小故事

林文聰


This is a story happened three years ago when my eldest daughter Judy came home from the lab of her school; at that time, she was studying medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia and had her own apartment in the city.

She was quite exhausted when she got home so that she told us that she was going to bed after taking a shower.

“You better dry your hair completely before going to bed.” I told her when I noticed that she washed her hair and the hair was still very damp. “Otherwise, you will get sick.” I continued.

“No. I always did that and never got sick.”  She replied. Then she headed to her room upstairs and totally ignored my advice.

We have raised our children as American children and there is no need for them to be obedient to us; instead, we always expect them to make best judgment by themselves through logic reasoning. As a result, all our children develop a very strong personality. This is just one of the difficult situations we have to deal with. So what could I do to get her dry her hair?  I knew that I needed to find a solution quickly. I lay down on the sofa chair, closed my eyes and started thinking.  It took me about two minutes to find the solution. She was just about to turn off the light when I knocked at her door and went into her room.

“Judy, do you remember the mess we found at home when we returned from the vacation at Niagara Falls?”  I asked.

“Of course.” she replied. It happened in the summer of 1996 when we lived in our first house which was a very small two-story twin house without basement. The regulator of the hot water heater became defective when we were away and hot water was released from the emergency valve to flood the whole first floor.

“Do you know why we had to replace all the carpet?” I asked.

“They stink.” She replied.

“That is correct. The carpet is usually the dirtiest part in a house because bacteria and virus can be trapped easily even it is vacuumed regularly.” I explained. “Fortunately, the bacteria and virus normally do no harm since they can’t reproduce without water. But once the carpet gets wet, they multiply very quickly and ruin the carpet. Your pillow is just like the carpet,” Before I could finish my sentence, she had already jumped out of her bed and dashed into the bathroom to dry her hair.  

The best outcome from this episode is that Judy would actually come to me for advice with her difficulties afterward.