Life

Understanding in artful absence

  My parents-in-law moved to live in our community. Unexpectedly, in less than half a year, my mother-in-law and I started to complain to each other from being respectful to each other.
  ”Xiaobao’s sweatpants are worn backwards. He just wore them backwards at school all day. His classmates should laugh at him. After Xiaobao gets up and puts on his clothes, you’d better check them for him.” After work that day, I just Stepping into the house, the moment the purse was put down, the mother-in-law opened her mouth, with a hint of complaint in her words. I replied to her perfunctorily: “Xiaobao is 8 years old, you can check it yourself.”
  The mother-in-law glanced at me, not very happy, she said: “Liu Chenggang until he was in junior high school, I squeezed the toothpaste for him every morning What!” I understand what the mother-in-law is saying, and she blames me for not being responsible for raising the children and not being as meticulous as she is, but when she was young, she had a part-time job in a state-owned enterprise, and she had more time and energy than me. Now that the pace of work is so fast, I have to take care of my children and help them with homework when I go home. I am exhausted. Besides, such trivial things as dressing should be taught to the child to do it by himself, so as to gradually cultivate his independence. All kinds of dissatisfaction arose in my heart, but thinking that my mother-in-law was getting older, her ideas would inevitably be outdated, so I didn’t continue to contradict her.
  My mother helped bring the child to kindergarten to graduate, but later she was not in good health, so I had to leave it to my in-laws to take care of Xiaobao. So the husband helped his in-laws sell the old house in the distance, and bought a second-hand house in our community.
  I live in the same community as my in-laws, but not under the same roof. I thought we could take care of each other and get along well with each other, but as time went by, trivial matters piled up little by little, and the conflict between my mother-in-law and I became more and more intensified.
  One day, after dinner at my in-laws’ house, I was about to go home. My mother-in-law hurried to the balcony to get Xiaobao’s shoes. When she handed the shoes to Xiaobao, she proudly said, “Xiaobao, look at grandma brushing your shoes for you.” How clean it is, just like the new one!” Looking at her mother-in-law, Xiaobao said in a childlike voice, “Thank you grandma, grandma is so hardworking!” After hearing this, the mother-in-law laughed from ear to ear. Then Xiaobao turned his head and said to me: “Mom, you are so lazy!” The father-in-law at the side heard Xiaobao’s words and immediately criticized him: “It’s wrong to say mother.” This is clearly my mother-in-law who spoke ill of me in front of Xiaobao. I said to my mother-in-law angrily: “Mom, you don’t have to work so hard. I prepared three pairs of shoes for Xiaobao. I will change a pair of shoes in one to two days, and I will wash them together when they are dirty.” Disdainfully said: “It’s so good to brush casually every day, how tiring to pile up and brush together!”
  The mother-in-law’s words were obviously thorny. “Mom, you just send off the children and do some housework every day. Of course, you can do everything. I work during the day and take care of the children at night. Where do I get so much energy?” I held my breath and couldn’t help raising my voice.
  ”Yeah, you’re the only one working hard!” The mother-in-law said angrily, her high-spirited tone was full of sarcasm. “Don’t say a few words!” The father-in-law couldn’t listen anymore, and interrupted the mother-in-law impatiently. I hesitated to speak, and angrily pulled Xiaobao, turned around and went downstairs.
02

  The next day, my husband came back from a business trip and learned that my mother-in-law and I were angry, so he had a long talk with me. He said that it was not easy to understand me, and his thoughtful words made most of my anger go away, but I still refused to go to my mother-in-law’s place for dinner. A few days later, my husband dragged me to my mother-in-law’s house for dinner. He said that I had done my mother-in-law’s ideological work, and everyone took a step back. Thinking that we are all a family, bumps and bumps are inevitable, so I followed.
  That night, I took the chopsticks and my mother-in-law served the dishes. We seemed to cooperate with each other tacitly, but no one took the initiative to speak. One day, my mother-in-law asked Liu Chenggang to help her buy some clothes on Taobao. I sat aside and said nothing, but I knew in my heart that my mother-in-law used to ask me to do it for her, but now she is looking for Liu Chenggang.
  During the summer vacation, we took annual leave and planned to take Xiaobao to travel to the seaside, while my parents-in-law went to other places to attend the class reunion. Unfortunately, due to typhoon weather, our trip was forced to run aground. It’s good to take Xiaobao to play in the city without being able to travel far, but eating has become a big problem. After eating two meals outside, Xiaobao became emotional, thinking that the food outside was not delicious, and insisted that I cook for him at home. I rushed to the vegetable market early the next morning, and then went home to choose vegetables, wash vegetables, and cook vegetables… I was busy all morning in the stuffy kitchen, and I was sweating profusely when I put the dishes on the table. I couldn’t help shouting: “It’s summer, it’s true love to cook for the family!” After saying this, I immediately thought of my mother-in-law, who worked hard every day in the sweltering kitchen!
  ”This leek is too salty!” My husband complained after taking a bite of the dish. “Mom, shredded beef is not good!” As soon as the husband finished speaking, the son began to complain again. It’s not easy to make a meal, and I’m extremely depressed. Suddenly I felt that this scene seemed familiar. Don’t we usually complain about our mother-in-law? Thinking of this, my face is a little red.
  A few days later, the in-laws came back and everything was as usual. It was just that after the meal, I took the initiative to clean up the dishes, and I said to my mother-in-law: “Mom, I will wash the pots and bowls in the future!” The mother-in-law first politely said “no”, and I insisted on it a few times before she accepted.
  The accidental absence of my mother-in-law made me understand the kindness of my mother-in-law and realize her difficulty. But I also have my own hardships in life: my husband often travels on business. In order to take care of Xiaobao, I have been unable to apply for work on business trips. Because of this, I missed several opportunities for salary increases. In order to get off work on time and bring Xiaobao home, I often rush to work without taking my morning break. I couldn’t help thinking: If there is a chance, I can also be absent cleverly, so that my mother-in-law can understand my difficulties!
  Not long after, the company received an urgent project and sent me to Beijing for a business trip. This time I did not shirk, thinking that maybe this is a good opportunity to be absent! I was so busy that week that I made a video call to my husband towards the end of the project. I haven’t seen each other for a few days, Xiaobao on the other end of the phone shouted excitedly, asking when I’m going home? My husband sighed at the side: “I’m getting tired and paralyzed from tutoring Xiaobao’s homework these days. Come back quickly, I can’t stand it anymore.” I saw the figure of my mother-in-law in the camera, and vaguely heard her soft voice Sigh: “Hey, it’s not easy!”
03

  After returning from a business trip, my mother-in-law specially prepared a table of dishes, most of which were my favorites. At the dinner table, she said to me in a calm tone: “You have worked hard, eat more!” I can feel the change in my mother-in-law’s attitude. A few words tugged at my heart, and I choked up and said: “Mom, it’s not easy for us, and you are also working hard!” My mother-in-law looked at me with tears in her eyes.
  A few days later, my mother-in-law made a bag of small wontons and asked me to take them home. She said: “This small wontons can be stored in the refrigerator. Put them in the pot in the morning, and you will be able to eat them in a while. You work hard. You can eat them in the morning.” Sleep more.” I took the little wonton, feeling warm in my heart.
  One weekend, my uncle sent a video to my mother-in-law. He was taking my aunt to escape the summer heat in the mountains of Zhejiang. The uncle said that there are beautiful mountains and rivers, and the breeze is cool, which is very pleasant.
  The mother-in-law was very envious and hung up the phone. The mother -in- law whispered to the father-in-law: “One day we can live a life as we like.” The father-in-law echoed repeatedly: “Hurry up, hurry up!” Hearing it in my heart, I discussed with my husband at night. In order to help us take care of the children, the parents-in-law bound their hands and feet. Can we find a way to give them a holiday and let them live a more comfortable life?
  That day, after dinner, my husband said to my mother-in-law: “Mom, we have discussed it. We will start a business by ourselves on weekends. You and Dad have a good rest and arrange your time freely!” My mother-in-law looked at me, as if asking for my opinion. She nodded. The mother-in-law smiled and asked: “Is it okay to cook without me?” I replied briskly: “Mom, let’s try it!” On
  weekends, I cook and my husband does the dishes. It was full of smoke. On the weekends, the parents-in-law invites three or five friends to have dinner and visit the garden, and the days get more and more pleasant. In order for my in-laws to go abroad to broaden their horizons, my husband and I secretly helped them book a cruise abroad. The mother-in-law was very moved when she learned about everything we had arranged for them.
  During the holiday, the mother-in-law sent a photo of her holding her father-in-law’s arm on the deck, and the smiles on their faces were shining brightly under the sun.
  The occasional clever absence made my mother-in-law and I understand that no one in a family is easy, so we have also found a more harmonious way to get along.

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