Tuesday, August 7, 2012

367 Days

As of yesterday, we've been in Singapore for a year. A leap year, so that's 366 days.  Today marks our 367th day in Singapore, and I can confidently say we've learned a lot in the past year. 

Today, we started our First Day of Our Second Year celebration by riding bikes to lunch.  This is a Big Deal in our house; AK had learned to ride her bike in May, but she hadn't ridden since then.  So, I was determined that before school started, she'd master starting and stopping (those are sort of crucial details, right?) herself so she could ride further than around our practice loop.  Last week, we rode along the river trail one morning.  She did well, but I was constantly having to give her a steady push to get her started once she stopped. Which, incidentally, was every time she saw a pebble or a stick or a bird or a crack in the pavement; she had zero confidence in her abilities.  Little by little, she gained a little speed and distance, and she ran over one good natured jogger and a group of  3 not so good natured women.  Later, on our way back, she left me far behind and actually figured out how to ride without stopping.  When I caught up with her, she jumped up and down and grinned, obviously thrilled with her performance.
    "I saw those ladies again, Mama.  Those ones I ran over?  I didn't hit them this time!"  Fabulous.  She was getting a little confidence.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that those women were quick learners; they saw her coming and cleared a (wide) path for her.

Today was different. She no longer needs any help to get started, and I've given up keeping up with her.  I just find her sitting on a bench, waiting on us to catch up. Our destination was the neighborhood food center, which is only about a mile away.  They were looking forward to some fresh fruit juice.  By fresh, I mean the juice lady takes some fruit and mashes it directly into your cup. Today, they chose strawberry.  Oh my. Delicious! 

We finished out our day by having dinner and groceries delivered. Delivery is one of my favorite perks of Singapore life.  This time last year, we could barely carry enough groceries home from the store (walking about a mile each way) to get us through the next day. Oh, how things change!  Tonight, apples, peanut butter, flour, oil, juice, rice milk, Diet Coke, and a variety of other necessities arrived on our doorstep. 

In the past year, we've learned to deal with the heat. We still prefer snow to sunshine, but we're managing.  We've settled into our car-less life, but a year ago we were anxious to get a car of our own.  Now, buses and trains and taxis get us where we want to go.  It's not always convenient, but it works.  The sticker shock that made me break into hives last August is long gone; if we want it, we buy it. Sometimes.  Old habits die hard, after all. Those $8 USD Cheerios don't even make me flinch anymore, but some of our eating habits have changed a little. 

Last August, I wondered what we needed to do to make AK and B3 feel comfortable here in Singapore.  I didn't want to feel like we were just biding our time here until the next US bound flight.  I knew we needed to be all here or it wouldn't work, but I didn't know how to do that.  It's not been easy; we've all had our moments.  AK still says her favorite thing about living here is being able to swim year round, and I'm still trying to figure out how to keep our home from looking like a rented beach house.  There are always towels draped over dining table chairs drying, swimsuits hanging behind every door, and pool toys piled in the entry way.

We enjoyed a month in the US this summer, and I wondered what it would feel like for B3 and AK to come back.  I got my answer before we even cleared immigration.  As soon as the wheels touched down, AK sighed one of those contented, tired, but happy sighs.  "Home sweet home Singapore!", she said.   As we exited, B3 told every single flight attendant, "I'm going to my house!" or "My Daddy is picking me up and will play cars with me!" or my favorite, "My Daddy is in Singapore and he has a taxi!" 

Clearly, at least for now, Singapore is home.  Who knows how much longer it will last, but for now, we'll look for new ways to make Year Two as good as the first!

1 comment:

Donna said...

Sweet post, Kristin! Im so happy your family has been able to do this. What great memories you are helping to form for them!! Keep the posts coming!