By now, the haze coming from the fires in Sumatra, Indonesia, have been relentless in its build-up.
It loomed over us, seeming to grow in greater darkness.
Imagine cooping up TWO active boys, under 5 years of age, in a space less than a 1,200 square feet apartment for nearly FOUR whole days. That’s *gasp!* 72 hours!
How Life Can Change Like The Wind Within A Day
Last Monday we were still out of the house, living life as normal. Sure the air seemed hazy.
Tuesday morning rolled by and we were still out of the house, living it up.
Then by late Tuesday afternoon however, things began to seem not quite normal.
Wednesday came, and it almost seem we had to prepare for our lives to be changed irrevokably.
Thursday almost reduced me to tears. Correction, it DID induce tears when I stepped out of the house to get downtown for a meeting.
Friday seemed dismal. And buying N95 masks was like chasing for the proverbial pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Saturday swung by…and I went out breathing like Darth Vader in my first-ever N95 mask, much to the amusement of my husband, who also donned the mask in spite of his macho-hood.
BUT THEN Saturday not only swung by… it SUNG by.
Saturday morning started not too good with the PSI and PM2.5 /24h still in the unhealthy (or was it hazardous?) range.
The morning was a miserable mop of muck.
Though it was still looking set to be dreary and highly hazy, the day got off on a good note.
My parents braved the bad haze with no masks and surprised us with breakfast. (And they don’t have a car, haven’t an air-con in their home…)
My son’s favourite uncle, also my younger brother, Uncle Isaac, came by around lunch to use my sewing machine. Yup, you read right… a young man of 32 coming by my place to sew his own belt. No less.
I cleared out my study table which has been a mess for the last 24 months out in an hour for him. Haha.
Learning To Love The Moment… Celebrating Life in An Hour
But a Wind of Change blew around Saturday afternoon near 3 pm.
First, we saw Sunlight touch our land with her usual tangerine.
Wind began to whistle for no apparent reason except to make some music of Hope.
Slowly but surely, as Sun came out and Wind whistled, Sky had to slip out of her sad grey rags, and change into her best party dress.
And Sky…oh my! She began dancing with the Wind, and as she swirled around, she teased us with her generous skin of blue.
I even heard the Birds calling me.
No, I am NOT crazy… but Kampung Kid in me DID hear the birds, much to the disbelief of the Husband…who began calling at me, ‘Cuckoo! Cuckoo!’
I started dancing and leaping around the house singing ‘The skies are blue! The sun is out! Birds are singing again! The haze has cleared! Praise the Lord!’
He laughed and said again, ‘The only bird singing is you! Cuckoo cuckoo!’
I laughed and said,’ I don’t care what the readings say but it is better!’
I opened the door and there right outside my house a beautiful olive-backed sunbird fluttered by! I shouted out to him,
see! I am not crazy!’
Making A Grand Party Happen In A Minute
So I couldn’t resist it.
Hey! I’m THE incurable playful parent, right?
I just HAD to DO IT!
I arranged an impromptu playdate with two other moms, and out of the house we zipped sooner than you could say, “Wait! Must check NEA, PSI and PM2.5! You mustn’t be fooled by what you see. You must be responsible, Mummy.”
Okay… I DID check the readings quickly and I DID see that the PM2.5 levels had not gone down all that much and was actually in the above 200 micrograms zone (Read: Highly unhealthy and refrain from all outdoor activity if possible)
BUT THE PM2.5 readings!!! My husband reminded.
HECK! Those times we had to endure passive smoking at bus shelters, and the Hungry Ghost burning of hell money?
Surely those must contain more than 200 micrograms/hour for each minute of exposure.
Three of us, Moms, did a quick debate and decided: Haiya! Don’t be paranoid already la! Better get kids out for a quick play than suffer the backlash of cabin fever…
OUT of the house we all got. No mask.
All of our 6 kids had a great time out of the house cycling and scooting!
My big Lee cycled on a two-wheeler unaided for the first time!
My little Zee skate scooted on a two-wheeled skate scooter alone for the first time too.
The laughter, joy and hope we shared this brief hour this afternoon at the playground was just incredible!
Saturday afternoon and evening brought us a welcomed respite from the hazy skies.
Almost forgot what the sun and moon and sky look like!
I have really missed my trees and birds.
And I have really, really missed the laughter of children playing freely in the sun.
WE MUST BE CRAZY! Here’s Why.
In this terrible haze situation, many are rushing to buy air purifiers and all sorts of stuff that will keep their indoors clear of the pollutants.
We went out shopping to the nearby hypermart on Saturday evening and bought…
A two-wheeled bicycle for Big Lee, and…
Another new two-wheeled skate scooter for Zee.
That makes 3 brand new sporting equipment we bought this week of the WORST haze in Singapore.
Everyone wants to hide indoors or fly out of here…
But we just have to do things differently.
Simple joys in life which cannot be bought with money, much like how we cannot fix the Earth’s ailing health with money.As I write this, I don’t know what sort of a weather tomorrow will bring.
A thankful heart is a cheerful heart.
A cheerful heart does good like medicine.So, my fellow Singaporeans – especially parents with young children or old folks suffering from the haze – chin up and cheer up. It will all get better soon!Our family is continuing to pray for you all to be healthy, to heal and be protected.