(Upon my graduation from elementary school, members in my family agreed on sending me to learn some craft so that I could be of some help to my mother. It was taken for granted that I ought to become a breadwinner to alleviate mother’s hardship.)
I myself, on the other hand, wished for higher education. Keeping mom in the dark, I was admitted to a normal school which afforded students all the necessities — uniforms, books, board and lodging. Only in this way did I dare to breathe a word of higher education to her. Before the school started, 10 yuan must be paid as guarantee deposit — an astronomical number to us! For half a month, mother took pains to tide over the awkward situation till she finally collected enough money and then saw me off with tears. She didn’t mind breaking her back as long as her son was useful and promising. The day I finished normal school and was assigned to the position of principal of a primary school, we both had a sleepless night. I only said, “It is time for you to enjoy a restful life!” And silent tears were seen trickling down her face.