Paige Parker

Ms. Parker and her hus­band, Mr. Jim Rogers, cov­ered 116 coun­tries in a three-year over­land jour­ney that made the Guin­ness World Record

Portfolio - - IN THIS ISSUE - P PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY CHINO SARDEA

My mem­oir, Don’t Call Me Mrs. Rogers, de­tails how over­land travel can be try­ing on the soul, mind, and worse, on my re­la­tion­ship with Jim, who be­came my hus­band on our epic ad­ven­ture. The Pre­tenders’ lyrics, “It’s a thin line be­tween love and hate”, rang true. Still, with no other op­tion, we re­lied on one another, and our rough­est times paled when com­pared to the mo­ments we cher­ished each other for what we were shar­ing. We no longer needed to gaze at the other. We looked ahead, of­ten to­gether, sep­a­rately as of­ten. While com­plet­ing the first draft of my book, I be­came a mother, the keeper of a tremen­dously im­por­tant gem. My body housed a mir­a­cle. I be­came more im­por­tant than ever, of­fer­ing life. 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 15, 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. Watch Ms. Parker talk about her book on www.port­fo­liomagsg.com Don’t Call Me Mrs. Rogers is avail­able at Epi­gram Books

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