Joe Ma Just Wants His Son, Ma Xiang, to Follow His Dreams
Like many actors who had busy careers in his prime years, Joe Ma (馬德鐘) missed out on much of his son’s childhood. After his wife Karen Cheung (張筱籣) gave birth to their son Ma Xiang (馬在驤) in 1998, Joe’s acting career started taking off as he received increasingly meatier roles. Though Ma Xiang is now 21 years old and possesses a tall physique and good looks to become an artiste, Joe just wants his son to follow his dreams.
In a recent interview, the father-and-son duo provided a glimpse into their family life. When Ma Xiang was younger, fitting in family time together was often a challenge for Joe, who recalled, “At the time, my wife had to go to France for work and she took our son along, when he would start his schooling. He was only three years old at the time and I was still busy with filming and could not visit them. Finally, while I was filming Triumph in the Skies <衝上雲宵>, I was in Europe and they took a train over to visit me.”
Ma Xiang admitted that while growing up, he was unhappy that his father could not spend time with him. He recalled a specific time, “When I was younger and I had to study for my math exam, my dad was the one who was tutoring me. Then, he had to go to work and we switched to having my mom tutor me. At that point, I no longer wanted to study because it wasn’t my dad helping me anymore. I was really unhappy.”
Gave Son a Lot of Freedom
Despite having only one son, Joe and Karen were not helicopter parents. Instead, they prioritized freedom for their son. Ma Xiang shared, “My parents gave me a lot of freedom. They would let me do my own thing a lot of the time.”
Joe added, “Because we did not keep a tight hold on him, there was no need for him to rebel, so he didn’t really have a rebellious phase.” Fortunately for Joe and Karen, Ma Xiang did not have any bad hobbies growing up. Instead, Ma Xiang found his love for swimming, which contributed to his structured lifestyle.
Thankful for this natural inclination, Joe said, “Exercise is very important for young people. It gives them a more structured lifestyle and scheduled routine. It is important to foster children’s interests in sports, exercise, music, or other types of hobbies. While exercise and sports can teach a child structure, music can help cultivate their attention span and tap into their emotional awareness.”
On his role as a father, Joe reflected, “Taking care of my son is my biggest responsibility. Later, he will have his own life. If he comes back and takes care of us, that is a bonus. I hope he will be able to take care of himself. I will not depend on him, and he should not depend on me either. I will make sure to stay healthy so as not to bother him too much. I want him to choose a life that will make him happy and not to live by our expectations. He should not live in our shadows.”
Parents with older children often enjoy the mutual respect they have for each other. On what he admires most about his dad, Ma Xiang expressed that he most appreciated Joe’s happy and positive personality. Likewise, Joe also admires many of Ma Xiang’s traits. He said, “My son is a calm person and is not easily irritable. He’s also my teacher when it comes to academics and technology.”
This article is written by Huynh for JayneStars.com.