Friday, December 24, 2010

"Where's the Real Puppy?"

5:45 am, Christmas Day. The kids are awake and running to see if Santa has come or not. From our bedroom, we hear amazement and joy: Santa came! Teddy bears, dolls, miniature skateboards, and silly bandz...
"But where's the real puppy?" asks Eliot.
This year both children decided to put only one thing on their list: a puppy. They knew chances were slim but they figured if there was just ONE thing on the list...the pressure on Santa would be huge.
I have noticed that most expats leaving Singapore have caved in. Their children are sad about leaving but invariably overjoyed at the promise of a canine addition to the family: "we're going to be getting a puppy when we get to Connecticut, Finland, England....(fill in the blank)." This definitely sweetens the blow. Will have to remember this when the time comes. My kids have already put two and two together: "So, basically, when we move, we're getting a puppy, right? So, when are we moving...I think I'm going to call him Buddy...."
Last night, on Christmas Eve, we went to the children's mass, it was very interesting but after the first hour slowly became the second, a bit too long for kids. That, and the fact that Eliot, asked in a very loud voice halfway through: "When is God coming?" made me feel slightly guilty. Either I'm not taking her to mass often enough or we need to go over the basics of Roman Catholicism. Soon.
On our way home, the little theologist pondered: "If God made everything, who made God?"
(Photo from a Christmas past when a feverish Eliot was as small as Dora.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Back From Bali...

"Where are the other kids?

As I watch my kids grow up in South East Asia, I like to think they have opportunities I never dreamed of having as a child growing up in Verona. They are exposed to different cultures and realities, they eat spicy curries and they travel to exotic places. I recall smiling proudly as my son announced at two that his sandcastle was "the great wall of China" or my daughter insisted on singing Happy Birthday in Chinese. Which is why I find it vaguely disconcerting to hear my son say in the taxi ride to the airport on our recent trip to Bali: "But I want to go to Hawaii," and my daughter answering: "Yeah, I want to see the snow." Am I doing something wrong? On the plus side, they now know Bali, unlike the rest of Indonesia, is 90% Hindu, that you can order Mee Goreng even for breakfast, and that bringing Harry Potter is a good idea at a hotel with no TV and no kid's club. On a final note, there are no children in Ubud. This is a good thing...unless, of course, you are travelling with yours.
(Photo from our small hotel overlooking the rice paddies in Ubud, Bali)