ESF “Japan Earthquake Relief” Charity Day

Having already mentioned Rockstar and I getting ready for Japan Earthquake Relief Charity Day at school, I didn’t initially expect to blog about it again. Except walking thru the Kindergarten 1 floor on D Day, surrounded by all that red-and-white, I suddenly get a little misty-eyed. Sure, the school mentioned they “try to foster a sense of caring and responsibility for others in our children.”

But you had to be there.

Rockstar’s principal out front holding a simple cardboard box with a rising sun on it that the little kids could put donations into……

Wading through a sea of bright red and white (kids and staff) to Rockstar’s class……

The care package of socks from a parent that kids then made care notes/ cards for, to send to “Socks For Japan” (images of cute little stripes fill my head though of course they are a huge blessing regardless of whether they are cute and stripey)……

<jarringly back down to earth> My son throwing a hissy fit just inside the front door after reluctantly surrendering his envelope into the box his principal was holding.

As I’m standing there wondering how to take the cheque out and give Rockstar the envelope (which is what he’s really after because he had envisioned himself walking to class holding up the envelope on which he’d painted red suns), his principal re-opens the cardboard box he’s holding without batting an eyelid.

I watch, speechless, completely mortified, as my son huffily fishes his envelope back out like it’s his birthright and stomps up the stairs with renewed vigor holding his prize.


Please help me lift this manhole cover in the street so I can crawl in.

I’m kindly reassured that the bus children would be making their little donations in class anyway. But. So embarrassed. Can die.

WHY can’t Rockstar just chill and not write a whole script about how things should happen??

Sigh. Because that’s simply not who he is, he is not a laid back kid. He’s intense. Serious. Sometimes he asks us to hush if we're speaking in the background and he finds it distracting… We don’t call him “the Rockstar” for nuthin’.

And if things don’t go according to plan, there had better be a carefully worded memo submitted for filing away in his little head prior to the event, complete with an explanation WHY.

(Interestingly, the library book school staff thoughtfully picked out for him this week (because he missed library day) was titled “When I’m Angry” – about a bunny rabbit who gets angry in a few different situations. The author’s note in the preface  touched on speaking to kids when they get angry so they learn to manage their unpleasant or uncomfortable emotions.)


Growing up, I’ve been around top students, and I’ve been around mediocre students. I can’t claim to be certain of an existing negative correlation between a drive to succeed, to achieve academically, and how a person is as well, a person.

But I’ve shared classes with siblings so competitive they hiss “I hate you!” when their sibling gets a better grade.

Kids or youth who have formed the belief that as long as they achieve, they can treat others like they don’t matter.

A senior ex-colleague whose 8 year old girl attending one of the most desirable, expensive, high-achieving private schools in Hong Kong, threatening to jump out a window if she isn’t brought along on her mother’s business trip to Europe.

I bet she doesn’t insist on carrying her red sun-painted envelope up to class though. But anyway little girl got to go to Europe.


Then I open the weekly email from Rockstar’s school. Pictures of kids in red and white, drawings with rainbows and hearts. “We are thinking of you” in kiddie writing.

Despite repeated reminders the actual amount is unimportant, it's the thought,  the fostering of care and responsibility for others in the children,  donations from Kindergarten 1 and 2 children (and I guess their parents) for the day total HKD 68,937

And my Rockstar attends this school. <proud>

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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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