Monday, October 17, 2011

The Great Outdoors

Though I envisioned our time in DC spent inside museums, we have actually spent most of it outside. Despite humidity and mosquitoes, we cannot get enough of our yard. The kids have been busy collecting sticks, making forts, making mud and climbing trees. The weather has just started to cool off and the leaves are starting to fall thus opening up a whole new avenue of outside fun.
We are constantly amazed at how much space there is here in the states, particularly in our suburban neighborhood. Other kids may go to parks and playgrounds. We simply play on the strip of grass by our driveway or in the grass covered rain gutter, which separates our yard from the street. After both swim practice and tennis lessons, we usually stay a bit longer and play in the parking lot. Each parking lot has grass covered mounds with trees and of course, each comes with great grassy rain gutters. We actually threw a Frisbee on the grass near the swimming pool parking lot today and we all thought it was the best part of our day.
I hate to constantly compare our life here to our life in Hong Kong and actually find it hard to. Things are just so different. But the amount of time outside is an easy one. While we miss many things about our school in Hong Kong, kids all agree that the playground space at their school here is amazing. The kids go to our local public school, which has (I think) a fairly normal playground; a few climbing structure and a black top area. But in addition, it has a huge grassy field lined by trees on all sides. The girls collect acorns at recess time.
Adam, of course, plays sports at recess time. Adam plays four-square at recess and reports that the rules are much different than in Hong Kong. As far as I can tell, the Hong Kong game is more tightly regulated , the American game, more loose, the rules more fluid. Adam keeps trying to introduce Hong Kong rules but so far no one wants to play by a million new rules.
Recently, we went for a walk before dinner, just strolling through our neighborhood looking at all the leaves starting to change color. Suddenly, Adam yelled out “Hong Kong!” I looked up and saw that he was pointing to a far away DHL truck. I could just barely make out the words “In Hong Kong Since 1972.” Ready to support Adam’s literacy, I told him he was doing a great job reading words he knew. All kids looked at me like I was crazy. Tori quietly told me that the whole side of the truck was covered with a photo of Victoria Harbor. We all walked over to the truck, examining the skyline and pointing out the buildings we knew by name. I wanted to stay and take a picture of the truck with my cell phone. The kids pulled me back to the present, back to our leaf collecting walk. Both the past and the present are nice. It is hard for me to figure out where to reside but luckily the kids keep pulling me onward and into the future.


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