Happiness is.... cherishing the old

Posted by ~Summer~ on February 28, 2024
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This Chinese saying essentially means that to make way for the new, we have to get rid of the old. I think there's truth in that but there are also times when the old is worth clinging onto or we just can't to see it go. Like a sentimental piece of clothing, a place of attraction that holds many fond memories, a bracelet that belongs to Grandma, a well-loved book that has been re-read thousand of times and so on.

In this post of "Happiness is...", it's about welcoming the new while also cherishing the old.


We visited Bird Paradise for the very first time since it opened its doors. The kids and I have very fond memories of our dear Jurong Bird Park because it was there that we celebrated many birthdays, fed lots of birds, watched shows, picked love seeds, admired the waterfall and had lots of quality family time. 

We especially loved the playgrounds, both wet and dry, and the kids had lots of fun playing, running, swinging, sliding, enjoying the tipping buckets and getting wet together. I made sure we visited it a couple of times more before it officially closed and honestly, while we were looking forward to the new park, a part of us couldn't bear to see the old one go.

We're not saying that we don't love the new Bird Paradise because with the vast outdoor aviaries and newly built habitats, we were still thankful to be able to come up close with these beautiful birds. Moreover, the feeding sessions and shows remain. I remember years back in Jurong Bird Park, feeding doesn't require guests to hold feeding cups that comes with a hand holder and the kids had fun holding mealworms in their hands to feed the birds. 

While we are excited to see the newly integrated Mandai Wildlife Reserve and the opening of the Rainforest Wild in future, we will definitely miss our old Bird Park and luckily, we have many videos to help us reminisce and remember the good old days.

In keeping up with tradition, we celebrated National Day with our extended family and watched the parade together. I would think that this is a tradition that is worth keeping, no matter how old we get. It was nice to see everyone donned in red and white and as always, the kids and I love to put on tattoos too. 

Cherishing the old also means that we treasure every opportunity that we get to gather with our parents. The hubby and I are very thankful that all our parents are still healthy and active as of now and we really hope to be able to bring them to more overseas trips, have more gatherings with them and go sightseeing with them more while we still can. I miss my Popo very much and I always tell the kids that they are so fortunate to have all four grandparents still around and it's a blessing that they shouldn't take for granted.

Even with the advent of digital technology, it cannot replace what a good, old theatrical performance can bring to the audience. The kids and I still love watching productions and seeing our favourite characters coming live on stage, and we were very thankful to be able to catch a couple of shows this month, including Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It was a Mandarin production and I loved it to the max and thought it was a good way for the kids to brush up on their Mother Tongue too.

With Teacher's Day around the corner, the kids and I spent days doing the presents, including dozens of bouquets of Rocher flowers and handmade cards. It's really easy to walk into a store and just grab a gift, but in my opinion, handmade gifts will always be the rest. Yup, I'm traditional and maybe a tad old-fashioned in that sense, but I deeply cherish every handmade gift that I've ever received because they speak so much more than words. 

Therefore, since the kids are young, I always tell them to make cards for the family members (including the grandparents and their own siblings) on their birthdays. So far, we have not missed anyone yet and hopefully we can keep it up for a long, long time. Ariel also wrote cards for her school teachers and Taekwondo coaches this year and I love all the cute drawings that she included.

The two middle children dressed up as storybook characters to go to school one day. I cherish moments like this because once they graduate from primary school and become teenagers, it will never happen again. So every time they ask me to do handicraft with them to create recycled costumes, I'm always up for it. It doesn't need to be elaborate or over the top; as long as it's something made from your heart together with your child, the process of making it is more important than the outcome.

If there's something we don't mind more of, it's new shoes! In preparation for our Skechers Friendship Walk, we collected our new kicks and the kids were happy to be able to pick out their own designs. New shoes are important for them because their feet grow so fast, you know what I mean?

As for myself, the ironic thing is that I have quite a few pair of new, barely used shoes in my cabinet because for the past few years, I only stick to the same pair of covered shoes. It's like, old shoes just feel so much more comfy once broken in and I have a tendency to wear the same pair till it gets totally worn out or holes start appearing before I switch to a new one. Gotta make the most of everything, right?

I still love to bring the kids around Singapore and this month, Ansel got to explore a couple of places. He was happy to visit Cafe Melba Goodman with us because besides having a vast field and bouncy castles, they were also scooters, hula hoops and ball games for him to try out. I wanna bring them to more places before they grow so big that they start feeling reluctant to hang out as a family.

But, we also have our few favourite hangouts and these are the ones that will remain special in our hearts, including some of the nature reserves, neighbourhood parks, as well as our Singapore Zoo and Night Safari.

Even though they bicker every single day, it is a dream of mine that my kids will grow up to be loving, protective and caring siblings. Underneath the squabbles, I can also see their love for each other and I can only hope that this love will grow stronger over the years and never be broken. 

When they grow up, have friends of their own or even settle down with their individual families, it's moments like this, with the four of them side by side looking young and cute, that I will miss dearly. Yes, time flies and can never come back, I know, but I am a very 念旧 person so I guess it can't be helped. Haha.

The three older kids showed off their Taekwondo skills at National Day Fiesta 2023 and of course, we were there to support and cheer them on. When I first signed them up for the sport, it was just as a year end holiday activity and I didn't think that they would be so committed to it or aspire to achieve black belts. For now, they are all going strong and have been passing their gradings consistently. Seeing them as a trio (too bad the youngest is too small to join in) on stage makes me beam with pride and I hope they will continue to persevere till the end.

Last but not least, the big girl cooked dinner for us for the very first time! It was a simple, delicious and hearty meal that warmed my heart. I admit we order takeaways at times because more often than not, I am too tired or lazy to cook. I do love having home cooked meals but they take a lot of effort and time to prepare and wash up.

So even though this felt like a one-off since it didn't happen again, but maybe it is the start of a new norm where the kids could cook for the parents next time? That will definitely be a new norm that I will welcome wholeheartedly. 

That marks yet another month in our family life. I might be slow in catching up with these posts but rest assured I will do it one way or another. Till the next post of "Happiness is..."!


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