"My mother's work is not only hard but also dangerous. Once, she had an accident on her way to work and had to rest for a week."
Wang Xiaolin and her mother (Photos: Qianjiang Evening News)
"Sometimes, there are snakes in the grass under the viaduct, especially in warm weather. I often hear dogs barking under the bridge. My mother always puts a bench and a small stove under the bridge in winter to warm up when she has a rest. She needs to be careful of the wild dogs."
These words are on a hand-painted map, made by Wang Xiaolin as a “safe work manual” for her mother, a sanitation worker. On March 8, Xiaolin’s teacher suggested the students send small gifts to their mothers. Xiaolin decided to draw a picture to remind her mother to pay attention to safety.
The area that Ms. Zhou is responsible for cleaning is along the intersection of Tongxie Road and Desheng East Road in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province.
"My mother is responsible for an area about 600 meters from the intersection," said Xiaolin.
Zhou has worked as a sanitation worker for ten years, working at Desheng Road for the last two.
Every Friday afternoon after school, Xiaolin will accompany her mother to sweep the road. She usually squats on the ground and uses her mother's electric bicycle as a desk to finish her homework. After completing her homework, she will pick up a broom and help her mother clean the road. She knows the area very well.
Xiaolin used all the details she observed to create a map. She included areas where there are wild dogs, locations where her mother can find more garbage, and which intersections her mother should pay attention to.
Xiaolin noted that although her mother is small, she is very diligent when it comes to her job.
Although the work is hard, Ms. Zhou will try her best to spend time with her daughter. Zhou goes to work at 4.30 in the morning, and sends her daughter to school at 6 am when it is breakfast time, working until 8 pm.
Xiaolin’s father and mother are both sanitation workers. On weekday evenings, after Mr. Wang finishes work for the day, he will take over Zhou’s work so she can take their daughter home to do homework.
The happy mother said that she was surprised when she received her daughter's gift. "My daughter is growing up and learning fast, and she is a very considerate girl," she said.
Cover image: The map drawn by Wang Xiaolin