Monthly Archives: May 2010

It’s the real rockmom, for real

Therockmom says, 'Don't wrinkle my dress, children.'

For all my friends and readers outside of Hong Kong, here’s what my life – as a rockmom – looks like on a daily basis:

I enjoy wearing a faux fur stole and costume jewelry as I look at pretty pictures with my two tousled hair children. I do have perfectly manicured nails and flawless makeup (at the end of the day no less). And yes, I know my roots are showing and my boobs could use a little lift, but never you mind. I am living elegantly.

I am spending precious quality time with my children after they’ve been brought home from ballet, violin, soccer and Kumon by my two helpers (one for each child) and before I go out for another Celine handbag launch in hopes that I might end up in the society pages.

The Lily, where I now reside, is ‘the embodiment of modern elegance expressly designed for families seeking a superior quality of life in Hong Kong’. Expressly designed. I won’t mention that actually the building has sat vacant for the last nine years or so, was going to be a hotel at one point, and has only recently been re-branded for family living.

A true Hong Kong favorite: unnatural, unflattering recessed ceiling lights.

So what does it cost to live in The Lily? For a four bedroom, two bathroom apartment of over 3,500 square feet, we pay an absolutely reasonable HK$175,000 (US$22,000) per month*, not including management fees and government rates of course. It’s really a fantastic deal, considering we’re just a short walk to the lovely Repulse Bay beach.

Now I know some of you think of Repulse Bay only for its abysmal triad-controlled cafes and tour buses full of mainlanders, but it’s really a lovely stretch of beach. As long as there’s no red tide. And you stay away from the red ants, which live on the few scattered trees. Bring your own shade, I’ve learned!

It's f-ugly but who cares? The company's paying!

Well, dear readers, I’m off. Our driver is waiting downstairs.

But I, therockmom, will be back next time with thoughts on the new Miley Cyrus video – so ‘90s Coco Chanel/Vanessa Paradis…

*I am not kidding, this is not a typo.


The Serious Business of Talent Shows

It was one of those lump in your throat moments. A flashback to my younger self and a bittersweet flash forward of a young girl growing up in front of my eyes.

It was my daughter’s talent show.

The Year 5 and 6 talent show was not meant for parents. But I happened to be at school that day helping in my younger daughter’s class, so I asked my older daughter’s teacher if I could quietly perch in a corner of the hall for the show.

The group of five girls was dancing to (oh, irony) Lady Gaga’s ‘Just Dance’. One of the girls, who goes to a hip-hop class, had choreographed the routine. There was considerable back and forth about costumes: black t-shirts, jean shorts check. Hair up, hair down? Baseball caps on or off?

They had discussed and rehearsed during lunchtimes and breaks. We parents had nothing to do with this performance at all. We didn’t even have to arrange carpools!

When I told my daughter I might pop in to watch she didn’t seem to mind. When I asked her if I could bring along a big poster a la American Idol and yell out some whoop-whoops, she screamed and pummeled me with her fists.

‘What?’ I asked, ‘You don’t want me to embarrass you?’

She screamed louder. I promised to behave.

The show began with a group of Y6 girls sort of dancing, not quite karaoke’ing, but mouthing the words to ‘Fireflies’ by Ocean Eyes. Their teacher sat near me, reminding her students in the audience to show ‘big smiles’ and ‘encouragement’ and clap for those courageous kids on stage.

The acts that followed – a tap dancing duo, a drum solo and a comedy skit (boys in crazy wigs, always good for a laugh) – revealed an earnestness and seriousness of purpose that can still surprise me. Maybe the joy is in finishing?

It was now the Ladies GaGa’s turn. My daughter and the choreographer took the front two spots while the other three (taller) girls stood behind. Turns out the back three didn’t know the routine quite as well, and they spent a good portion of the dance giggling at each other and trying to catch up.

But those front two? Man, they owned it.

They sang along and danced with confidence, wonderfully free and unembarrassed. The steps were simple hip-hop moves – neither raunchy nor suggestive – and everyone clapped when it was over.

My daughter is changing so much. I turn around and her new self appears before me, taller than yesterday and oh so competent.

Many years ago, my friend, Christine Chapa, and I danced to “Night Fever’ at our elementary school talent show. We wore pink shorts and t-shirts with our names ironed on the back. I remember walking home from school that day under a brilliant blue sky. I still had my costume on, and I felt like a fluffy white cloud up there.

At my daughter’s show, I felt the same high. I also felt my eyes moisten, and I wondered why I get so emotional.

But right at the end, I managed a slightly muffled whoo-hoo!