The yellow kite – Anna Spargo-Ryan

The yellow kite

The yellow kite

When I was a little girl, I had a yellow kite with a Carebear on it. I don’t remember it, but there are dozens of photos of dad and I playing with it in the backyard. Me and the kite. Him and the kite. Me and him and the kite. The kite in the tree. The kite wrapped around the swing. The kite in the veggie garden. The kite hitting my little brother. The cat chasing the kite.

Every photo tells the story of a little blonde girl running and laughing with her dad. For years I wondered why my mum didn’t want to play with us. Was she working, or away, or cleaning, or with her friends? I couldn’t understand what could be more important than watching your kid play with a kite. I resented her for it. Fiercely. Because those are the kinds of grudges I hold.

It wasn’t until recently that I realised she must have been taking the photos.

Now I imagine my kids looking at pictures of their childhood and wondering where I was, and whether I can trick them into thinking I was just out of view behind the camera.

  • Kirrily

    June 14, 2012 at 10:54 am Reply

    A damn fine point you make.

  • Naomi Bulger

    June 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm Reply

    Do you remember the Aussie girl group Tiddas? (Or am I showing my age…) They had a song about just these kinds of thoughts that I LOVED called “For a Short Time.” About a guy remembering a girl. There’s a photo, he’s in it acting like an idiot. They sing, “She is nowhere to be seen / you can’t spot her anywhere / it was her who took the picture / you were looking straight at her.” It always makes me stop. You can’t see her in this photo, but you were looking STRAIGHT AT HER. Kind of beautiful.

  • Deb @ Bright and Precious

    June 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm Reply

    Now you’re making me cry. I’m that mum (and you) too.

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