A child means good luck in China. If a family has a lot of children, that symbolizes they will be a big happy family. Unfortunately, all Chinese families could only have one baby starting in 1980 because of the One Child Policy. There was a baby boom after World War II ended in 1945. My parents both born during that baby boom, so they both have five siblings. As a result, the Chinese government decided to control the birth rate. They introduced the One Child Policy, which is also called “family planning”. Obviously, this law means all families can only have one baby, and it was a serious law. If people were going to have the second child, they had to get the abortion by the law. If they insisted on keeping the second baby, they would incur twenty to fifty thousand penalty. This was a huge amount for an ordinary family in the 1980s. Moreover, the people who were working for the government such as at the education department, medical department, or the big companies owned by the government, would get fired if their family decided to keep the second baby. For this reason, the children who were born from the 1980s to 1990s, become the lonely generation, and I am one of them. I always wished I had siblings to play with me when I was younger, and to share the stress and responsibility with me.
I had a lonely childhood before I went to school at age six. I lived with my parents and my grandma until she passed away. My father is the last son that my grandma had, he had all the love from my grandma. My grandpa passed before I was born, and taking care of my grandma and living with her was the responsibility automatically put on my father. My grandma was diabetic, and her eyes were influenced by her high blood sugar level, so she could barely see. Due to this situation, she couldn’t play with me, couldn’t read my favorite Snow White story to me, and couldn’t take me to the park, which is only five minutes away from home. Also, I was not allowed to go out and play with other children, because I was too young, and my parents were afraid somebody would kidnap me. Furthermore, my parents always needed to work, and I always asleep before they come back home. All I could do, was just play with my dolls, Lego, and watch TV by myself. Once in awhile, the little girl from next door would come in front of my home, but I was not tall enough to reach the lock of the gate, and I didn’t want to disturb my grandma’s a nap, so we played across the gate. It was a very boring childhood.
Most people put their hope on their offspring, but I am the only one that my parents have. My parents always think their lives are not going to have some big change, even when they were younger, because they weren’t very educated, so now they are waiting for me to change their life. After I went to school, my parents always told me “you have to study very hard. Knowledge could change your life, make your future better, and then you won’t have to work as hard as I do.” My father was a cook, and he had enough of the poor work environment--hot, wet, busy, long hours, so he always admires people who work in an office. He wants me go to a good college and find a decent job, with a high wage, nice working condition. He used to care about my score very much, so he would get super angry when I got a “C” on a math test. I am bad at math, physics, and chemistry, and there was a test every month at my middle school in China. It was a big pressure to me, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe sometime.
Furthermore, I realized that taking care of my parents is going to be a big responsibility for me when they grow older. My father is a diabetic, too. I guess it is inherited from my grandma. Therefore, I need to take him to the hospital for a regular check up. Because he doesn’t speak English at all, I need to stay with him all the time. On another side, another grandma, my mother’s mother, had Alzheimer’s when she alive. She went outside and got lost a few times. Therefore, my mom and her siblings decided to take turns to watching her 24 hours a day. She was lucky, because she had six children to take care of her when she was old and sick. I always worry about my mother will get the same illness from her mother, because I realized that she has poor memory just like my grandma. Sometimes I jokingly told my mother “Try to activating your brain little bit more, so you won’t get the same illness as grandma. You don’t have six children as grandma, so if you got the illness like that, that will kill me”. Taking care of my parents would be a responsibility like a big rock on my back, and I am sure the rock will become heavier and heavier as my parents getting older.
Somebody who have many siblings told me “being the only kid in the family is so lucky, so you don’t have to fight with your sister all the time, and you can have all the love from your parents.” I don’t agree with that, because of all the stress, responsibility, and my lonely childhood. There is a maxim popular on Weibo, which is a popular Chinese social media, like a Chinese Facebook. “I afraid of getting sick, afraid of getting into accident, afraid to move far away from home, because I am the only one that my parents have.” If I create my own family in the future, I hope I will have more than one child, so that will make their life easier if I am lucky.