My last trip with my mother was in the summer of a few years ago. We went to Qingdao together. As expected, my mother complained all the time during the whole process, holding a small jar of alcohol cotton in her hand, without any fun. This is why, for a long time, I resisted going out with my mother. Even before going out, I was always worried. For the next few days, I got along day and night and looked at each other. We didn’t have the same intimate feeling as other mothers and daughters. I didn’t sleep in the same house with her for a long time, so I was surprised by the uneasiness and constraint in my heart. Now that I think about it, this trip is like paying off a debt for many years, which gives me some peace of mind in the rest of the time – speaking, I finally went out to play with my mother and took her on the first plane in her life.
To travel with my mother, I must sign up for a tour group. Before that, I had been a backpacker for many years, stayed in youth hotels many times, saved up the money of my air ticket and flew to Europe for more than ten hours, and crowded in the houses of various friends to have fun with the least money.
She knew all this, but because these things had never happened before her eyes, she just thought she didn’t know. For her, there are too many difficulties and obstacles, too many deceptions, too much violence and too many unknowable factors in the world. Only the tour group is safe because it is a group and mother habitually wants to be with the group. But at the same time, the group also disgusts her mother. She doesn’t like this person and that person in the tour group. In her heart, she hates to stay with too many people she doesn’t know, greet each other and eat at the same table.
From the moment she entered the hotel, she pinched her can of alcohol cotton in her hand – for more comfort, we have already signed up for a very expensive group and stayed in a very good hotel, but she always insisted on her logic, that is, the outside things are not allowed to be used, she doesn’t need all the starched towels and bathrobes, she must take out the toiletries in plastic bags by herself, she thinks the outside things are dirty, she doesn’t even want to use the toilet in the hotel. Who knows what kind of people lived here before, who knows who used the toilet and bathtub here, she took toothbrush, cup, countless paper towels, disinfectant, slippers, towels, pajamas, armed to the teeth, invulnerability. When alone with her stayed in a hotel, I absolutely couldn’t sleep without pajamas. She felt that everything was dirty, including bed sheets. She clearly understood the glare and still felt it was a threat.
For the next few days, she spent the rest of her life in extreme distrust of the outside world. In fact, this distrust has always existed in her life, but she has already established an established order in her daily life and has been operating according to this order for a long time. I feel normal. For example, she would never go to the ATM of the bank to withdraw money. She felt that the machine was unsafe. Even if she took a small amount of money, she would have to go to the bank and stand in front of the counter. When shopping, she would never swipe her card. she kept nagging me not to swipe my card either. she said, you have no idea how much money they have swiped from you. Or, in a house with three rooms and one hall, she is not willing to invite a hourly worker to clean the house. She is afraid that there is an outsider and a stranger in the house. She feels that the stranger will threaten her safety. She said that if there is a hourly worker to clean the house, she also needs to keep an eye on the person all the time, which will only make her more tired. So I didn’t dare to tell her at all. When I rented a house outside, I gave the keys to the house to the hourly workers, just hoping that she would clean it when I was not at home, so it wouldn’t be a bother to me. I trust the outside world too much, which is the opposite of my mother.
However, once the mother’s insecurity is separated from her living environment, it will be magnified infinitely. All her alert radars will be turned on, and she will always be in a state of alert. Every time the tour guide takes us to a scenic spot, if we need to buy tickets, my mother must think over and over again. what she worries about is not whether the scenic spot is worth going to, but whether the tour guide is cheating us of our money. all the reports on the dark side of society seem to be in her heart. she is a living safety manual, reminding me of the dangers that I cannot see at all. The seafood stalls in the evening don’t even need to think about it. Mom never goes to places that look a little dirty for dinner. So we finally broke away from the group. I took her wandering on the streets in the downtown area. As a result, she actually went to eat a Hangzhou dish. Well, she only ate what she had eaten. She felt it was dangerous to eat fresh things that she didn’t know. She was unwilling to try again. She was unwilling to do all those experiments that could make life easier and more pleasant.
Now that I think about it, my mother has never told me anything about the beauty of this world since I was very young. She just reminded me repeatedly how dangerous and terrible this world is. Any person chatting up on the road can’t be ignored, no one is trustworthy, everyone lives for himself, only the family is safe, only the parents won’t hurt me. I wonder why her education can bring up children like me, probably because those fears are her fears, not mine. I don’t know what her life was like when she was young. She never told me this part. This is also one of her safety measures. She never told me what the Cultural Revolution was like, because she thought it could not be said. She thought it was a very troublesome thing to be interested in politics. After graduation, I went to work for a newspaper. Her biggest worry was also not to run along any political lines or touch politics. I know, in her heart of hearts, there is always a shadow, the world must have hurt her to some extent, making her become what she is now, timid, hiding like a snail in her so-called safe fortress.
However, I have never been hurt. The world has always been kind to me and the people around me are kind faces. Therefore, I cannot understand and accept her fear, because it is her own fear. She gave birth to me, but she cannot pass on her fear to me. This is unfair and I do not need to accept it.
I hope she will put down the alcohol cotton in her hand and go to the seaside with me to eat seafood stalls. In those dirty places, blow the sea breeze and drink beer. I want to tell her that there are many, many joys, many smiles and many, many kind people in life. But I really don’t know, can I tell her this, I don’t know how to dispel the shadow in her heart.