Dive Into My Writings

Exciting Stay-Home Notice Right In Time For Christmas

DEC 27, 2020
After a trip to the US, it's good to be back in Singapore, where 'we' surpasses 'me' and people respect the rule of law. 'Twas two days post-Christmas, and all through our home, every creature is stirring, quarantine no longer confining our zone. Predictable sunny skies beam over our heads, yet we dream of a […]

Why Travelling In a Pandemic is All About Need Over Desire

NOV 29, 2020
Despite my fears and misgivings, my need to be with my ageing parents in the US overrides my desire to be safe in Singapore. As I write, rushing to meet a deadline before dashing to the airport, I am reluctant though ready to tackle this upcoming journey. Despite apprehension and fears, my need to be […]

Breaking Down The Barriers to Beauty

OCT 25, 2020
As a child with oodles of Barbie dolls, I used non-permanent markers to give them make-up and scissors to update their predictable, flowing manes. All were white and Caucasian with blonde hair, save a few brunettes. Every single one showcased that coveted hourglass figure. Thirty-plus years on, when my daughter Happy was born, I intentionally […]

Ordinary To Be Extraordinary

SEP 27, 2020
The quest to become special can lead to unhappiness, so be careful about what you are striving for. Locally, we have the woke Kheng siblings, Narelle and Benjamin, using their influencer status to promote mental health and sustainability, along with their music and acting careers. We have Singaporean children as young as age 11 completing […]

Surviving My Husband's Triple Bypass

AUG 30, 2020
When life throws us a curve, we have little choice but to focus, anticipate the upcoming obstacles, then run like wildfire. In baseball jargon, we long for a home run, while in life, we simply want to fix what is broken in our mix. My family's most recent curve ball began during the circuit breaker […]

Fears of a PSLE Mom

AUG 5, 2020
Our children may not do as well as expected or get into their choice school, but it is us parents who would have failed them if we neglected their mental health or did not pass on to them a love of learning. Soon after I moved to Singapore in 2007, I became pregnant with my […]

In Praise of Helpers

MAY 31, 2020
My family's helper, Sarah, was born on the same day Singapore gained independence - August 9, 1965. Singapore is young, while Sarah, at 54, has lived half of her life, with nearly 13 of those years alongside my family. A devout Catholic who never married, with the sweetest laugh that escapes far too infrequently, Sarah […]

Embrace Tiktok with Care

MAY 3 2020
The short-form video app offers plenty of fun and is popular among young people, but parents should be cautious about giving their children free rein over it. Chances are, if you are a tween, teen or parent of one, you know TikTok, the short-form video app with more than 800 million monthly users around the […]

Have Faith, This Too, Shall Pass

APR 12, 2020
Whether you believe in religion, government, family, career or in healthcare workers or unsung heroes, your faith may help to restore, recharge and reset you in this tin1e of uncertainty. Today marks Easter, arguably the most important celebration of the Christian Church, when believers celebrate the resurrection of Christ. As a child, I attended weekly […]

Call Out Prejudice and Hate Speech

MAR 15, 2020
The xenophobia arising from the coronavirus outbreak must be stopped and parents can show the way. If Lucifer Morningstar found himself in Singapore (yes, I'm a raving-mad junkie of Netflix's Lucifer) to ask us all, "What is it you truly desire?", many replies would include safety for family or, perhaps, to live without fear. Surely […]

He's 26 Years My Senior and That's Fine

FEB 9, 2020
The age difference between my husband and me bothers others more than us and I've learnt to not fret over it. "The truth was that, for both of us, it had been love at first sight. A coup de foudre, as the French say." This describes the initial moment when I met my future husband […]

Why Are Women Still Earning Less Despite Doing More

JAN 9, 2020
Pretty much all women in Singapore take certain things for granted: freedom of movement, the right to an education and a passport, and easy access to open a bank account and start a company. These are givens. Where we were born became a large part of our destiny. But this is not enough. Women here […]

Santa Claus and Other White Lies

DEC 22, 2019
To protect someone, lessen a burden or offer a bit of love is reason enough to soften the truth. 'Twas a few nights before Christmas, when all through our town, every creature was stirring as endless holiday parties abound; alas, alack, could I be more utterly wound? Sincerely, I am keen to have the oodles […]

Parents, what's your social media strategy?

NOV 24 2019
The woman was staring at me. Well, actually, at my family. Although embarrassed, I understood why. All of us - my daughters Happy and Bee, with my husband Jim and I - were busy on our mobile phones. Sending e-mail messages, surfing the Net, checking Instagram, while awaiting our food at a Japanese restaurant. “Okay. […]

Losing sleep over letting go

SEP 29 2019
My daughter has left home to study in the UK, leaving a vacuum in my life, but I will cope and find a new normal and root for her from where I am. As a youth, I knew life would last forever. I worried little of loss. Now age 50, I understand my life is […]

Reflections from a 36km walk across Singapore

SEP 1 2019
Traversing the Coast-to-Coast trail under 30 deg C heat makes me realise there is much more to learn and explore before I can claim to know Singapore. In 1998, when my not-yet-husband Jim Rogers was training for the New York City marathon, the two of us walked the 42km route one Sunday before the race. […]

The arts gives life depth

AUG 4 2019
Arts involvement will round out corners, shaping children into more complete humans. As a child, I wanted to be a ballerina. After school nearly every day, I rode my bicycle 3km to the dance studio. At the beginning of each class, with one hand holding the barre and the other extended gracefully over my head, […]

How to do a summer road trip around the US with kids

JUL 20 2019
My daughters Happy and Bee have grown up in Asia. Since we left New York City for Singapore 12 years ago when Happy was four, and Bee was born here, both girls know little of their homeland. The moment Happy suggested driving across the United States for her 16th birthday, my husband Jim and I […]

Growing rich in the right values

JUL 7 2019
There is no tree out there where money grows for every whim or need, and that is why it is so important to teach my girls values such as thrift, hard work and good-heartedness. The more you learn, the more you earn. My husband Jim and I tout this often enough that both of our […]

Daddies hold sway over their little girls

JUN 9 2019
Research has shown that daughters with solid relationships with their fathers develop well emotionally, possessing positive self-image and confidence. My father was never much of an advice giver except when it really mattered. When I first started dating Jim (now my husband), I was 26. We were about to take off for a short trip […]

Millennials_ 'Adulting' in a different way from generations before

APR 13 2019
Adulting - I do not like the word. Even the sound of the lazy verb implies a desperate attempt at defining oneself as an adult. The word turned hot back in 2008 on Twitter, used ironically mostly to make fun of the things adults have to do on a regular basis. Urban Dictionary defines adulting […]

Going local: Embracing the Singapore education system

MAR 16 2019
Back in mid-2007 when my family first moved to Singapore, I mentioned to friends that my husband Jim and I longed for our daughter Happy to attend Nanyang Primary School (NYPS). A handful laughed, while others exclaimed: "What? We're trying to find ways out of this demanding system, while you're striving to get in. That's […]

A relentless pursuit to learn Mandarin

FEB 17 2019
With the rise of China as well as the proven benefits of learning a second language, my husband and I have pulled out all the stops to help our two daughters develop a love of Mandarin. "Hablo espanol," (I speak Spanish) repeatedly rang out in Riverside Park when we lived in New York over a […]