Singapore’s National Day falls on Aug 9. This year, being 10,000 miles away from home, and having a 12-hour time difference, we got up early in the morning to catch the live telecast of the National Day Parade. Coincidentally the Singapore Armed Forces celebrates their 50th year in service this year. There was an elaborate display of our country’s air, sea and land defence capabilities. See1 was awestruck and got really excited when he realised that he will be serving the Armed Forces in time.
Apart from the National Day Parade, we were also looking forward to meeting and gathering with other overseas Singaporeans at the Consulate of Singapore, Washington D.C. The event was held on Aug 11. We travelled over 3 hours to get to the dinner, but it was definitely worthwhile.
Memorial Day falls on the last Monday in May and this year, it was on May 29. We had arranged to meet up with another Singaporean family who lives in Virginia just to hang out with them. They are a family we know from our church in Singapore. Being out here and so far away from our families, any Singaporean (and even Malaysian) we meet is like family.
In recent years, whenever there’s a public holiday, our family will aim to go to the beach. The beach is the best place for Papa and Mama to relax because we would be so occupied with the sun, sand and sea that we would give them their much needed peace. Back in Singapore, the beach meant no further than a 30 min drive from our home. And since it was summer temperatures all round, we could go anytime of the year as long as it doesn’t rain on the day.
Here in the US, ever since the summer began, we’ve been visiting beaches almost every sunny weekend. But the difference is, the nearest beach is at least 2 hours away. Add traffic to that, and we usually take 2.5 to 3 hours to get to the beaches. But it’s also rewarding to know that all these beaches are natural beaches (Singapore only has man made beaches).
This Spring, we also took some gymnastic classes. See1 got to attend with the 3-5 year olds,while See2 attended the 0-3 year old, parent accompanied classes. It would have been perfect if the both of us could attend the classes together, because See2’s class was too elementary for him. It was also filled with toddlers which made it very hard to do much per session.
Our favourite memory about Spring soccer season has got to be the ice creams. Man, those ice cream/ popsicle at the end of each session was everything we look forward to. Jokes aside, See1’s interest in soccer grew over the weeks. It didn’t start off all that well, because See1 would be frustrated that he couldn’t get the ball or couldn’t seem to score. Then Papa and Mama had a chat with him and he decided to change his mindset, focusing only on having a good attitude towards soccer, regardless of the result. And that changed everything.
Coming from Singapore, where we don’t have the four seasons, we didn’t know that Easter actually marks the beginning of Spring. We never knew the significance of Easter (and the bunnies) to non-Christians and never immersed ourselves in the whole Easter festivities, besides attending church and celebrating the resurrection of Christ.
Even though everybody here tells us that the past Winter was very mild compared to the years before, it was still pretty cold for us. And though we could stare at snowfall for a long, long time, we were so happy when Spring arrived. Spring was also the time we discovered the flora and fauna around us.