Lessons from Chinese Idioms: "Eagerly Awaiting the Return of One's Son"

Yi Dou

PureInsight | July 11, 2005

[PureInsight.org] Wang Sunjia was summoned to the royal court of the Qi state at the age of 15 to work as one of King Qi's attendants. Wang's mother was very affectionate and very attached to her son. Before Wang Sunjia left home for the royal court each day, his mother would remind him to return home after work right away. Every time Wang returned home late, his mother would wait eagerly at the door for his return.

In 284 B.C., the Yan state's army attacked the Qi state and quickly invaded the Qi state's capital city, Linzi. King Qi was forced to flee from Linzi. On the day Linzi was lost to the Yan state, Wang Sunjia was not with King Qi. When he heard the news that King Qi had fled from the capital, he went looking for the king right away. At the end of the day when there was no sign of King Qi, Wang Sunjia decided to return home first. When his mother met him at the door, she asked him, "The Yan state's army has entered the capital, why didn't you go protect His Majesty?" Wang answered, "I don't know where His Majesty's is." His mother became furious. She reproached her son, "I waited for your return each time you were late coming home. You are His Majesty's attendant. Now that His Majesty has not returned to the palace and is nowhere to be found, what are you returning home for?!" Wang Sunjia felt ashamed when his mother reprimanding him. He immediately left home again to look for King Qi.

The Chinese idiom, "eagerly awaiting the return of one's son," is used to express a parent's affection and expectation for his child.

Translated from:

Add new comment