Its funny how life is never what we plan. But our God knows so much better what we need. So I grew up in a small town, where most people knew me or my parents, and we had a yard with a fence for the dog. lots of random assorted farm animals. you could walk most places in the town, but most people drive a car everywhere (since there is not easy public transport). the biggest store in town is Walmart and you have to drive up the interstate to a mall or movie theater. and you always meet people you know at the grocery store. Now I live in one of the most urban centers in the world. In a high rise. No place for an individual yard. Mostly the only animals we see are street dogs, rats at the train station, cats at the fish market, and sometimes an elephant on the road. Public transport is so easy to find and even though i drive a car, I take buses, local trains, and auto rickshaws... plus you do your fair share of walking here. We have lots of big malls here and even have three movie theaters close enough to walk from our house. And if I meet someone I know at the grocery store, I almost freakout and jump over to hug them! I realized that what I considered to be "normal" will not be "normal" for the boys. Milk should come in a white plastic jug, right? Well, my boys get excited when they see a box of milk.
Since we live in a high rise, we have 6 other apartments on the floor where we stay. The boys run out of our house and try to knock on our neighbors doors or play with the decorations that are set outside. To get to our grass, we must walk to the elevators, or the steps (we are only on the 4th floor) and then go through a parking lot to more steps which finally get us to the grass. I think the boys like the hike as much as the swings or slides sometime. Being in urban India has its perks... we have an egg and bread guy that comes to our door everyday (expect for a few holidays) and he is extremely punctual. its weird, but about 8pm every night, the doorbell rings and Josiah especially goes CRAZY! He loves company and even though its just the "egg guy" he runs to the door squealing and then the both of them run out in our open area and sometimes grab stuff from the "egg guy"'s bag! He also sells snacks and some days to get the boys inside, we pick something and ask them to take it to the kitchen! They love having a "job" to do. Markets are also a part of India that is AWESOME! Ryan and I even took a date night to check out a market near our house we had not done much exploring of, and ended up finding four things off a list of stuff I had been looking for... and that made our date even more perfect! And no need to go to the grocery store for a snack- just roll down the window and buy bananas from a cart for the kids!
Being in a big city means that we have the best malls and they also bring in fun days for the kids. Recently, we went to see the Disney set up in the middle of the mall and Daniel got his picture with Mickey, his buddy, and he wore his mouse ears until they broke! They danced on the stage with the other kids and were slightly overwhelmed (who wouldn't be... India is generally overwhelming especially in crowds)but they had a blast!Most malls also have glass elevators and they love the thrill of a ride that takes them up and they see the whole mall. Free entertainment! We are so blessed to live in such a diverse and fabulous city, even with all the challenges, we find our blessings everyday.