Many years ago, when one of my sons was about seven, he asked if he could have a kite. So the next day he and I went to the country store. It seemed we were there for hours as he carefully examined each one over and over again. Finally a choice was made and the excitement in his voice and the anticipation in his eyes made the trip all the more worthwhile.
Upon returning home we went straight to the workshop. With slow and deliberate care he put it together with just a few helpful hints from Dad. He followed the simple directions and when he was finished looked at me with the most satisfied expression. I can still remember the moment and can see his face after all these years. It is buried deep within the heart of this reflective writer.
We went outside to a field directly across from our property and as I glanced at my little guy he was holding the largest spool of string I ever saw. When questioned he simply said with all the innocence of a little child, “Today we’re going to the clouds Daddy.” I showed him how to lift off against the wind and after only one try his kite was airborne. Soon it was soaring at least three hundred feet above the ground, the equivalent of a football field. The string was now completely unwound. I was amazed. And then it happened.
He asked me what happens next and I relied, “Nothing, that’s it.” He stood there for a few minutes and finally said, “I need to go to the potty.” As he handed me the spool I remember thinking at the time,” From boredom to bathroom!” The next time I saw him was at dinner.
Read these wise words written by King Solomon, “The father of a righteous child has a great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.” Proverbs 23:34
I had neither great joy nor did I rejoice at that moment. I was left holding the string attached to his kite, in the middle of a field, alone, hungry and tired. But all I could think at the time was how much I loved him.
As I watched him grow into manhood these words penned by Solomon began to have a special meaning to this proud father. My son received his undergraduate diploma from a prestigious undergraduate university with honors, worked for a few years at a Fortune 500 company, earned his master’s degree from an elite Ivy League business school and now runs a large equity investment firm.
But most important is his role as a father. I overflow with pride as I watch him with his children.
And someday he will find himself holding a string attached to a kite, in the middle of a field, alone, hungry and tired with a smile on his face and a heart brimming with love.