After the economic opening of China in 1978, there were better economic times, so people had more children and the Chinese population increased very fast. Because the medical services were getting better, people lived longer and there was a rise in birth rates. However, a rising birth rate eventually placed an enormous burden on Chinese society. In addition, people who lived in the countryside had a lot of children. As a result, the Chinese government promoted family planning to control the population. Family planning means that each family was only allowed to have a single child. Thus, each husband and wife was allowed only had one child. However, many families including mine violated the planning policy, and this violation had an enormous influence on my parents, my siblings and me.
Because of the family planning law, my family had to escape our village. The government went around and started reinforcing the law everywhere. Then, my mother had one daughter, but my grandmother and my father really wanted a son. Therefore, my family escaped to different places to live when my mother got pregnant again. Because of the violation of the law that my mother was committing, the family planning officers came to my family’s house to arrest her. Later, when my mother got pregnant with my younger sister and brother, my family had to escape to different places again in order to avoid being arrested. If the family planning officials arrested my mother, they would force my mother to have an abortion. Finally, my family never went back to my hometown until my little brother was born.
In addition, my parents needed to make money to pay a lot of fines for the extra children. My parents always worked hard and hardly ever stayed at home; for example, they worked in a coal mine company, drove a bus in the city, and worked as a factory. My parents were very busy, so nobody did the housework. As a result, my siblings and I had to help my parents to do housework, and my older sisters and I had to take care of my little sister and brother and share a lot of household duties. For example, we had to wash clothes, cook, and sweep the floor. When my older sister cooked the meals, I always washed the dishes after dinner. I felt successful and independent to have this extra responsibility that I could help my parents share the burden.
More importantly, because of the violation of family planning, my siblings and I had to change schools often and always make new friends. Each time we moved to a different place to live, I always had to adapt to a new environment. I remember when I was ten years old, I met a close friend in school, and she treated me like an intimate sister. She often told funny stories, and she always invited me to her house to study and play. At that time, my life was full of positive energy; however, when I was ten years old, my parents had bad news from me, which made me cry. They told me that I was transferring to another school. Every time I transferred to another school, I cried because I lost my friends.
I know my parents had a hard time during those years. They had to escape, pay fines and live in different places. Many of my friends and classmates envied me having several siblings because they were only child and felt lonely. Now, as they get older they need to take care for their parents and grandparents alone. However, my siblings and I have some advantages. We can take care of our grandparents and parents, and we can take care of each other. Despite the poor conditions when I grew up, I am so thankful to my parents for giving me my siblings.