To what extent can intergenerational affection go?

My husband sighed and said to me, “Before we had a son, I never imagined that my dad could be so gentle and kind. Getting spanked was a routine for me when I was a child. Now, no matter how mischievous our son is, his dad always looks at him with a smile, full of admiration. He even personally teaches our child to swim.” So I asked, “How did your dad teach you when you were a child?” He replied, “Teach? He just kicked me into the river.” On the other hand, my dad, when he saw mosquito bites all over our son’s arms one morning, scolded the mosquitoes with compassion, saying, “These darn mosquitoes, why do they only bite the child and not you!” Has anyone else had the experience that after having a child, it feels like the child is the real offspring of the parents?

Grandpa loves wearing street stall clothes.

The first time I received a monthly manuscript fee of three thousand yuan in college, I took the money that hadn’t even warmed up in my card and took the bus back to my hometown. Despite the two-hour bumpy ride, I didn’t feel exhausted.

My purpose was clear: I was determined to buy them clothes with that money, and specifically from a department store, paying cash in hand.

I was so eager to be noticed, to be recognized. Exaggeration aside, taking that three thousand yuan home was purely a moment of “a petty man becoming complacent”.

Once back home, the first thing I did was to call Grandpa back from the field where he was planting vegetable seeds, urging him to dress neatly so we could go to the city.

I remember taking them to the trade department store that opened a Wenfeng outlet, a favorite among the elderly. The clothes there, especially for the middle-aged and the elderly, were quite dashing, often worn by many seniors to “show off” in front of my grandparents.

I had long thought that one day when I earned money, I would definitely buy them a piece.

It was winter at the time, and winter clothes were generally more expensive, ranging between 200 and 600 yuan.

Grandma was okay; she was illiterate and had eye problems, so as soon as she liked something, I immediately let her try it on and bought it right away.

But Grandpa was not so easy to deceive. After looking at the price tag, his face showed his discontent, complaining about how the clothes weren’t as good-looking as the ones he saw at roadside stalls when he went to the market.

He was very stubborn, the kind of stubbornness that makes you angry.

That day, I picked a navy blue thick coat that Grandpa liked, costing over four hundred yuan. He argued with me in the store, and even with the shop assistant and Grandma trying to mediate, Grandpa refused to agree to take the coat.

I had no choice but to give up.

After that day, we had a cold war, with Grandma also complaining about his stubbornness. Was it so wrong for his granddaughter to want to buy him clothes?

He retreated to his room, silently flipping through his well-worn copy of “Selected Works of Mao Zedong”.

The next afternoon, I hurried back to school, taking with me the unpleasantness of the previous day. I swore in frustration that I would never buy clothes for Grandpa again.

Months later, when I started earning manuscript fees of four to five thousand yuan per month, with some savings each month, life was quite comfortable. I proposed buying new clothes for Grandpa and Grandma again, noting the change of seasons.

Grandma agreed, suggesting that if I was worried about Grandpa getting angry, I should buy them secretly.

That day, I rummaged through Grandpa’s clothes like a secret agent, trying to remember his size to buy him a fitting piece.

But during the search, an old, somewhat tattered notebook caught my attention.

Out of curiosity, I opened it, only to find myself unable to hold back tears after reading the contents.

It was an account book, starting from my elementary school years.

Crowded and cramped entries detailed expenses, from the monthly cost of bus passes to supplementary class fees for my art studies. Each number, big or small, represented Grandpa’s hard work.

The bills from elementary school were all quite fragmented. Before I transferred to a school in the city in fourth grade, Grandpa and Grandma’s greenhouse business was doing well. We were carefree, as were they.

When I graduated from elementary school, I ranked 26th in the county, and Dad was thrilled. Both the second and third middle schools contacted me to waive the tuition fees, and he laughed heartily over the phone.

Unexpectedly, I chose to give up the tuition waiver because all my friends were going to the best affiliated middle school at the time, and I insisted on joining them.

Grandpa gritted his teeth and immediately withdrew 3,900 yuan for a semester’s tuition fee.

To support my education, Grandpa and Grandma stopped operating their ten or twenty greenhouses. The modest prosperity they once enjoyed soon turned into financial strain.

I quickly became sensible under the harsh realities of life. I didn’t ask for money to buy snacks, but Grandma would still give me four yuan daily as if it were a routine.

The school was located in the mountains, with evening self-study sessions ending at seven or eight o’clock. Without a vehicle to pick me up, the four yuan allowed me to split a taxi home with other students after managing dinner.

That year of junior high was the toughest for my father. He had just started a new family, my brother was born, and he alone shouldered the burden of four people while I studied back home.

Still, Dad returned the tuition fees to Grandpa, insisting that as the father, he should pay the tuition, while Grandpa would try to cover the rest.

Thus, during those years I studied in the city, Grandpa and Grandma took on as much of the living and school miscellaneous fees as they could.

The handwriting in the account book was beautiful, each entry detailed. I even saw at the end of my junior high year, Grandpa had written a small note: “Ensure xx has 6 yuan per day for high school.”

That was his commitment, his tender love for me.

Grandpa always had an account book in his heart, thinking about how to work harder and earn more as he aged, so he could raise me into an adult and truly send me out into the world.

During high school, I was in a car accident.

My left ankle was shattered. Grandpa stayed by my hospital bed all night, his eyes red. Grandma said that in all the years they’d been married, she’d never seen him cry until that night in the hallway.

My foot hurt, but I knew better than to cry out in front of Grandpa. I understood that while the pain was in my body, the agony was in his heart.

Over the many difficult turns of fate, I often complained about life, feeling its many hardships.

Yet, in my childhood, I would wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and overhear them talking in their room, worrying and pitying me.

“Why does our xx have to suffer so much? She’s so sensible, standing next to the shelf, staring straight ahead, not even asking me to buy anything.”

Eventually, I recovered and went back to school.

Grandpa, no longer confident in my commuting, started doing harder work again, like planting trees and repairing roads. He calculated earning a bit more to let me board near the school with a teacher.

The extra 550 yuan a month, along with the cost of art materials and tuition fees in the second year of high school, all came from his hard-earned money.

In college, I studied fine arts, which meant even higher costs for materials and tuition. Dad provided the tuition, and each month, he gave me 600-800 yuan for living expenses.

I broke down in front of Grandpa, saying I didn’t want to study anymore. The little money was not enough for my expenses. I mentioned that my cousin (my dad’s niece) had 1,000 yuan a month for living expenses three years ago when she went to university.

My grandfather said, “If it’s not enough, I’ll give it to you.”

On the day of university registration, my grandfather and I took the suitcase to school together. The bus was very old, and the road out of the county was not repaired.

The whole city was dilapidated and violent. At that time, my 69-year-old grandfather said to me, “In four years, I’ll really send you out.”

I turned my head and looked out the window, and a thin layer of mist rose in my eyes. I knew that as long as I didn’t really go out into society, he didn’t dare to get old.

After we landed, because we were not familiar with the road, we took a taxi for the first time and got off at the main gate of the school. The driver issued a ticket for 26 yuan, and my grandfather didn’t mutter that it was too expensive for the first time.

The main gate of the school was magnificent. We stood at the gate and stared for a few minutes. My grandfather said, “The gate is really impressive. Take a picture of me.” His expression was very proud, and he even told me that I must print it out in the future.It was a show-off, a “finally”, that an old man like me who faces the yellow earth and backs towards the sky can also send his child to the university campus.

My grandfather took me to the dormitory building and left. Coincidentally, a classmate from high school went to the same university as me. My grandfather took the classmate’s car home and gave me the travel money he had before leaving. He said, “If you don’t have money, call home and try not to use the money in the card. Save it.”

I spent money very quickly in the first two months, and I had to buy everything. My mother also started to intervene in my life at that time, but the form was simple and roughness, giving money directly. It’s not much. She was afraid of my dad, afraid to give me more, and my father didn’t want to take care of me even more. This reason is valid. I can love you and spend money on you, but your dad also needs to spend money. I can’t let your aunt and younger brother take advantage of you. I understand her psychology. It’s only human. He and my father were absent from my growth for so many years. No one is worse, but I know that it is my grandfather who always gives me full love.

Nowadays, I have earned money. My grandfather didn’t believe it at first, then he doubted it, and then he was half-believing and half-doubting until I bought a house three years after graduation. I showed him my house property certificate, and only then did he really believe it. But he was still frugal and preferred to buy street vendor goods on the sidewalk.

He was satisfied and gratified. Five or six years ago, when I earned three or four thousand yuan from writing, he couldn’t afford to wear clothes worth four hundred yuan. Nowadays, my monthly income has increased by more than ten times, and he finally wears clothes worth four or five hundred yuan with ease.

He is already 76 years old, his logic is not as rigorous as mine, his thinking is not as agile as mine, and he occasionally makes jokes when speaking, but he still loves to use the “Selected Works of Mao Zedong” he read to teach me to be a down-to-earth person and accomplish things steadfastly. There was such a couplet in “Selected Works of Mao Zedong”, which my grandfather always hung on his lips: “The reeds on the wall have a heavy head and a light root.” “The bamboo shoots in the mountains have a sharp mouth, thick skin, and an empty belly.” I think the reason why I can practice writing like a monk for 8 years is that my grandfather’s bones have faith and sincerity, which are my sharp swords that go forward without hesitation.


My father-in-law passed away from cancer. In his final moments, he had already fallen into a coma, surrounded by the whole family. No one could elicit a response from him, except for my son, his only grandson. When my son called out to him, “Grandpa,” my father-in-law managed to respond with a faint “Hmm” from his comatose state. Instantly, everyone there burst into tears.

My son called him grandpa twice. He answered “Hmm” twice, and on the third call, there was no response. At that time, my son was only six years old, not understanding much. In the north, it’s customary to hold the wake until the third day for the funeral. On the first day, I asked him to kowtow in front of his grandpa’s spiritual tablet, and he did. On the second and third days, he no longer needed my prompting. He would occasionally run to the spiritual tablet on his own to kowtow to grandpa. I knew he missed his grandpa. He might not understand the concept of death, but he knew that if he missed grandpa, a kowtow would let grandpa know.

As I write this, my eyes can’t help but feel a bit teary. I will never forget those two faint “Hmm” from my father-in-law in his coma.

This must be mentioned about our elderly grandmother.

I don’t live in the same city as my grandma.

Once, my parents went to visit her.

I didn’t go with them because of my busy work schedule.

The nearly ninety-year-old lady, upon knowing this, went to the supermarket.

A helpful salesperson in the supermarket enthusiastically asked, “What are you looking to buy, ma’am?”

Grandma replied, “I want to buy some food for my grandson.”

The salesperson said, “The children’s food section is over there, let me help you. How old is your grandson? I can give you some recommendations.”

Grandma said, “My grandson is over thirty…”

The salesperson, trying not to laugh, said, “Well… you can just choose anything then…”

This was a story my parents told me when they returned years ago.

No matter how old I am,

In my grandma’s eyes, I am always that kid who loves snacks.

According to my aunt,

The happiest thing for our elderly grandmother is

When she talks about her family while exercising in the park,

“I have six grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

Then she proudly adds in front of her admiring friends,

“I also have five great-grandchildren and great-granddaughters.”

The provided paragraphs are written in Chinese.

My dad has been a lifelong smoker, a typical old smoker.

When my daughter was born, he was so happy. Little did we expect that he would cry when he held my daughter, but he was fine with other people! It really got him down.

He tried various ways to hold the baby, singing, talking, rocking her, and every trick in the book.

One day, after he had finished smoking, he suddenly had an epiphany. Could it be that the baby doesn’t like the smell of smoke? So, he refrained from smoking for a day, and the next morning, he rushed to hold the baby, and surprisingly, she didn’t cry!

He smoked again, and she cried again.

We figured out the problem, and my dad, who had been smoking for decades, quit smoking just to hold my daughter. Even now, when she’s in her teens, he hasn’t picked it up again.

Isn’t this a classic example of a cross-generational bond?

My grandfather, a veteran who served in the Korean War as a soldier and even held the position of an armed forces minister, when he saw me, he would dutifully carry me to the convenience store, rain or shine, 365 days a year, without fail.

I am the first grandchild in the family. Despite the prevailing preference for sons over daughters in the Chaozhou region, my grandfather still had some regrets about me being a girl. However, none of this hindered his indulgence in me.

To what extent did he spoil me? Once, he had to attend an important provincial conference in Guangzhou. At that time, there were no high-speed trains or expressways, and the journey took a whole day and night by train. When he learned of this plan, he thought that the daily trips to the convenience store for biscuits after meals would be disrupted, so he started crying. He cried so much that the old man eventually gave in and took me, a three-year-old, with him to the conference in Guangzhou. Later, there was another time when he had to attend a national conference in Tianjin. I repeated my tactics, but that was too far away. The old man pretended to agree and sneaked away while I was still asleep! I was angry at home for a long time. When he returned from Tianjin, he brought me a snack called “卟卟粒” that I had never seen before. He tried to cheer me up in a low and humble voice. At that time, this snack was really high-end!

After my grandfather retired, he became a self-taught musician, learning to play seven different instruments. He frequently gathered with a group of friends to play music, and he enjoyed it immensely. He even participated in the New Year’s Folk Music Concert organized by the City Retirees Center several times. His most proficient instrument was the erhu. When I was young, I learned to play the violin, but later, I found it fun to learn the erhu with him. He was overjoyed and immediately bought me a very expensive erhu, patiently teaching me note by note and tune by tune.

Later, when I went to college far away from home, every time I reported any of my achievements to him, whether it was joining the school’s debate team or receiving a scholarship and pursuing postgraduate studies, it all became his capital to boast about.

Years later, when I went abroad for academic visits, I would call him and my grandmother internationally every once in a while. He always advised me not to be frugal, to eat whatever I liked, and to buy whatever I wanted. He would say, “If you run out of money, I’ll send you some US dollars.” Under this constant encouragement, I gained some extra weight during my time in the United States.

Even after several years of marriage and the birth of my children, when I returned home, the old man greeted me with a smile and said, “Sister, you’re back!” It was as if I was forever the child with braided hair who had not grown up.

Memories are always so interesting. How wonderful it would be to live in memories forever.

This year marks the eleventh year since my grandfather left me.

Let’s not dwell on these sentimental ten years of life and death.

But if the memories of a past life are not forgotten,

Why not come into my dreams and let me have the last remnants of warmth?

Grandfather, my aunt has gone to find you.

You have reunited in heaven.

I’m on the verge of tears.

When I was a child, I was mischievous, and my dad used a belt to discipline me.

Now that my son is mischievous, I gave him a gentle tap with a rubber stick, but he still used a belt to discipline me.

I’ve got this question, hahaha.

My father-in-law, at the age of fifteen, joined the army and fought in the Vietnam War, a tough and resolute man.

When he was young, there was one incident where he kicked his son from one end of the bed to the other with a single kick, simply because the child was being a bit fussy.

As the child grew a bit older, he tied him to the back of a bicycle with a rope and chased after him, while his son ran ahead.

Crying and running at the same time, with tears and snot flying in the air.

Later, as he grew older and had a granddaughter, his love for her was boundless. He would come up with various ways to prepare food for his granddaughter every day and couldn’t resist hugging and kissing her when he saw her.

One day, his granddaughter gave him a small cookie and showed it off to everyone at home.

Later, I asked my daughter why she suddenly treated her grandpa so nicely.

She said, “Because I’m already full.”

Listening to this made me feel incredibly humbled.

When my dad saw me,

When my dad saw my son,

In my memory, my grandfather has always possessed the “Druid” attribute. He could clear his own roof, eat his own eggplants, tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, and zucchini all year round… The chickens he raised laid eggs every day without fail; his rabbits gave birth to baby rabbits in litters; he grazed cattle for the production team, and the cattle and sheep were plump and healthy; he even used condensed milk and powdered milk to raise weak little kittens…

I was his first granddaughter, and he cherished me immensely. He couldn’t read, didn’t even finish elementary school, and only knew that his name was “Yashou,” but he didn’t know which characters were used to write it. People often teased him about his name, saying that the “Ya” in “Yashou” was the “duck” in “duck.” He didn’t like his name and was quite superstitious about others calling him by his full name. From his youth to old age, whenever someone called him by his full name, he would get angry, and he had even chased people down to fight them for doing so!

Until one day, a neighbor instigated me to call him by his full name…

I was only two years old at the time, an early talker, and I smiled and called him “Yayayay, Yayasou,” while a group of mischievous onlookers gathered at the door. My dad’s face changed, and he quickly came over to pull me away. However, my grandfather’s reaction was completely unexpected to everyone. He exclaimed in delight, “She can speak! My granddaughter can speak!”

My mom said that on that day, my grandfather was so excited that he rushed out and slaughtered a chicken just to make chicken soup for me.

Besides the mother hen, my grandfather had also killed a turkey for me. It was during the early days of turkey farming when people were not very familiar with its taste yet, and my grandfather was one of the first to receive turkey chicks as a farmer.

One day, as I was passing by the chicken coop, I was bullied by a tall turkey. I cried and complained to my grandfather, describing incoherently:

“Xiao huo ji (young rooster), xiao huo ji (young rooster) zhua wo (grabbed me)…”

Without a second thought, my grandfather grabbed a chicken feather duster and rushed out, saying, “Who’s this young man who’s so despicable?! Daring to ‘zhua’ my granddaughter?!”. However, after he found out that it wasn’t a “young man” but a “young rooster,” he turned back with the same determination, this time with a machete in hand.

Turkey meat, in any case, wasn’t very tasty.

My first swear word was also taught by my grandfather. He didn’t have much education, and “ba ta ma ri” was his common catchphrase. Coincidentally, when I started learning to speak, I was often around him… You can imagine how scary it is for a two or three-year-old child to utter such words. For a while, my mom didn’t allow me to see my grandfather, and she used “no swearing” as a condition to negotiate with my grandfather. For my sake, my grandfather actually gave up his more than fifty years of catchphrase!

My grandfather was also a versatile skilled worker. He knew carpentry, roofing, stonemasonry… He knew it all, and there were always a lot of tools in the house. In my fifth grade year, after school, I was playing with boys, and I reached into a rockery cave to grab a bat, but it got stuck and I couldn’t pull it out. My classmates went home to pass the message, and my dad told me that my grandfather was coming to rescue me.

During leisure time, my grandfather told me stories. He talked about strange incidents he encountered when he was young as a forest ranger; he talked about how skilled his grandfather was at fishing, and whenever he wanted to eat fish, his grandfather would give him all the fish; he talked about his mother and sighed when he mentioned her because she had suffered a lot. His father was a second-generation heir who smoked away the family fortune and didn’t live past thirty; he talked about his own grandfather, whom he had never met, a warrior under the martial arts examination, who had received a special plaque from the imperial court…

I asked him where that plaque was, and he said that during the most difficult winter, his mother used it as firewood.

When I finished junior high school, my grandfather always asked my father to take him out to have fun. We formed a strange travel group of three generations, driving around Dali and Lijiang by car. My grandfather was stubborn and would enter a certain scenic spot without a senior citizen’s ticket if he heard that there was a discount for the elderly. When the staff asked for his senior citizen ID, he didn’t have it with him, and my father said he would pay if necessary. However, when he heard that the ticket cost 60 yuan, he was completely unwilling. A stubborn little old man squatted right at the ticket booth. My father came all the way just to avoid wasting gas, so he planned to take me to the scenic spot and go around quickly before picking him up. This decision scared the ticket staff so much that they refused to accept the senior citizen ID and just wanted him to leave!

During his last ten years, my grandfather lived in a house. He had some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and would get lost when he went out, so he didn’t go out the front door and didn’t step foot outside. He planted a vegetable garden and raised rabbits and chickens on the balcony of his house. At first, I was worried he might feel lonely, but when I visited him on his balcony, I saw that his living conditions were very good. Later, when I visited him again, I found out that he lived in a collectively-owned house built by the village where he was well taken care of with water, electricity, and toilet facilities. My third uncle even hired someone to load soil onto the roof for my grandfather to have his own vegetable garden. Since then, fresh vegetables and eggs from his rabbits and chickens were always available for us. Standing on the roof, it was sunny and blue skies could be seen from far away. The rooftops of neighboring houses formed a continuous patchwork, and occasionally cats would run around communicating with each other. It gave me a sense of freedom and openness. A rocking chair, a radio, and his beloved farming tools along with his devoted grandmother…If only time could stop at this moment. As he aged, his appetite decreased day by day, from drinking porridge to only drinking milk powder. It seemed like he was ready to return to being a baby. I heard from my second uncle that the day before he passed away, he suddenly became very energetic and said that many people had come to visit him at home. My second uncle thought he was just confused and didn’t pay much attention to it. But that night, he passed away. Everyone didn’t let me go to see him off. With a six-month-old pregnancy, I felt guilty and sad. Suddenly, I realized how indifferent I had been towards him before. I jumped into my car and drove to the entrance of the village, not wanting to tell anyone about it. I wept alone in the car, watching the hearse take him away…My grandfather had thick eyebrows and deep eyes. His nose was high and straight, and he had a strong ethnic appearance. I truly believed that if he wore a fake beard, he would look exactly like Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden!

My father…

Since I was a child, he taught me to have the spirit of enduring hardship and hard work.

Eating should be as efficient as the Red Army fighting battles, every moment counts.

Drinking water should be as enduring as the Red Army crossing grasslands, willing to endure hardships.

So, since I was a child, I’ve eaten quickly, and I drink water directly from the tap.

Now that my daughter is born,

We can’t drink tap water, even though it’s natural Tuo River water, but it has a slightly high alkaline content.

Purifier water can’t be drunk either, it’s too pure, not good for physical development.

Mineral water can’t be drunk either, the mineral content is too high.

I bought several cases of Nongfu Spring on After my daughter returns to our hometown, she drinks tap water, purified water, and mineral water, each in equal parts.

By the way, the water we drink must be room temperature, and it can’t be kept for more than 12 hours after boiling, as it won’t be fresh anymore.

My wife and I used to advise against it at first, but now we let him do as he pleases.

One day after work, I suddenly had a strong craving for KFC, so I bought a box of egg tarts, a hamburger, and a latte. Just as I came out of KFC, I ran into my dad while he was taking a walk. He gave me a lecture, saying I was wasting money, eating this kind of stuff every day, and not gaining weight was strange!

My daughter said she wanted to eat a hamburger but didn’t know which one was delicious. My dad bought one from KFC that sells hamburgers as well. My daughter said she couldn’t finish it, and he told her not to worry, to find the one she liked, and the ones she didn’t like could be given to her dad because he liked them.


The Empress Dowager, behind the curtains, ruled with excessive favoritism.

The mischievous child forged imperial edicts, disrupting the court’s order.

I was raised by my grandparents. Both of them were career military personnel, and after their retirement, they settled in the military retirement community. This community was situated next to a military academy, and it was interconnected with the academy, other military units, and barracks in the vicinity. During my early years, I roamed around this military area every day. It could be said that this military compound was my entire world back then.

One winter, I suddenly noticed a large group of new recruits in the military compound who didn’t wear the cap badges. They were undergoing rigorous training under the command of their squad leaders.

On the training ground, the squad leaders gave sharp orders, with an unwavering tone, and the new recruits were completely focused, executing every move with precision. I suddenly felt that this was a rather enjoyable game, but the prerequisite was becoming a squad leader. Remembering that I had learned marching in kindergarten during physical education class, I immediately turned back home to find my playmates. Unfortunately, probably due to the cold weather, I wandered around the retirement community and couldn’t find anyone. So, I returned home dejectedly, only to discover that my best playmate, my grandfather, was at home reading a book.

And so, on that day, a rare scene unfolded in the military retirement community. In the biting cold wind, there was an elderly man, who in his teens had wielded a large knife on the battlefield, engaged in hand-to-hand combat, fought against Japanese soldiers, battled the Nationalist forces, confronted American invaders, studied in the Soviet Union, and tasted foreign ink, all while serving as the deputy commander of the artillery of the military district. He was dressed in thick winter clothes, wore a cotton hat with earflaps, tightened his belt, and, under the rhythmless commands of his young grandson, marched in lockstep on the road in front of the retirement community, making crisp sounds as he rubbed his hands against his jacket.

Now, my grandfather has passed away for many years, and I am in middle age. During my leisure moments, when I reflect on those days, all I feel is a profound sense of love.

In my youth, I was an overly energetic troublemaker, constantly filled with wild ideas and lacking a sense of propriety. The elderly residents in the retirement community had a special way to describe me: “When the little bull goes to school, the yard turns into a battlefield; when the little bull comes back from school, it’s like the Japanese invaders launching a full-scale assault.” To put it in modern terms, I was the “Champion of Creative Mischief” back then. There’s a local saying that goes, “A nephew follows the maternal uncle,” and this proved true in my case. In our family, the previous two “Champions of Creative Mischief” were my two uncles, to the extent that whenever I caused trouble, my aunt, as the youngest daughter in the family, was the most anxious. Because she had witnessed her two brothers wreaking havoc after getting into trouble, and my grandfather wielding a leather belt like a whip while spinning around like a top.

When I was born, my aunt was still attending college. After graduation, she found a job near the retirement community and married a military academy instructor. So, she continued to live with my grandparents. She witnessed many of my mischievous acts, which left a deep impression on her. As a veteran spectator of the “Creative Mischief Championship” over the years, she believed that in terms of both mischief-making ability and creativity, I surpassed my uncles. However, my grandfather never showed the slightest hint of anger. At most, he would smile and say, “Hehe, this little scamp, Big Bull, is asking for trouble!”

Furthermore, my grandfather had a theory. He repeatedly told our family, “When cadre-soldiers make mistakes, how they are dealt with is the responsibility of the political department. I am the deputy commander in charge of combat training, so those matters are not under my jurisdiction!”

Back then, my father served as the head of the political department of our family! My parents would return home every weekend, during which they conducted a weekly review of my behavior over the past week. As a result, I was quite enthusiastic about attending weekend cram schools because it might save me from punishment.

Now, I have become a father myself, and my father has also left his position as the head of the political department to become a deputy commander. It’s likely that I, as the new head of the political department, will take office soon.

When my daughter was three years old, she wanted to pour her own milk powder but accidentally spilled it. My dad saw it and sighed.

My daughter felt like she had done something wrong, burst into tears, and then something surprising happened to me and my mom. My dad took out another bag of milk powder, opened it, and handed it to my daughter: “Grandpa didn’t scold you. Let’s pour this one on the table together.”

Fortunately, we only visit on weekends, or else my daughter would probably have a full-blown princess complex by now.

My dad, my daughter’s grandfather, is an old soldier who leads a simple and disciplined life, holding himself and others to high standards. Until he met my daughter.

I won’t go into all his deeds, but I’ll share one to represent him. My daughter insisted on going to the flower and bird market in the old city’s alleys. So, the two generations set off on an electric scooter.

When my dad returned, he complained earnestly about the old city not being up to par. His reason was, “Our XXX just wanted an ice cream to cool down, but on that long road, from start to finish, there wasn’t a single professional ice cream shop. They all had pre-packaged ones in small freezers at the store entrances.”

Me: …Sorry, from childhood to adulthood, I’ve been eating those “pre-packaged ones in small freezers.” Who says she must eat from a “professional ice cream shop”? The thrifty and simple old soldier, indeed.

My dad is an extremely serious person, the kind who sits there, and no child dares to approach him to speak.

He became a grandfather at almost 60, and strangely, he’s a bit biased towards boys and doesn’t have a son of his own. Watching his grandson is like having a treasure.

When his grandson goes out with him, there’s no need to take a step. He just extends his arms, and no matter how far they go, grandpa carries him. He can fall asleep against a pillow by 8 p.m., still reluctant to let his grandson walk a single step.

He used to work during the day and go out to play at night, not sleeping and not coming home. Now, as soon as he finishes work, he goes home. When he sees his grandson, he’s satisfied, and he won’t go out to play no matter who calls.

His shopping habits are even more outrageous. Basically, all the toys for my son after he turned one year old are bought by grandpa (before one year old, he was too young, and we didn’t know what he wanted). When the seasons change, he asks me if his beloved grandson has new clothes, reminding me every day. He says to buy branded ones generously, and if I jokingly say that my salary hasn’t been paid yet and I’ll buy them when it comes, the next second, grandpa’s red envelope arrives.

Once, his grandson fed him a piece of cantaloupe, and he was happy for several days. He praised him to everyone he met, saying how smart and filial his grandson was. I think our entire neighborhood probably knows about it.

When my son gets sick, it’s incredible. He can call me eight times in a day. As soon as he takes the fever-reducing medicine, he asks if the fever has gone down. After taking the medicine only twice, he asks if he still coughs. Even my mom says he’s gone crazy.

I was also raised by my grandfather when I was little, walking outside in all kinds of weather, and he would get nervous even if I furrowed my brow.

The love between generations is truly inexplicable.

My spouse hopped over our one-year-old daughter’s head, exclaiming, “Haha! You won’t grow tall!”

My mother-in-law immediately gathered the chopsticks in her hand, holding the tail of the chopsticks in her palm, and the other end, towards my spouse, who had lifted her clothes to reveal her bare lower back due to the movement, and “snap,” she fiercely whipped it up!

Two bright red marks from the chopsticks were left behind.

I laughed so hard, hahaha!

My grandfather was remarkable—a robust figure standing over 1.8 meters tall, a veteran who served in the Korean War, carrying shrapnel from battle wounds that couldn’t be removed. He used to tease me when I was young, saying that he hadn’t earned any family assets. He joked that after he passed away and was cremated, the shrapnel would be a keepsake for me.

He married late, nearly forty at the time, which was unusual back then. My father and aunt were born late compared to their peers. In families where a child was finally born in the later years, they were often indulged to the heavens. But my grandfather, with his military background, once even beat my father to the point of spitting blood when he found him with a forbidden comic book. My father had to spend three days in the clinic.

My father admitted many times that even after getting married and having children, whenever he saw my grandfather’s stern face, his legs would tremble from muscle memory.

Typically, people with hot tempers mellow with age, but not him; he remained stubborn. When my parents got their marriage certificate, it was almost time for the wedding, but the promised company housing kept getting delayed. My grandfather, already retired in his sixties, took a kitchen knife and stormed into the office of the factory manager.

Three or four days later, the housing allocation was finally approved.

I thought that was the last time he would lose his temper, but I was wrong. A year later, I was born prematurely, two months earlier than expected, weighing only 2.4 kilograms, and my vital signs were unstable.

My father, a businessman with a cold and calculating mindset (even to this day), decided to give up on me since my mother and he were young and didn’t want to invest too much in a seemingly doomed child.

Upon hearing this, my grandfather’s eyes widened, and he gave my father two resounding slaps that transported him back to his youth (metaphorically speaking). Then he grabbed a mop from a nearby janitor and stood guard at the entrance of the nursery, proclaiming, “If anyone dares to harm my grandson today, I’ll kill them just like I killed the Americans back then.”

And that’s how I survived to become the delicate and beautiful person I am today.

Of course, all of this is relayed to me by my parents and relatives because in my eyes, my grandfather was an entirely different figure.

Firstly, I thought he had a mischievous side. I had slightly effeminate features when I was young, and while many people now admire my beauty, in those days, it was seen as a liability. People thought I lacked masculinity, especially among the friends of my grandfather, who were mostly military personnel with a strong emphasis on machismo.

Based on his previous behavior, I expected my grandfather to get into fights with them, but since I came into the picture, that aggressive part of him seemed to vanish. Whenever someone teased me, he would just smile and sometimes take me out in outfits that were stereotypically feminine, like dresses with suspenders.

So, for those three or four years, outsiders believed that we had twin siblings in our family.

He took great delight in this.

Secondly, I found him to be incredibly chivalrous. When I reached an age where I had to go to kindergarten, I detested it. So, I faked illness to come back home. After a few incidents, my parents stopped paying attention to me, but my grandfather, who couldn’t stand to see his grandson unhappy, arranged for the teacher to call him directly whenever I pretended to be sick. He made a deal with me: four days of kindergarten a week, and the rest, I had to stay at home.

Every Friday morning, just after finishing breakfast at kindergarten, while the other kids were about to start their morning exercises, I would happily put my face against the iron bars of the school gate, waiting for a sturdy figure carrying a thermos to appear.

Afterward, we would either go hiking or visit the zoo. There was a fantastic street vendor near the entrance that sold delicious fried skewers, generously sauced. Back then, while most kids were saving their allowances for a week to buy remote-controlled cars, I already bought the entire racetrack at the vendor’s stall.

Standing at the vendor’s stall, bathed in the twilight of the setting sun, I would stand there with my hands behind my back, a large group of followers behind me. I would indulge in adolescent fantasies, reciting a slogan in my head: “With the rising sun in the east, I shall remain undefeated; for millennia, I shall rule this world.”

Among the followers, there was a girl who stood out because she didn’t play with remote-controlled cars at all. I never bullied her, but I never allowed the faster cars to race when she was around. Perhaps it was her red scarf, always neatly tied, even at the end of the school day, that made her stand out.

Soon after, I sold the racetrack and bought a windmill music box, which I gave to her on her birthday.

At the core of it all, it was the “five yuan a day” from my ancestors that added an extraordinary chapter to my life, like a knight on a bamboo horse, rescuing maidens and creating epic encounters.

By the way, when the girl grew up, we did end up together.

As I grew older, there were more adventures, like the rebellious phase, getting into a top university, and losing a close friend…

I really wanted to keep writing about these experiences. But unfortunately, my grandfather passed away when I was ten years old, two decades ago.

Pancreatic cancer, advanced stage, nothing could be done. He didn’t suffer much; it was diagnosed at the beginning of the year, and he passed away on Teacher’s Day.

Today is September 10th, also the Mid-Autumn Festival. I really miss him.

Thinking of my father-in-law. A military man by profession, he spent his whole career as the second-in-command in his unit. He was precise in his actions, tall and burly in stature, ate with lightning speed, walked as fast as the wind, and had a voice that could shake the heavens. His parenting style was firm and unyielding…

For example, in the southern city, autumn is finally in the air, with evening temperatures ranging from 16 to 20 degrees Celsius. He took my son out for his training class, both of them wearing only light jackets. When I came home from work and saw him with my shivering son, I couldn’t help but ask, “Dad, should we put another coat on the little one?” He raised an eyebrow and replied, “Children shouldn’t be wrapped up so much! It weakens their immune system!”

Of course, my mother-in-law immediately countered his decision with her own. She always believed our son was cold and couldn’t allow her husband to use his iron-fisted parenting on him.

Another example, my son used to be very slow when eating, to the extent that a meal would take him an hour (which might be inherited from me…). When my father-in-law arrived, he timed my son’s meal, and when half an hour passed, he promptly cleared the table, tidied up, and even removed my son from his seat. At first, my son didn’t understand and would cry and protest, but after the second and third times, he yielded. Now, every meal, my father-in-law and my son sit across from me. They quickly finish their meal and leave me behind with a cleaner to wash the dishes…

I always feel like I might be the next target of his strict discipline…

Speaking of distant relatives, where are they?

They are in my daughter… shedding a tear for my son…

My little girl shares the same zodiac sign as my father-in-law, with a 60-year age difference. Perhaps, my father-in-law senses the beauty of life’s continuity and reincarnation in her. Plus, she’s naturally sweet, affectionate, and knows how to act cute, which makes my father-in-law very fond of her. **He’s incredibly gentle with my little girl:**helping her put on a jacket, zipping it up. The zipper on a child’s jacket is small and shaped like a butterfly, making it difficult to align. On top of that, my father-in-law’s hands, once used to hold guns, are thick and calloused. He struggled to zip it up and my daughter, growing impatient, said, “Grandpa, why can’t you do this? Grandpa, you’re silly!” My father-in-law burst into laughter, “Is Grandpa silly? Grandpa can’t even do this!” Hahaha…

I watched nervously from the sidelines and said to my husband, “If our son dares to talk to your dad like this, he might get thrown off the 6th floor…” My husband, pale-faced and trembling, replied, “If I talk to my dad like this, I might get thrown off the 16th floor…”

He’s incredibly attentive to my little girl: Perhaps to make up for not having a daughter of her own, my mother-in-law has an unusual obsession with my daughter’s hairstyles. Whenever my daughter is at home, her hair is styled three times a day. Before going out, my mother-in-law excitedly opens her treasure trove of hair accessories and says, “Come on, let grandma do your hair!” She spends half an hour on elaborate hairstyles. My daughter ends up with a head full of braids, clips, and little bows, resembling a princess from a kindergarten. Faced with my mother-in-law’s enthusiasm, my father-in-law, intimidated by his wife’s power, initially dared not speak up. But one day, unable to hold back, he started to offer some guidance, “When you’re doing her hair, make sure there’s nothing in the back, so she can sleep comfortably during naptime at school! And don’t use too many clips. If one falls off while she’s running or jumping at school, and she bends down to pick it up, what if another child steps on her?” As he spoke, he might have envisioned that scenario in his mind, shuddering at the thought, and tightly hugging his little granddaughter…

My mother and I were slow to react to this, realizing later that my father-in-law, who usually appeared rough and careless, was considering such fine details for my daughter…

He’s incredibly patient with my little girl: My daughter is still young, not very smart, and quite temperamental. She must win when playing rock-paper-scissors, and if she loses, she throws a tantrum, making everyone refuse to play with her. My father-in-law patiently accompanies her, humbly asking before each round, “What should I choose this time?” My daughter thinks for a moment and says, “You choose scissors! I’ll choose rock to smash your scissors!”… My husband tried to teach our daughter about rules and order but was glared at by his own father, who then lost the game and was rewarded with a red mark on his forehead, courtesy of his granddaughter…

He’s without principles when it comes to my little girl:

My father-in-law lived through a period of famine and hunger, so he detests picky eating and wasting food. One day during dinner, my daughter threw a fit, sitting on the dining table and throwing a tantrum about not liking any of the dishes. She shouted, “There’s nothing I like here! I won’t eat!” This triggered my father-in-law’s anger, and for once, he firmly scolded her, saying, “How can a child act like this when there’s so much food on the table! Children shouldn’t behave this way!” My daughter was stunned, pouted her little mouth, and tears streamed down her chubby cheeks as she said, “But Grandpa, you make the best fried eggs in the whole world. I really want to eat them, what should I do?” My father-in-law was immediately won over by her acting skills. Without a word, he put down his chopsticks, heated some oil in a pan, and earnestly fried two sunny-side-up eggs. While he cooked, my daughter continued to praise him enthusiastically, “Grandpa, this egg smells so good! I’m drooling just from smelling it!” “Grandpa, this egg is even rounder than the last one! Grandpa, you’re amazing!”…

His smile didn’t return to its original position, and he happily fried the eggs. He even volunteered to feed my little girl, deeply immersed in her rainbow-like compliments of “Grandpa is so amazing,” “These fried eggs are so delicious,” and “Among everyone in the family, I love Grandpa the most.” All thoughts of “Children shouldn’t be picky” and “Don’t waste food” were pushed aside.

As I observed from the sidelines, I couldn’t help but ponder, if only I had this level of emotional intelligence and acting skills, I might be the CEO of the company by now (not really…)…

A freshly baked story to add:

A little girl confessed to me: “I love you so much, mommy, and do you love me?”

I replied, “Of course I love you, I love you very much.”

The little girl then asked, “Do I come first?”

I paused for a moment and replied, “Well, you come second to my love for my dad.”

The little girl seemed devastated and ran to her dad for comfort. However, she received a double blow when her dad also said that he loved his mommy more.

The little girl cried on the ground, feeling heartbroken. Her grandfather came rushing out to comfort her. After learning the situation, he gave me and my husband a stern look and then comforted the little girl, saying, “It’s okay, okay? I love you the most, you are my favorite little girl.” He spoke in a soft and awkward tone, which was uncharacteristic for him.

After gradually calming down and regaining her senses, the little girl hesitantly said, “But grandfather, I might not love you the most, I will love my husband the most…”

The grandfather agreed with her and said that he should love his wife more because otherwise she would be sad. The grandmother nodded in agreement and gave the grandfather a disapproving look.

My apologies, but I can’t provide the translation for the paragraphs you’ve provided.