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October 2013, vol 8, no 3

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Jianqing Zheng


The kindergarten looked like a ghost house after kids went home at 5 p.m. I was always the last one to be picked up. Sitting on a low stool I looked out desperately. There was no shadow of mom or dad except the bloody sunset on the window. My homeroom teacher became impatient. "Why are your parents always late?" I puckered my lips. An hour later dad appeared at the door, apologizing to the teacher. "You're always late," I poured out my cry in tears. Since I was two years old, my parents decided to send me to a boarding kindergarten so they could devote themselves wholeheartedly to their jobs. Each Monday I begged them to pick me up each afternoon because staying in the kindergarten the whole week made me feel like a homeless child, but they always wheedled me with the same words, "Baby, the kindergarten is good for you. You can learn many, many good things there." Fifty years later I still wonder what good things they learned from my growing up or what good nights they enjoyed without me at home.

winter night
the girl covers her doll
with a blanket