Tears and mother looked at each other and smiled

On May 26, 2016, I became the first Chinese to speak in the history of the graduation ceremony of Harvard University. When I walked from the small village of Hunan to Boston, the United States, I knew that there was nothing unique compared with ordinary people. The only thing I could say was that the hardships I had experienced and my parents’ words and examples taught me early that I knew my destiny should be controlled by myself. This simple truth.

In the early autumn of 2009, when the water chestnuts matured, the dark green water chestnut leaves were covered with dew, which was very beautiful in the weak light of the morning. The folks who were weeding on the ridge saw that our family was carrying luggage and asked who would travel. “My eldest son is going to the United States.” The mother’s tone is full of pride. For her, the United States is a country that has only been heard on TV news. “Son, I watched you and your brother roll in the fishing nets and had fun, thinking that you would fish for a living in the future. Unexpectedly, you read the country and read.”

The mother’s proud smile always stays in my memory.

Growth experience makes me curious about everything

Country people often say that if they learn to farm, they will never worry about their jobs. When my brother and I were four or five years old, we were taken to the field to work with adults to do farm work. This is very common in the village.

At that time, my father’s biggest dream was to become a “10,000 yuan household”. Every winter, he will go to Hubei or Jiangxi with other fishermen in the village to start a fishing life of up to 3 months. The New Year will bring us some small gifts, so that we can learn more about the outside world.

At the age of 6, the kitchen and pigsty of our old house collapsed in a heavy snowfall. The winter of that year was particularly cold and extra long in my mind. After the spring, we watched our father dig mud and burn bricks, and built a spacious red brick house little by little. During the days when the new house was just built, parents’ faces were full of smiles.

Since I was 4 years old, I went to the elementary school in the village-because my father felt that I was preventing them from doing farm work and felt that as long as I could sit in the class, I was not required to learn anything in class. I have been sitting quietly in the corner of the classroom, and my grades in the first few years are not too good to keep up with the progress. However, I don’t know what it means to study. The education level of the villagers is generally not high. A high school diploma would make me a top class. No one told me how to change my destiny. My dream at the time was to get a high school diploma.

Except for the textbooks issued by the school, I rarely read extracurricular books in elementary school. At the end of the third day, I was admitted to the best high school in the county and had to board at a school nearly 20 kilometers away from home. That was the first time I walked out of the country, and for the first time I really felt the gap between urban and rural areas. I didn’t even know how to use the flush toilet. When I spoke with the rustic, I was afraid of being laughed at. At that time, I always behaved carefully among my classmates. I was afraid of being mocked secretly, and it took almost a year to adapt.

As soon as I had time in high school for three years, I got into the book pile. I took the college entrance examination in 2005, and I was accepted by the University of Science and Technology of China. When I was in college, I was full of curiosity in many fields other than majors. I chose poetry and vocabulary, and read and read “Dream of Red Mansions”. These hobbies don’t seem to have anything to do with my major. I just think it’s fun, and it can be regarded as solving the frustration of studying science. These literary interests gradually showed value: I felt a little more ink in my stomach when dealing with people, and it taught me a lot, and made me constantly understand who I am and what I want to be.

The curiosity cultivated by the experience of growing up in the countryside has helped me overcome many difficulties in different stages of growth, and also allowed me to grow rapidly in new environments.

Mother taught me to be tenacious for my goals

In the 4 years of college, I have grown in a metamorphic manner, become more confident than before, and have more hopes for the future. I began to explore and find out what I want to do. In 2009, I graduated from university and received the highest honor of undergraduate students-the Guo Moruo Scholarship, and also received an acceptance letter from the Department of Biology at Harvard University. I became the most knowledgeable in the village and the first person to study abroad.

Now I want to come. I went abroad to study at the age of 21, and my mother dropped out of school to support my family at the age of 10. There seems to be an invisible line between these two nodes of life.

When her mother was 10 years old, her uncle decided to go fishing in other provinces. He didn’t know how to weave nets, and he didn’t have the money to buy fishing nets at home. The burden of weaving nets fell on grandma, mother and aunt. My mother dropped out of school and studied web weaving at home. She learned quickly and became the fastest girl in the village to weave the web in less than a year. The grandmother simply suggested that the mother make money for the family by weaving the net, and the mother’s later life was connected with the fishing net.

I remember that the walls of the house were covered with fishing nets and fishing lines, and the fishing nets were piled up in the open spaces and beds of the home. Sometimes the mother and father slept directly in the newly woven fishing nets.

Mother has a small goal every day: weave 10,000 meshes. Weaving 10,000 meshes can earn 4 yuan, 120 yuan a month, and more than 1,500 yuan a year. For the mother at the time, this figure was almost a tempting wealth. For this goal, she felt very hard no matter how hard it was.

I must have learned from my mother what “toughness” is. When I complained to my mother about too much homework, she would tell me: “When I was learning to weave the web, it was about the fourth grade of elementary school. At that time, my grades were very good, and I won the first place in the school several times in the final exam. Son, you Do you also want to help me weave a fishing net? Or help your dad to dry the millet on the floor? If you don’t want to do your homework, come and help us, we are also short of staff anyway. Then, you will know, How easy is reading.”

Half water chestnut passes mother’s endless love

I was the first person in the village to go abroad to study, which made my mother proud and excited. When she was about to leave, she personally checked the suitcase for me to ensure that I brought all the items with me, and insisted that I bring a needle and thread, and bring her hand-made cloth shoes, the yellow eel loach smoked with aged wood chips and Chopping peppers at home…I was impatiently refusing to let her put the cloth shoes in her bag, thinking that I would not wear these rustic cloth shoes anyway.

On the day of departure, after breakfast, the family sat in a car waiting for the village to enter the city. My mother seemed to have something to say to me, but she kept talking. She unzipped the suitcase again, looked at it, closed it again, and handed me a cup of warm water. I shook my head and said with complaint: “You don’t have to work around, why don’t you sit?” Mother put the water down and looked at the village under the morning light outside the window.

The bus station in the village is very simple, just a sign erected on the side of the road, next to a deep canal. When the car dragged up the dust and approached us, my mother turned her attention to me. She wanted to laugh, but she didn’t laugh, thinking that she would not see her son for a long time in the future, and she was a little sad.

Mother didn’t know what to say. Those sentimental farewell speeches, she had only seen in TV series. She held my hand awkwardly, and I clearly felt that her copy was unnatural, and she deliberately said that she was going to carry the bag, and she flicked her hand away. My mother probably understood what I meant, so she bent over to help me carry the bag.

Suddenly, my mother pointed me at the water chestnut in the ditch and asked me, “Son, do you remember the taste of water chestnut? Now is the time to pick water chestnut.”

“Of course I remember. The last time I ate the water chestnut was before going to college. It has been more than four years in a flash.” I smiled.

“Do you want to eat a few water chestnuts? The United States can’t eat them.” “You wait for me, I’ll get a few.” Before the words fell, the mother ran down the ditch and ran towards the ditch. She lay on the ground, trying to catch the water chestnut leaf near the shore, but she could not reach it. I want to stop her: “I’ll eat again next time.” My mother couldn’t listen to me. I stood by the door of the car, watching my mother trying to pull the back of the water chestnut and said, “Mom, forget it, I got in the car.”

The mother was anxious, she stood up, took off her shoes, grabbed the grass beside the ditch, and slid a little into the ditch.

I heard the sound of “Wola” and turned back in surprise. I saw my mother walking in the muddy water of the chest, caught the long-horned water chestnut, ripped off the water chestnut leaves, washed it in the water, and headed towards the shore Threw it over.

“Son, pick up a few big hurries and get on the bus. The driver is really anxious and is honking again. I will go home and change my clothes later. Just pick up a few water chestnuts and get on the bus. .”

I stood beside the car with tears in my eyes, looking at my mother who was still smiling in the ditch, not knowing what to say to her mother.

I want to tell my mother how much she loves her, but children in the country rarely use the word “love”, even between mother and child. I picked up the water chestnut, wiped off the mud on the water chest, and bit off the hard shell with my teeth, broke the water chestnut in half, and immediately ran to my mother, handed half to her, and the mother stood in the water to pick it up. Taking a bite, I stood on the shore biting the juiced half, and we smiled with tears…