Don’t Take Mom as a Guest

别把亲娘当客人

Special Focus - - Contents - Zhang Junxia 张军霞

Afew days ago, I in­vited my mother to stay with us for a short pe­riod. I ti­died up her room and pre­pared her fa­vorite meals every day. When I was avail­able, I would try to keep her com­pany, chat­ting and go­ing shop­ping with her. When­ever she man­aged to help me with house chores, I would ask her not to bother her­self. She was some­what an­noyed by my words and said: “You are al­ready busy at work. I can help with wash­ing and cook­ing. Just let me do it.”

But my mom has worked hard through­out her en­tire life, and I just wanted her to en­joy an easy and re­laxed life while she was stay­ing with me. I didn’t want her to tire her­self out with such house­work. So I tried to do ev­ery­thing for her— even wash the ap­ple be­fore giv­ing it to her. I thought I was be­ing con­sid­er­ate, yet af­ter a few days she in­sisted on re­turn­ing her home.

Not know­ing what had gone wrong, I felt con­fused and sullen. Hav­ing heard my story, my good friend Mei smiled and said: “Come to my house and check it out your­self.”

Mei’s mother is turn­ing eighty years old, yet still phys­i­cally healthy and fit. She of­ten comes to stay with Mei’s fam­ily. When I ar­rived at her house, the old lady had al­ready cooked hot de­li­cious meals for us. Mei sat down and be­gan to eat while I felt a lit­tle un­easy and whis­pered, “Is it proper to let your mom do the cook­ing at her age, and we just sit down and eat?”

Mei smiled and said: “If I asked her to sit at home and wait for me to come back and cook, she would be upset. She’d rather go out for gro­cery shop­ping and have a chat with neigh­bors, which make her feel less lonely and bored. She not only cooks, but also does her own laun­dry. With an au­to­matic wash­ing ma­chine, the only thing she needs to do is toss in the laun­dry and press a few but­tons. Yet she feels happy and proud about it, con­sid­er­ing her­self a master of high tech­nol­ogy. I cer­tainly will not let her do heavy man­ual chores, but I’m happy to let her get her hands on some easy things when­ever she wants, which helps her get used to the life with us, feel­ing at home here, in­stead of feel­ing like a guest in her daugh­ter’s house.”

Only then had I fig­ured it out. Re­flect­ing upon my own deeds, I was in­deed treat­ing my mother as a guest, do­ing ev­ery­thing for her and look­ing af­ter her like a baby. No won­der she felt un­com­fort­able and un­easy. Sim­i­larly, why did I al­ways feel re­laxed when I went back to my mom’s house? Be­cause I knew I was not a guest there, but at my home.

It takes skills and tech­niques to make a good sweet daugh­ter. I de­cided to in­vite my mom to come over again a few days later, but this time I didn’t treat her as a guest.

(From YinchuanEven­ingNews .

Trans­la­tion: Lu Qiongyao)

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