I had a similar experience once with clarinet, where I had played with a broken reed for so long that, when I managed to bum a stiff reed off of a really good player, I was shocked how easy it was to play with that reed.
(If I had been Lisa Simpson I would have gotten a reed from the parental unit, as one ought to, but the parental unit would show up too late and I would be humiliated. BTW my uncle discovered not only that I had rendered his clarinet unplayable, which I had explained already, but also that it was a piece of crap in the first place. It was too heavy for a kid, regardless; I think it was made of wood-finished depleted uranium. Get your kid one of those plastic instruments, they are actually better than uranium. :)
Anyway, I needed to know the weight, and the weight is not good, but also I learned just how much trouble spreading my fingers is causing me, so that a small-handed flute may more than make up the difference. The only way to know is to try, but I haven’t spent that much before on an instrument. (And my birthday is coming up.)