|Perhaps my favorite kite of the day. It's made of a simple piece of paper.|
Kites rise highest against an opposing wind. We had a beautiful time at the Redondo Beach Kite Festival today. It couldn't have been better if I had planned it myself. But as beautiful as this day was, it's hard to believe how close I came to calling the whole thing off. Yes, this was the trip that almost wasn't.
I have a habit of over planning trips. I realize there is no such thing as the perfect trip, especially when you've got three small children in tow, but I tend to over-analyze everything. I weigh every aspect of the trip as though the slightest mis-calculation will set the whole thing askew. I'm sure you can see how this thinking is problematic. I have canceled events before because of my inability to just let things go (a bit self-fulfilling, I know).
This habit usually cast a dark cloud over every thought. If I cannot account for every aspect of our day, I convince myself that everything will fall apart. In this case, I told myself that we waited too late, I had too little sleep, and the weather was too cold. By the time we were ready to pack-up the car the night before, I literally felt like I was being knocked backwards off my heels.
We didn't have kites for the kids. I rationalized that I couldn't take kids to a kite festival, without kites. From here, my thoughts spiraled quickly out of control and I got this sinking feeling that things wouldn't turn out right. In fact, the entire time I packed the car, I fought a creeping suspicion that everything would just come crashing down all around me. A little dramatic? Perhaps. I told you I was flawed.
|Sadia nudges her kite up a little higher.|
I take some pride in the fact that I can recognize the vicious thought cycle now. In the past, I couldn't always catch myself in these moments, and I'd lose sight of the big picture.
This morning I ground my feet in the sand, took a deep breath, and found peace in the simplicity of just being in the moment with my family. This was a huge step for me.
|Teddy coaches Simone on kite navigation.|
Not long after this incredible moment of self-awarness, peace got bullied by Daylight Savings. It caught me off guard. Again. Despite the fact that I left myself constant reminders throughout the day, and then there were the countless Facebook posts. I synced all of my electronic calendars and I still forgot. By the time I remembered, it was already an hour past bedtime. A one hour loss to Daylight Savings, plus getting to bed late knocked me off balance. But I couldn't let a fatigue rob me of precious headway.
|Simone takes her kite to the limit.|
When I woke up this morning, the sky was overcast. The temperature was a brisk 69 degrees. That feeling sank within me again. Then the early morning threatened rain. Luckily, the weather ended up holding beautifully, and by 1 o'clock, we headed to the Festival.
|Gifted with a kite.|
And I am so glad I did. Moments after we laid out our blankets and got settled in, a family approached Teddy and offered us their kites. They had packed up to leave for the day, and wanted to find a good home for a Star Wars boxed and a traditional diamond newt with a three foot tail.
|The girls work at keeping their kites in the air.|
The girls were ecstatic. I was shocked by their good will, and even more surprised at how simply this wrinkle seemed to iron itself out... and without my having controlled it.
I felt as if God had rewarded me for stepping out of my comfort zone. This generous family happily handed their kites over to us-- something that I could have never anticipated-- and just like that a weight lifted off of my shoulders.
This weekend almost didn't happen. A little resistance was all it would have taken to derail everything. It seems silly now to think that I would have lost out on such a wonderful experience, if I hadn't let go. I had to come to an end of myself. I set my gaze to the wind and I flew.