My mother came from
In the late 1960s, the Cultural Revolution was underway in
However, that happiness didnít last very long. My grandmother died of
cancer when I was six years old. Then I was sent to live with my
grandparents on my motherís side. From being a precious pearl, I
became an insignificant blade of grass. My grandparents had to take care
of four grandchildren, including me, and they never liked girls. All of
a sudden, I had to learn how to cook breakfast for the whole family, how
to do the dishes with freezing water in the winter, how to wash my own
clothes on the big stone next to the well, how to force myself to
swallow the awful food under my grandmotherís glare, and how to
arrange my time for homework and housework. Little by little, I became
strong and independent.
When I started school, I excelled. I was always the best in my teachers'
eyes and set a good example for others. No one but me knew that I did so
many difficult things out of a thirst for being loved and cared for.
Deep in my heart, I knew I was very vulnerable and that I craved my
parents' love. I wished I could live with them and have a normal life
like other kids; I wished I had parents who appreciated me and were
proud of my progress; I wished I had parents who listened to me and
helped me when I encountered any difficulties; I wished I could be taken
to the park to play on the children's playground or be taken to the
store to choose a present; I wished I could occasionally ask for my
favorite candy or some other tiny snack; I wished I could bring the food
I liked instead of regular breakfast when I went on field trips; I
wished I didn't have to weep under the quilt at night from loneliness
and the need for love.
My parents would come back to visit me once every two years. On their first visit, I didnít recognize them at all. At that time I was eight years old. One month later, when I had just gotten over feeling strange and started tasting the sweetness of love, they had to leave. I was crying, screaming, and running to follow them to the train station. Finally, I was exhausted and totally disappointed. From then on, every time they would come to visit me with my little sister, I pretended to not really care about them. I deliberately spent more time on schoolwork and housework, especially when I saw my sister had such a close relationship with them. I knew I would have to live on my own eventually and I would never get what I wished for.
Now I have been a mother for almost eleven years. I have started to
understand more and more about the decision my parents made. I don't
blame them, and my own childhood is not important anymore. The most
relevant thing for me is to love my son as much as I can. From my bitter
experience, I know that for children, the happiness of being with their
own families is way more important than anything we can imagine. I want
to let my son feel that he is loved, appreciated and supported. Also, I
want to teach him that material conditions can't compare with the
emotional needs that will affect us our whole lives. Finally, I would
like to give all parents advice: no matter rich or poor, don't ever
leave your children for a long period; no one can replace the love that
you alone can give.