A Morning Ride

So my husband bought me a bike for our wedding anniversary last month.
It was a sexy slender yellow cyclocross bike similar to a road bike except you could ride it off road on non technical terrain.

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Sometime last year, I wrote about our virgin ride during the OCBC race. Since then we had packed the bikes, returned them to their rightful owners and moved house to half way around the globe.

My biking skills remained as amateurish as a year ago and my biking muscles are as unseasoned and undeveloped as then. I still panic when I brake and worry that I might collapse into a heap with the bicycle and me. I haven’t been riding since then.

The roads here aren’t bike friendly. For the most part, there are no bicycle lanes and the cyclists who ride on the roads look like they are doing the Tour de France. It is really intimidating.

The only place that I ride was around our estate, on the pedestrian pavement.

Then we found a stretch of road with a designated lane for joggers and cyclists. It was a small lane that was part of the road, not the pavement that I am used to. That means I have to keep to my lane, cycle in a straight line and not swerve left and right too much.

For someone who needs half a lane to cycle, this makes me nervous.

I decided to check out the place the other day. After dropping the kids at school, I packed my new bike onto my minivan and drove half an hour to get there.

It was a bright and sunny morning, I found a car park near to the start of the bike lane and spent the next 15 minutes behind the steering wheel, monitoring the traffic that went back and forth between where my car was parked and the bike lane.

You see, to get to the bike lane, I had to ride past the busy traffic, pass a stop sign, which means I had to signal the direction I want to turn while holding onto the bike with one hand. To me, that is scary! Especially if there is a monster truck following right behind me. So there I was, caught in a dilemma, struggling and battling between fear and want.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, I hopped off the car. The air was crisp and fresh; it was beautiful, almost too perfect a morning to let it go to waste for not daring. I took a deep breath, mounted the bike, and rode in the car park to warm up those leg muscles. In reality, I was still mustering up my courage to go onto the road. After a ridiculous number of rounds around the car park and in a moment of rashness, I let go of my fear, turned out of the car park and got onto the road.

Before I knew it, I was riding down the bike lane, wind in my face, having the whole world all to myself.

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It’s a wonderful feeling to scare yourself once a while.

This entry was posted in me time.


Today, like any other day, I was there to fetch you before most of your classmates marched into extended care.
You were one of the few who get to leave school at noon and go home for lunch.

Like always, your eyes lit up the moment you saw me and you went on with your silly dance with skips and jumps.
Your teachers said that you were seldom this silly during class, I guess you had little time to be silly when there was so much work to be done
Sometime you complained that your little hands hurt from all the colouring, but still, you finished what you were tasked to do.
I know going to school is hard work for you.

We came home and had your favourite pasta for lunch, you called them spring pastas because they spiralled round and round like springs.
You polished up every single bit in your bowl and was recharged with new energy.

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It was a beautiful day, so we headed out into the backyard.
You were thrilled to find some shamrocks sprouting from the ground.
It’s been a while since we played in the yard because of the cold winter weather, and dried up lawn just isn’t great for outdoor play.
It’s good that we are getting the rain and the greenery back.
You learned that Spring is beautiful with colours everywhere.

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You found some dandelions and got really excited.
You were eager to show me what your teacher did with them.
You grabbed hold of a stalk and started blowing.
The little seeds flew and you took off in your tiny feet chasing after them, squealing and giggling with joy till the last seed settled.
You did that for every dandelion you could find in our yard.

photo-002Exhausted from all the chasing, you went indoor to rest
On the sofa, you realised that a little fellow had followed you home.
You let him crawl all over you, leading him with your little fingers.
From fingers to arms to shoulder, you stopped it just in time before it wiggled into your armpit.
It was a delightful sight to watch.

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Then as if you had enough, you picked your new friend up and headed for the door
By the lawn you set him down, and I heard you whisper in your little voice.
‘Time to go find your Daddy and Mummy, Ladybug’
It is little things like this you do that melt my heart.




Toy Story

This is my preschooler with his favourite toys.

His elder brother would probably be in the picture if he was at home when I took this picture.

These Duplos were the only toys they had when we moved over to the States 10 months ago and his elder brother played with them since he was 2.

Because they were their only toys, they had to find new ways to play with them.

They played Minecraft, building zombies and houses.

They built futuristic planes, weapons, bazooka and night vision googles.

They built things we never knew existed and they held web conferences with my family back home to narrate the stories behind their creation.

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And I have to admit that I was the one having the hardest time, resisting the temptation of Lego sales at Target

But last month I relented and I bought them new Legos, that is, after 9 months of playing with Duplos.

It was liberation for me, to be finally coming out of sales detox ! yeah !

The boys were thrilled with their new Lego, they stayed up late and woke up early to get their new Lego set fixed.

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Because it took them so long to complete the set, they are often reluctant to dismantle it once it’s fixed.

Yet, the creative part about playing with Lego is to deconstruct reality and create one’s own vision of that reality

The Lego blocks are just an extension of the builder’s imagination, an expression of his creativity

So unless one doesn’t give a hoot about wrecking what had been painstakingly built, playing with the nice expensive Lego sets doesn’t really foster real creativity and imagination

With all these Lego box sets, creativity stops at the Lego designer’s table where all these fanciful design and themes are churned out.

I have to confess that I used to be the one who was anal about taking care of the built up Lego sets, which means that they were only good for one thing, display.

And since my boys still couldn’t bear to wreck what they had painstakingly built, they ended up going back to playing with their Duplos .

And they are happy doing that.

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Today they are a wacky duo on a secret mission.

I think I just lost one reason to go shopping.


P/s : This post was inspired by Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s Toy Story

Do you have a toy story to share ?


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