Little thing of heart so brave and full, she leaves me standing.
Literally, as I let the kite go and it drops and trails and then, as if taken by the sheer force of her will as she pelts at full tilt into the wind, it begins to fly.
It's up Anna-mouse! I scream. Yes! That's it! It's flying!
She glances behind to see the red and yellow ninety-nine pence splendour raised aloft and runs even faster on, on along the cliff top, to keep the thing up there. People stop to watch this tiny wonder hurtling past. She is oblivious to all but the wind. People are clapping now, laughing, and I run behind, catching her plaudits and applause.
Brilliant! calls a man as he gets into his car. Brilliant! he says, as we fly past.
She raises smile after smile, and I am crying out and laughing and revelling in try after try as she gets better and better at getting the kite to fly. Eventually she discovers that if she just believes and runs fast enough, she can get the thing up and flying behind her by herself.
Her perseverance is a wonder to me. All day this moment has been her goal. Never mind the paddling, the picnic, the icecream; never mind those. The thing she wants above all else(following a failed attempt a few months ago), is to get her kite to fly.
It is as perfect a moment of childhood as one could hope to make. For both of us. Its memory renders me almost speechless with love.
All week the image of my four-year-old running, running with her kite on that breathtakingly lit Sunday afternoon pierces my sad soul and heals, each time I think of it, a small, kite-sized piece of sadness there.