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Keep on reading"Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother"P204-210  

2011-10-13 17:24:48|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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"Amy,"Jed began diplomatically,"everyone's tired.why don't we just----"

I broke in,"Do you know how sad and ashamed my parents would be if they saw this,Lulu---you publicly disobeying me?With that look on your face?You're only hurting yourself.We're in Russia,and you refuse to try caviar!You're like a barbarian.And in case you think you're a big rebel,you are completely ordinary.There is nothing more typical ,more predictable,more common and low,than an American teenager who won't try things.You're boring,Lulu-----boring."

"Shut up,"said Lulu angrily.

"Don't you dare say shut up to me?I'm your mother."I hissed this,but still a few guests glanced over."Stop trying to act tough to impress Sophia."

I hate you,I HATE YOU.This ,from Lulu,was not in a hiss,It was an all-out shout at the top of her lungs.Now the entire cafe was staring at us.

"You don't love me,"Lulu spat out."you think you do,but you don't.You just make me feel bad about myself every second.You've wrecked my life.I can't stand to be around you.Is that what you want?"

A lump rose in my throat.Lulu saw it,but she went on."You're a terrible mother.You're selfish.You don't care about anyone but yourself.What--you can't believe how ungrateful I am?After all you've done for me?everything you say you do for me is actually for yourself."She's just like me,I thought,compulsively cruel."You are a terrible daughter,"I said aloud.

I know---I'm not what you want,I'm not Chinese.I don't want to be Chinese.I HATE my life.I HaTE you,and I HATE this family.I'm going to take this glass and smash it!""Do it,"I dared.Lulu grabbed a glass from the table and threw it on the ground.Water and shards went flying,and some guests gasped.I felt all eyes upon us,a grotesque spectacle.

I'd made a career out of spurning the kind of Western parents who can't control their kids.NOw I had the most disrespectful,rude,violent,out of control kid of all.

Lulu was trembling with rage,and there were tears in her eyes."I'll smash more if you don't leave me alone,"she cried.

I got up and ran.I ran as fast as I could,not knowing where I was going,a crazy forty-six-year-old woman sprinting in sandals and crying.I ran past Lenin's mausoleum and past some guards with guns who I thought might shoot me.

Then I stopped.I had come to the end of Red Square.

And as I walked slowly back across Red Square,I realized that the violin had begun to symbolize oppressoin for me too.Just picturing Lulu's violin case sitting at home by the front door--at the last minute we'd decided to leave it behind,the first time ever---made me think of the hours and hours and years and years of labor fighting aggravation and mysery that we'd endured.For what?I also realized that I was dreading with all my heart what lay ahead.

It occurred to me that this must be how Western parents think and why they so often let their kids give up difficult musical instruments.Why torture yourself and your child?What's the point?If your child doesn't like something-hates it--what good is it forcing her to do it?I knew as a Chinese mother I could never give in to that way of thinking.

I rejoined my family at the GUM cafe.There waiters and other guests averted their eyes.

"Lulu,"I said."You win.It's over.We're giving up the violin."

I wasn't bluffing.I'd always engaged in brinkmanship with Lulu,but this time I was serious.I'm still not exactly sure why.Maybe I finally allowed myself to admire Lulu's immovable strength for what it was,even if I bitterly disagreed her choices.Or maybe it was Katrin,Watching her struggle and seeing what became important to her in those desperate monthes shook things up for all of us.

It could also have been my mother.To me,she'll always be the quintessential Chinese mother.Growing up,nothing was ever good enough for her.("You say you got first place,but actually you only tied for first,right?She used to practice piano with cindy three hours a day untill the teacher gently told her that they'd hit a limit.Even after I became a professor and invited her to some of my public lectures,she always offered painfully accurate criticism while everyone lese was telling me what a good job i'd done.(you get too excited and talk too fast,Try to say cool,and you'll be better)Yet my own Chinese mother had been warning me for a long time that something wasn't working with Lulu."Every child is different,"she said."You have to adjust,Amy,look what happened to your father."She added ominously .

I couldn't lose Lulu.Nothing was more important.So I did the most Western thing imaginable:I gave her the choice.I told her that she could quit the violin if she wanted and do what she liked instead,which at the time was to play tennis

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