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The days when I was forced to move out by my mother

On his birthday, his mother treated him to a big dinner, had a serious talk with him, and ordered him to move out of the house. It was as if a scorching thunderstorm had struck his head. By then, he had been in the city for four years of college and three years of graduate school, and had found a job locally. His parents had bought a riverfront apartment in the north of the river, where he could watch the Yangtze River roll by. On a clear day, he can occasionally see the spines of porpoises tumbling across the water. And he works on the south bank of the Yangtze, a daily round trip of nearly 30 kilometers each way through the river crossing tunnel. He has become accustomed to his mother driving him every day. His generation of only children has the mentality of being taken care of by their parents as a matter of course, and the company where his mother works is also on the south bank of the Yangtze. Therefore, when his mother said seriously, “I can’t serve a high school student who seems to grow up forever,” he felt his self-esteem was deeply hurt.

He took a gamble and immediately contacted an agent to find a house, took out all his New Year’s money, paid three months’ rent and a security deposit, rented the house, and moved out of the house. He remembered that on the day he moved, his mother was away on a business trip and his father was in the hospital with his grandfather, so he didn’t even have an object to demonstrate to.

He rented an old house built in the 1990s near his flat, which was older than his age. The d├ęcor and furniture were very old, and the monthly rent was 3,500 yuan. After moving in, he put all his daily necessities and clothes back in place. He only lay on the mattress and sighed for 10 minutes before he immediately went out. He had to go immediately to the furniture store to buy a swivel chair, a drying rack and a shoe cabinet, otherwise he would have to sit on the plastic stool left by the landlord to work, and the jacket he took off would have to be put on the mattress.

He never expected that 3 days later, the furniture hypermarket merchant couriered over all the household goods with loose parts. He had to buy another toolbox and use a screwdriver and wrench to assemble them one by one. He vaguely remembers the last time he used a Phillips screwdriver when he was in the fifth grade to participate in an aeromodeling group. When he finally put the drying rack and swivel chairs together with a lot of sweat, he felt more proud than ever and couldn’t help but take pictures and send them to his WeChat circle of friends to fool around. As a result, he was ridiculed by his classmates who were studying across the ocean. The student who was studying for his doctorate told him that he had installed a bed, a large closet and a kitchen hanging cabinet with an impact drill in hand, and that the most recent achievement was the installation of a large baroque openwork iron gate outside the garden.

He was met with good-natured contempt, but his pride at having his potential aroused did not cut it in half. For the first time in his life, he figured out the difference between laundry detergent and fabric softener, and the different meanings of the dozen or so buttons on the drum washing machine (he packed everything from socks to sheets to be washed by his mother during the seven years he spent at college). Now, away from his mother’s care, he has to clean by hand, washing dishes, scrubbing the stove and hood surfaces himself, mopping the floor, and pulling out the fallen hair that accumulates in the bathroom drain with his bare hands. He learned to iron shirts, polish shoes, and remove and wash curtains. He was amazed when he discovered that all the screens could be removed and rinsed with the bathroom shower. The dirty screens in his landlord’s house finally revealed their original light blue color, and he could smell the spring breeze outside, interspersed with willows and flourishing flowers.

His vision was fully opened. When it comes to the applications on his cell phone, he only knows those apps that allow him to watch videos and play games, but now he is starting to care about the price of food on shopping applications. When the “post-80s” ladies in the company chatted, he could also interject. When the sisters learned that there is a “treasure boy” who can use steam ironing machine and hardware toolbox within easy reach, they have said that they want to introduce him to someone.

Time flies, and it’s been two years since he was kicked out by his mother. He realized that his perception of time and money had changed profoundly. Before, his mother took care of all the household chores, and on double days, he could stay in bed until 2 p.m.; now, even on weekends, the alarm went off in his body at 7:30 a.m. He knows that the morning market has the freshest vegetables and fruits, and that the latest time for food waste collection in the morning is 9:00 a.m. It is best to take the garbage to the collection point before 9:00 a.m., otherwise the house will easily breed cockroaches. His routine is normal now, he goes to bed early and gets up early, he can actually read more than 20 books a year, and he passed the CPA exam. Today, he pays a monthly rent of 3,500 yuan and saves his first 200,000 yuan by working part-time as a bookkeeper for another company. He finally realized that it was his responsibility to buy a house in the future.

He still goes back to his parents’ house occasionally, but the subtle awkwardness doesn’t seem to have completely disappeared. As always, his mother entertained him, knew he had a new girlfriend, listened to him talk about the progress of his work and love life, but never asked him about the details of his life. He had always wanted to express his gratitude for his mother’s care for the previous 25 years, but he kept putting it off, unable to take the step of saying something personal to his own family. Until one day, he found his mother’s diary in a hanging cabinet in the kitchen of his parents’ house. By some miracle, he turned to the diary of the days when his mother had forced him to move out of the house two years ago. The mother wrote that she had fought for a business trip and hid out for fear that she would shed tears if she witnessed her only son moving out. She was afraid that she was a spoiled eagle, unable to make the decision to peck her son away, the son could have spread his wings to soar the eagle, captive into a fat poultry that did not want to leave the nest.

He was taken aback and turned back sharply, and finally found a pile of things his mother had not told him: in order to get used to this change in his moving out, she took sleeping pills for three whole months. And what she showed in front of her son was a sense of relief and lightheartedness. Far-sighted Chinese parents never control their true feelings and sit back and wait for their children to discover and feel them. They are too deeply influenced by “The Letters of Fu Lei”.

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