Cabbage Ranch is a
dirty messy work-in-progress pretty place that I like for many reasons. It's in a nice neighborhood, quiet, private withuot being secluded, and it's nestled in rolling limestone hills among live oaks and cedar trees.
Reality check: It is also scrubby, rocky, and full of brush.
We deal with those mixed realities every day. Our horses keep their hooves trimmed (and bruise their soles) by stepping on and around rocks, but they find shade and shelter easily under big trees. It's nearly impossible to sink a fencepost without renting an auger, but the rock fences in our area are really beautiful in their simplicity.
Where I grew up, in Wisconsin, we had access to open fields and farmland- or at least the cul-de-sac in front of our suburban home- which, when coupled with the breezes and gusts off nearby Lake Michigan meant some prime kite-flying conditions. It wasn't an everyday activity, but it was a fun novelty once in a while.
Those memories came to mind when I spotted an inexpensive little kite at our grocery store, so I decided I wanted to introduce Beep to kites and bought it. When I pictured kite-flying at our home, though, I realized it was a no-go. Even if I could get the kite up- after running through brush, avoiding trees and prickly pear cactus, and stumbling around/breaking my ankle on rocks, my baby would end up standing in an ant pile. Not cool. I felt some disappointment, and a good dose of homesickness and regret that such a simple activity seemed hard to enact at home.
A few weeks of keeping the kite in the truck, at the ready for any random kite-friendly location we happened to pass on a gusty day, we finally hit the jackpot.
Parking lots may not be as scenic as farmland, and these breezes may not have been cooled by an endless lake, but we made do.
Up the kite went over pavement and between buildings. We watched it swoop and fly, and at great peril to the kite let Beep try holding it.
I really enjoyed it, and my husband did too. As for Beep, she was okay with the kite but after just a few minutes she ignored it and instead started clinging to me. Standing on the hard ground with the heat radiating up, feeling the weight of my pregnant belly, I wasn't feeling disposed to holding her at that moment so I tried to put her off.
She is nothing if not persistent, though...
"Okay, Baby. Jump up here." I'll hold you, and cast a monstrous baby-belly-slash-toddler-lumpy shadow, and hope the breeze keeps blowing.
This is your childhood, and I will help you make memories. They'll be different from mine, and I will someday learn it's okay to trade the manicured lawns of my childhood for the scrubby pastures of yours. You won't pass dairy barns on your way to school, but you'll look out past the rock fences and over the sprawling vistas. Here the trees won't change color in the Fall and there will be no crackly, woodsy-smelling piles of leaves to jump in... but you'll have endless wildflowers in the Spring.
We can stand here in this parking lot and watch Daddy make the kite dance against the blue south Texas skies.