This year was different from usual.
Tang Jinyu’s family doesn’t have to go to his grandma’s house on the second day of the New Year. Grandpa Chen was very interested in that mine in Yunnan Province, he came back a few days ago and couldn’t wait to go back again by himself.
Grandma Chen didn’t want him to suffer outside alone. She and her husband were a couple that had struggled together when they were young. Since the old man insisted on going, she didn’t want to stay at home for New Year by herself, so she packed up her things and went to live with him in the mountains together.
The two elders of the Chen family were not there, and Chen Wenqian didn’t stay for long, he ended up following along with his parents in the south.
The other juniors of the Chen family have been notified that they wouldn’t be gathered together this year.
Chen Suling and her eldest sister Chen Qiuguo were worried, they called and asked their parents several times, and grandma Chen said to let them spend the New Year at home. Grandma Chen also told her little daughter to get along well with her son-in-law and take good care of their child.
”Don’t treat Xiao Tang badly just because our family is rich, you guys are always busy with work, and must be considerate with one another, you know?” Grandma Chen said over the phone, “Back when Xiao Tang was chasing you, he went to the construction site and saw your father. He thought your father was moving bricks there, and without saying anything, he took off his coat and carried the cement all morning. His shoulders were red when he carried the heavy sack. Your father asked him to have a rest, and he sat down and said that your father was hardworking…such a good son-in-law to have, you must be kinder to Xiao Tang!”
”What did my second brother say when he went back?”
”He said you pinched Xiao Tang’s ears!”
Chen Suling didn’t hold back her smile. Mrs. Chen was still telling her daughter over the phone, telling her not to be so mean at home, “We are all adults, even if you give him any face, you can’t pinch his ears in front of Xiaoyu! How would Xiao Tang be able to stand up for himself in front of his child?”
Chen Suling groaned: “Oh, mom, Xiaoyu is too young to understand what that means.”
Grandma Chen became even more angry: “Nonsense, what type of thing wouldn’t Xiaoyu understand about! The last time he visited me, he told the story of the crow drinking water!”
Chen Suling quickly admitted her mistake, took her son over and asked him to shout “Grandma Happy New Year’s Day” a few times. The child’s voice was soft and sweet, and she made the old lady laugh again.
Before returning to her family’s house, Chen Suling was thinking about visiting Elder Tang. Tang Hongjun just had a few days off before he’s on vacation, and should not be wasted.
This is the era where the next song takes 20 minutes to play, and where photos take a long time to transmit across the Internet. During the Chinese new year, people feel that they have to visit relatives and friends to celebrate the New Year, with firecrackers to make things fun. The entire streets were decorated with red colors, as children were running around to play with firecrackers.
It’s like this every year in the apartment building. The firecrackers and fireworks in grocery stores were the most popular. Almost, all the boys carried a few boxes of firecrackers in their pockets. The younger boys and girls prefer the punk firework, and they couldn’t wait to light one in the yard downstairs as soon as it gets dark, and swing the firework wand around them, and see it hiss and burn beautiful fireworks.
On the 29th day before the start of New Year, Teacher Xia prepared food for everyone on New Year’s Eve, to celebrate with Xia Ye ahead of time.
He felt a little guilty, because the City Symphony Orchestra agreed to perform a New Year’s concert in Yucheng. In order to perform on that day, he would have to take a flight tomorrow morning, and would not be back until eight days after the New Year.
For a week, let alone the New Year, he can’t even take annual leave to accompany his son for New Year’s.
Xia Ye didn’t feel much. He didn’t have any special sense of ritual for these festivals. Even during winter vacation, he only felt that he had more time to spend on his computer. Since he spent most of his time online with no interruptions, it became easier for him to be more efficient.
When Mr. Xia insisted on doing the dishes after dinner, Xia Ye knew why and he said with a smile:”Dad, you really don’t need to feel that you owe me anything, aren’t you just leaving for one week? My school gave us a two-week vacation. When you come back, you can cook for me for a week, I like the roast ribs that you make. The school cafeteria also makes them, but they don’t really taste that good, they make it taste bad.”
Teacher Xia quickly agreed, and sighed again: “Dad will take a vacation after this performance, so I didn’t have to wrong you.”
Xia Ye said while cleaning the dishes: “No, I can go to the next door when there’s no food to eat.”
Teacher Xia was stunned and looked at his son’s expression carefully. He was naturally a little surprised when he heard him say this, “Xiaoye, you wouldn’t mind eating next door?”
Xia Ye said: “Yes, my uncle cooks very deliciously, Xiaoyu and I ate a whole plate of the roasted soybeans he made last time.”
”Then New Year, you also…”
Xia Ye was a little confused, and looked up at him: “Why wouldn’t I spend time with them on New Year? Yesterday my aunt also came over and said that I should go to eat next door tomorrow.”
Teacher Xia blinked and nodded with a smile, “Yes, of course!”
Xia Ye bowed his head again and went to wash the bowl again, “Dad, according to the weather forecast today, it’s 30 degrees over there, it’s different over there, remember to bring some short-sleeved clothes, but don’t forget to take some jacket with you, it will be cold by the time you come back.”
Teacher Xia wanted to say something but didn’t know what to say. He just felt completely at ease in his heart. He knows Xia Ye better than anyone else. His son is good at everything, but it is difficult for him to get close to others, but once he has entrusted his feelings, he would care for them the most.
Xia Ye just had him, but now it’s fine. Xia Ye has so many family members that he can depend on.
Teacher Xia relaxed his mind and went to the airport with his suitcase the next morning.
At noon on New Year’s Eve, Xia Ye was called by Chen Suling to have a meal. He thought that at most he would go to the next door to have a meal, but he didn’t expect to see a row of suitcases, from small to big. Each suitcase had almost the same colors, like a matching set.
Chen Suling asked him, “Xiaoye, which one of these is better?”
Xia Ye pointed to one of them randomly and said, “The blue one is good, auntie, is your company making suitcases?”
Chen Suling smiled and said: “No, I cooperated with other factories and sent a few of them.” She pushed the blue suitcase and put it next to Xia Ye and praised him, “Xiaoyu also thinks the blue one is pretty. This one suits you best, here take it!”
Xia Ye declined and said, “No, auntie, I don’t need it.”
Tang Hongjun came back from outside with the child in his arms, when he heard this sentence and said with a smile: “Come out, let’s pack up after dinner and set off.”
Xia Ye was stunned, “Uncle, where are we going?”
Tang Hongjun took off the child’s shoes and asked him to change his slippers to go in. He shook his snow-stained boots and said, “We’re going to see your dad, when your father told me about this, I thought that Yucheng is a good place we can go to. We can’t let your father be there by himself, let’s all go together! I booked tickets for Xiaoyu’s grandfather, and the plane will arrive in Yucheng in the evening! I didn’t tell your dad about this because I wanted to surprise him, Ha ha!”
Xia Ye didn’t expect this at all. After asking a few questions during the meal, he realized that Tang Hongjun’s decision was also made just now.
”If it weren’t difficult to buy New Year tickets, we would have gone with your father this morning.” Tang Hongjun felt that it was a pity, he tore a chicken leg for each of the two children and advised them to eat more. “Xiaoye, eat first. Your aunt has already prepared everyone’s clothes, you can just get some of your things in a moment, and don’t worry about anything.”
The adults in the family had already decided, and Xia Ye agreed.
Chen Suling carefully prepared things for the family to travel. The things Xia Ye and Tang Jinyu had were almost the same, except for the size difference. Even their water bottles were of the same style.
Tang Jinyu’s pink-blue water bottle has a cartoon design on it, and Xia Ye’s one was dark blue with a string of letters printed on it. It is the most popular style nowadays.
Tang Jinyu didn’t have a suitcase, only carrying a small backpack of the same style as Xia Ye, he was sitting on Tang Hongjun’s white suitcase, holding a small car with both hands, and set off his small “plane”.
Something went wrong during the trip and Xia Ye became airsick.
Chen Suling brought first class seats, but there wasn’t that much space. She can only ring a bell for a flight attendant to give a few pills for him to take. After a while, she saw Xia Ye’s face improve, but she still blamed herself: “Blame me, I didn’t expect you to be airsick. You should remind me to buy some peppermint oil next time.”
Xia Ye shook his head lightly, “Auntie, I’m fine, this always happens, I’ll just sleep for a while.”
When Chen Suling heard this, she stopped disturbing him and let him rest.
The four-hour journey was a bit boring. Chen Suling and Tang Hongjun got up early in the morning, and they were tired at the moment and fell asleep soon.
When Chen Suling woke up from her light sleep halfway through the journey, her first reaction was to check on her child, but realized that her child that was sitting next to her was gone. She was startled, she unfastened her seat belt, and looked around to find her child. Her fingers trembled slightly, but then she saw a small familiar figure in the next row-Tang Jinyu went to the opposite seat, and was sitting on Xia Ye’s lap, and was hugged by his brother to look outside.
Chen Suling heart that was raised was finally put down, her whole body was covered in cold sweat. She glanced at Tang Hongjun that was on the other side, her husband was still asleep and didn’t even know that their child had run off on his own. She couldn’t help but smack her husband on the arm, Tang Honjun woke up in fright, and without even opening his eyes, he said, “Yes, that value can’t be used, then we will recalculate…”
Chen Suling was so angry that she didn’t know whether she should laugh or cry, and whispered to him: “Wake up, look where your child is.”
Tang Hongjun slowly came to his senses, and said in an easy tone: “It turned out to be a dream that scared me. Why did you wake up? It’s still early, let’s go to sleep.”
Chen Suling shook her head and asked him to change positions with herself.
When they boarded the plane, in order to take care of the children, she put Tang Jinyu next to her, and her husband took Xia Ye to another row of seats.
Tang Hongjun discovered that his younger son was coming over when he unfastened his seat belt. His son softly yelled “Dad” , Tang Gong’s heart was sweetened, and he kissed his son several times before changing positions with his wife.
Chen Suling sat down and asked, “Xiaoyu, why didn’t you tell mom that you changed positions?”
”Mom is tired and needs to rest.” The child raised his head and said, then earnestly promised: “I’m by my father and brother, and I won’t go anywhere.”
Chen Suling felt soft, touched his hair, and whispered, “Next time, wake up mommy, okay?”
”And brother is not feeling well, don’t bother brother…”
Xia Ye came to his defense and said: “Auntie, I’m fine, Xiaoyu only wanted to give me mints.”
Chen Suling saw the child holding a box of mints and curiously asked, “Where did this come from?”
”From a Big sister!” Tang Jinyu showed to his mother, not only the box of mints in his hand, but also a few pieces of gum, fruit candy, and even a packet of popping candy in his pocket. After the child showed it, he said seriously: “I didn’t give them to him, my brother only ate the mints.”
Xia Ye helped explain for him, saying that it was given by the flight attendant, and Chen Suling was stunned.
Xia Ye relaxed in his seat, held the child in his arms, and hugged him to look out the window. He didn’t know if it was the effect of air sickness medicine or mint, but he was feeling better now, listening to the child, his mood slowly relaxed.
”Mom, you can see clouds here at night!”
”What color are they?”
”Dark blue and light blue!” The child tilted his head and thought for a while, with a pair of eyes bent into crescents with a smile, and said happily: “It’s the same color as the water bottle that me and my brother have!”
Tang Hongjun sat on the opposite side by himself. After a long time, he finally woke up completely. He cautiously asked his wife, “Suling, when did Xiaoyu move there?”
The corners of Chen Suling’s mouth trembled and she ignored him.
Tang Honjun was very confused: “When did he pass by?”
The author has something to say:
Xiaoyu: I rely on begging for sugar to feed my brother, so happy!