As my belly expanded, I longed to sweep my daughter away to the glorious mountain pass in Turkey, where Jim and I had daydreamed of a child. I imagined she would learn Mandarin, then Spanish. I planned to take her to Calcutta.
I found pregnancy and imminent motherhood to be a privilege, and upon her arrival, my journey made complete sense. I no longer needed validation: the significance of my adventure could be as simple as making me a better mother, daughter, wife and friend. The world had shaped me – and would shape my child.
And now as this book (finally) comes to print, the first daughter, Happy, is fifteen, with a 10-year-old sister, Bee. They know me as a ‘fun’ Tiger Mom, embedded in a marvelously manic life in Singapore with scores of friends and causes that feed my soul.
When my girls read of my struggles and strengths, my frustrations and forthrightness, they will gain a glimpse into a passage of my life that will inspire them – and other readers, I hope – to go forth to the unknown, to fight what is wrong and to possess a curiosity and keenness to learn and explore independently.