– Written by Leo Makokolee Owan
“Rain rain go away, little children want to play!” Do you all remember this song?
Yesterday, it rained and I looked at the sky. My heart was broken, I felt sad, I felt pity and I was disappointed.
Guess what I didn’t see after the rain? Kites.
God! That realisation pained me!
Kites were our very own birds. Our very own creation. Since we couldn’t fly (thanks to gravity) and touch the clouds, we created our own birds and we called them Kites.
When I was a child, each time the rain fell, we would run outside with our friends and neighbours, position ourselves and then, we’d compete within ourselves for who will fly the highest kite(s). It was fun because the skies were decorated and I’m sure God was giggling at our pure and playful hearts.
The old folks usually come out and reminisce. They’ll gaze at the different colours of kites up in the sky and sigh. For it was a beautiful thing to see that, the joy and fun they once had is still alive in the generation they’ve given birth to.
The birds felt jealous because something else was taking their “shine”.
Even when I reached a certain age and stopped flying kites, the children then still flew kites. And whenever my teenage mind was troubled by the absence of my mother or an irrelevant worry, I’d go out and watch the kites.
My God… it was such a beauty to behold.
Kites were all over the skies, and you could see other kites from afar, lost in the clouds, connecting with kids all over the world. Those kites made me relaxed whenever I felt down and hopeless.
It was like we were trying to reach out to God, you know, trying to pass out a message to Heaven’s gate.
Before this paragraph, I sighed.
What happened? Who am I to blame? The parents or the kids? Because these days all I see in the sky are just birds and invisible kites, trapped in my memory.
The kids that are supposed to fly kites are busy taking same outfit pictures with their parents on Instagram. I’m not saying it’s a bad act but most of the parents these days just want to play cool for the world to see.
Now, children don’t play anymore. Boys don’t play street soccer anymore. Girls don’t play “house” anymore. Older siblings don’t tell them stories anymore.
The other day, I witnessed a mother telling her 10 year old (or there about- daughter); “As old as you are, you want me to buy you toys? Aren’t your mates making money and selling in the market?”
Last year’s Christmas, my street was like Zombie land. No kids, no knock-outs, no rockets, no bonfire, no street concerts, no house to house visits, no arguments like “My Christmas clothe is finer than yours”
All the kids were indoors, playing adults. That’s why most of us grow up as little kids, mimicking adult lives and then get tired along the line. Because our childhood is trapped in us like a secret waiting to escape.
My heart cries for this generation and my lips and heart will pray for the next generation so that one day, when I’m old and no longer able to run with the wind or dance in the rain, I’ll step out with the help of my grandchildren and they’ll say
“Grandpa! Grandpa!! Look!” pointing at the sky, “Kites!”
And I believe I’ll smile and say feebly, “Go and fly yours, my children.”
Please let our children be children.
Don’t cage them.
God loves children, he actually wants us to be like them.
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