I spent the day signing books at the table one over from Rose Rock, comedian Chris Rock's mother. Or rather, I should say, he's her son. She is quite a force to be reckoned with in her own right. I spoke to people about my books and artwork at the first annual Columbia Literature Festival today and had a ball meeting with readers and folks who walked by, but true joy came from listening to Mama Rock.
Teen aged boys would approach her in awe and ask, "Are you Chris Rock's mother?" She'd say, "Guilty." Or sometimes they'd just say, "Is he really your son?" to which she'd reply, "Who? I've got several sons." The boys would stand there riveted and ask sincere questions about Chris, the show, what it was like growing up in her home, and she was always honest--beautifully, brutally, honest. At one point, I was in near tears listening to her stories and her advice--seriously good advice--she gives young people about what is real in Hollywood and what is not, or why it's important to dream and dream as big as you possibly can.
Yes, I was in good company today at Dent Middle School in Columbia. As a mother of two, I was listening for bits of wisdom to raise my own children to have good heads on their shoulders, and I'm happy to say, I gleaned several nuggets of wisdom, simply by sitting next to Rose Rock.
If you're a parent or a kid just trying to make sense of the world, you might want to take a look at Mama Rock's Rules.