My Son, the
Under a proposed law,
Chinas Civil Affairs Ministry would require
adult children to regularly visit their elderly
parents. If they do not, parents can sue them.
--New York Times, Jan. 30, 2011
Youd think my son,
Jing Jun, would care enough to visit his 80-year-old
mother and me. On my one day off from the
railroad where I inspect rail spikes, Mei-Fun
makes special dishes like pork tripe and we put
out little glasses of mao tai and light
incense at the altar.
But it never fails We
get a telephone call that Jing Jun is too busy
surfing the Internet thing or doing that texting
thing or doing spreadsheets for his big bank
Sorry, Ma, Im
too busy to see you this week, he says.
And maybe next week too if my girlfriend
isnt working overtime making little toys
for McDonalds Happy Meals.
What kind of son is that? A
son has a filial duty. We saved so long to have a
son. We gave up three daughters to Americans from
Beverly Hills before we got a son under the
rationing system, No Boys Left Behind. Finally, a
fortune cookie told me, Try one more time,
Big Guy. Maybe lucky.
I am so mad I am going to
sue Jing Jun. Maybe a little hard time in a re-education
camp or a taste of prison food would make him
appreciate his parents sacrifice. Maybe
hell remember the water buffalo we bought
for his 13th birthday. He will say,
Oh, I am so sorry, Ma. Forgive me.
Wait. I hear him now. His
very big footsteps like an elephant. Theyre
coming down the stairs. Jing Jun, I
shout. Stop and talk. Very important.
Sorry, Pops, he
shouts, passing me. Gotta run. Big date. Give
me a call.
You think maybe a 45-year-old
son could visit his mother and me? I mean, him
living upstairs rent-free. Its time to call