Grow Up 成长

2nd December 2015  /  life upon life, highlight, significant story

It always made me feel sad when listening to the song “The days on the Beijing East Road” [1]. Seeing certain photos or the mere mention of some past events always reminds us of those once painful memories. “We were children at the very beginning.” 

When I was young, my parents quarrelled over minor matters all the time, and they didn’t care about my feelings. I only had a very old and shabby doll to keep me company. She had big eyes, and I liked to talk to her staring at her eyes. I didn’t care even if she didn’t respond to me. Then in another quarrel with my mom, my father smashed my doll. She couldn’t open her big eyes and couldn’t stand up and walk. I didn’t cry then, but deep inside I feared my father and hated to talk with him or stayed with him.

I remember how I felt when I saw my father crying for the first time. It was unbearable and I felt helpless. But I didn’t have the courage to apologise. When his shouts of anger flew past my ears, I was no longer afraid. Nor did I keep quiet. I would talk back and argue with him. I thought I won when I saw my father had nothing to say. Yes, I was tired of the discipline and restraint from my father and wanted to break through “the cage”. However, I hesitated and felt helpless and wondered if I was right or wrong when I turned back and saw my father’s eyes glistened with tears. 

I didn’t understand father’s love at that time but I did try. True understanding came much later. I used to quarrel with my father when I grew older. When he said “turn east”, I would turn west and went my own way. I understood father’s love when I made mistakes and tried to avoid responsibility. I finally understood my father’s love as it hurts me deeply when I saw my father’s hair turned whiter and his hands grew rougher because of toil. I then realized what he had done for me and that his love for me had been implicit and reserved. 

I no longer hold the same attitude that rejects his love, and I gradually accept him and tried to return his love for me. “Longing to be an angel at the very end”. I hope I’ll be stronger and I’ll be able to protect those who I want to protect.

Xuan Cao

[1] A wistful Chinese song. The quoted lines are references to lyrics. To see full lyrics (in Chinese) see