We heard about it over the loud speakers (it's a very small town). Lu wanted to go, but then, at the last minute, changed his mind. And then he changed it back again. So he got his little kite, and off we went.
He wasn't sure if he was going to participate
in the contest.
So he just ran around, off to the side.
But then they announced that
his age group was coming up, and
to please approach the organizers to sign up.
He wasn't sure. He looked at the other kids.
He gave it a good, long think...
and then, with a tiny push from me,
and a lady standing next to me,
and his grandmother,
and the guy in the blue pants
(who waved a friendly "come here",
for which I nominate him for sainthood)...
... he signed up!
There was a little practice time before the contest,
and then they called the participants to line up
and show their kites.
And the contest began...
Lu's kite crashed a few times...
but he always managed to get it flying again.
Lu didn't actually make his own kite. A friend gave it to him for his birthday. The more serious competitors made their own kites, and the originality of the designs were an important part of the competition. It's about looks and ability to stay in the air, and go really high. Lu's kite was very simple, so he knew he wasn't going to win, but he says that next year he'll make his own kite and really compete.
Some of the kites were incredibly elaborate.
I'm proud of him for participating. He is usually reluctant to participate in big local events because the boys can be rough, and sometimes he gets pushed around. He gets picked on because he's usually the only white kid, and he understands it, and we talk about it, but it's still hard to be the odd one out - whether it's because you look different, or move differently, or talk differently, or have a different belief system, or different abilities, or think differently from the majority of people around you - it's always hard to be different. But today, Lu's differences didn't cause problems - he was just another boy in the kite contest, which is exactly what he wanted to be.