them find their drift. And he, of course, did it with a flourish not unlike Gob of Arrested Development.
A few years later, we eagerly bought a giant elephant kite from Costco the day before the festival. Yeah, there's a reason that elephant-shaped things don't fly very well. With the exception of Dumbo, I suppose.
So this year, Tim had his heart set on showing his son that he could fly a kite. Seems like a good dad thing to me. We got a traditional shaped kite that just happened to have an elephant on it. We affectionately named it Edward.
Early on, Edward caught a little air.
Eddy, Lucy, and I watched from the shade.
Then, things got a little hairy. Edward the elephant got tangled with a few other kites so we decided to take a break to look for our friends. It took entirely too long because we were looking in the wrong place.
Finally, our friend, Alissa, found us. She was visiting from California for the weekend and we were glad we got to spend a little extra time with her that day. She led us to where the rest of our friends were and that's when things really took off.
It turns out that this year's Kite Whisperer was our friend, Ryan. He was able to help Tim find just the right gust. When lines became too entangled to repair, Ryan was an excellent troubleshooter. But most importantly, when Tim was ready to throw in the towel, Ryan gave just the right encouragement to convince Tim to give it another go. And he did it - his kite sailed up to the highest height!
A little corny, yes. I mean, it's just a kite festival. But sometimes it takes a moment like that to turn a good day into a great day. Tim needed to be successful that day. He needed to feel like he had done a dad-like thing in front of his boy. He needed to fly a kite.
If only the fix were always that simple.
It was a good family day made great by our friends. Thanks, friends.