Elena’s Kite

A few years ago I had a student at the art center where I teach named Elena who started coming to classes in her wheelchair with her Dad at age two. After many surgeries she eventually was able to walk using two crutches.

About two years ago she began coming to my preschool classes alone, using only one crutch.  She was so tiny we used to put a large cardboard box of markers under her so she could reach the table. When the other kids asked her why she wore a brace, she told them, “I can’t walk very well. My leg hurts.”

This class was based on a story called “The Leaf and the Wind” and for our final project we made mini kites out of coffee stir sticks and tissue paper shaped like leaves. Elena looked a little apprehensive. She told me, “Ms Marshmallow, (They call me Ms. Marshmallow because it’s so much easier to say and remember than Marchesseault and sounds similar) I can’t fly a kite because I can’t run. My brother has a kite, but I don’t because I can’t run.”

I said, “Don’t worry. You will be able to fly this little kite.”

We went into the hallway to get a drink from the water fountain and the other students wanted to help Elena, but she refused. She grabbed hold of the fountain, threw her crutch on the floor, stepped up and took her own drink of water. It was one of those moments in life you thank God you were there for.

Afterward we took our kites into the larger classroom next door and thanks to fellow teacher, Jewel’s brilliant idea, we set up a floor fan and Elena again threw her crutch on the floor. She stood still without her crutch in front of the fan with her little kite, guiding it as it flew in the breeze.

She was laughing and smiling. The other kids were running and swinging their kites around and taking turns in front of Elena’s fan with her.

Elena’s mother came to pick her up. She just stood in the doorway watching Elena for a long time.

They had been to the kite festival a few days before and it had been disappointing for Elena but now she had made her own kite that she could fly by herself. Elena’s mother was so happy. I told them to stay for as long as they wanted. They were still standing there in front of the fan with the kites when I left to go home that day. Another moment I thank God I was there for. Thanks, kid.

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6 Responses

  1. What a beautiful beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. It made my day 🙂

  2. Kim that was a wonderful story. You have put a smile on my heart and a tear in my eye. It truly is amazing when God allows us to be a part of something so wonderful.

  3. Very inspiring story, Kim. Thank you.

  4. Thanks you guys! This is the awesome thing about being an art instructor for pre-schoolers. Magic happens every day. I leave work covered in glitter.

  5. Thank god for teachers.

  6. Its a beautiful story. Perhaps it is the little things in life that make life interesting.

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