Gull

Chapter Six continued...
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Even if there is only a glimmer of hope I'll make every effort to find a cure for my son.…The leader of my work unit told me that since my first child is a deaf child, I can have a second child. But I don't want to.

My mother-in-law, a warmhearted person who comes from a small village, said: "Don't worry, when the child is three I will take him to the village and he can be a shepherd. Then you can have a second child." When I heard this I was really upset—a shepherd? Is this the only choice for my son? Is this to be his fate? I wasn't happy with my mother-in-law's attitude. We decided we wouldn't accept her help, we don't want our son to be an idiot and isolated from society. My grandmother told me my son was the cleverest boy she ever met. We must save money for our son, so he can go to primary school.

In the fourth instance, the mother wrote:

Because of the current family planning policy, I can't have a second child. So I should concentrate my efforts on the treatment of my son's deafness.

She does not explain the "can't": she may lack the permission of her work unit to have another child, or perhaps the deafness is congenital and she feels or has been advised not to run the risk of having a second deaf child.

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