A long time ago, when we were still kids, we decided to build a kite. It was going to be the longest and most gorgeous kite the world had ever seen.
I can still see it majestically soaring through the air… People who had helped us build it teared up just looking at it go. We didn’t really understand their tears. Now, as I’m writing these words, I can finally understand why they were so emotional. I just had to grow up to get it.
Remember Santa Claus? Or the Boogeyman? You used believe they were real. You used to believe in God, too. Our loved ones would eventually die and go to heaven. Over there, above the clouds, paradise awaited us all.
When we were kids, we used to label everyone as either a good person or a bad person, depending on how they treated us. Now, we only see the bad side of people.
We enter new relationships only to start feeling uneasy at a certain point. After some time has passed, we become jealous and distrusting. Even if we trust our partner completely, we’re still subconsciously preparing for the day they’re going to hurt us.
Whenever strangers approach us, all we can think about is what they want from us. We don’t notice the good side of them. It’s like we’re expecting to get hurt.
We don’t approach strangers, because we’re terrified of how they might react to us. A child doesn’t think about any of these issues. It’s the adults that dwell on them. E.T. wouldn’t have even made it back to his home planet if it hadn’t been for the assistance of children.
There is a certain defining moment in everyone’s life when they stop being a child. It’s when people tell you to be wary of the world. Can you recall that moment?
We are not taught to understand children, but to look down upon them for being gullible. We take pity on them, because they’re unable to differentiate between good and evil, fiction and reality.
A truly breathtaking summer at the edge of the 1980s. Holidays in the countryside. We wanted to help him build the longest kite in the world. He really believed in that concept. We believed in it, too.
Spending our days knocking on doors all over town, we tried to gather as many pieces of string as possible. We even rode our bicycles to the neighboring town to find some.
“Why do you need such a long kite?” people would question us, looking for a hidden agenda.
We would tell them the truth.
Once they understood what was going on, they would offer to help us. They even gave us lots of candy, as if they wanted to reward us.
He was about six or seven years old when his mum died.
They told him she had gone to heaven and that she was among the angels in the clouds. Still, whenever we went outside to look at the clouds, there was nobody there. He would cry and yell at the top of his lungs, screaming at the sky. People told him that heaven was too high up.
People told him to let it be. His mum was dead. She was too far away to hear him. But he was determined to find her. He kept asking people how to get to heaven. Said he missed his mum.
I can no longer recall who exactly came up with the idea; maybe it was his dad, or maybe the boy saw it in a cartoon, but…
We built a kite. We built the longest and most gorgeous kite the world had ever seen.
People knew why we were doing it — which means they had to know it was a lost cause — but they did their best to help us.
When the kite was ready to go, the boy came up to it and attached a piece of paper with a clumsily written sentence scribbled on it, “This kite is for you, Mummy, so you know how very much I miss you and want you to come back to me.”
The kite was gonna fly all the way up to heaven.
Reach the angels, reach his mother… reach God himself.
We exploded with happiness and laughter when it finally got up into the air. It went up so high, like it truly was reaching the clouds. We did it!
When we got it back down again — the letter was gone.
The boy’s father came up to him, gave him the biggest hug, and told him that his mum had decided to hold on to that letter as a keepsake. The boy smiled and shed a few tears. This time, though, they were tears of happiness — he had made his dreams come true, in spite of people telling him to forget about them.
I know he used to like coming back to that place to chat with his mum. And, if he is still a child at heart today, I know he is still gazing into the sky, patiently waiting for the day his mum will descend from out of the clouds. Even after all these years, I keep refusing to believe that it was the wind, and not his mum, that ripped the letter off our kite.
Whenever I flip through the photographs from those days, I feel like I’m trying to defy the fact that I’m already an adult. Reminiscing, I truly believe it is what actually happened. We managed to build a kite that flew all the way up to heaven.
to be continued