On Sundays my father always wore that dull gray apron (围裙). The ritual began after breakfast when Dad always announced, "Go ahead everyone. I'll take care of the dishes!" Off came the suit coat he had worn to church that morning. Up went the shirtsleeves. On went that apron. For the next hour Dad did the dishes, singing songs like "Who Put the Chow in Mrs, Murphy's Chowder?"
I suppose it was strange for a boy's father to wear an apron but I never thought much of it until the day that Dad broke with tradition. It was the last Sunday in August.
"Tommy," he said letting my name roll off his tongue. My mind raced ahead of his words: A new bike? A part-time-job?
"There comes a time in every boy's life when he must take on responsibilities."
"Responsibilities?" I asked.
"Yes, It's time you took a greater role in the household." Power tools? Boss my baby brother?
"Starting today, I want you to do the dishes on Sunday morning so your mother and I can work the crossword puzzle together."
"The dishes ! ?"
"Anything wrong with taking over the dishes, son?"
Ask me to run through a rainstorm. Command me to ride the roller coaster-backward.These things I would do. But I could never do those dishes. There was nothing left but to refuse.
People often say there is a special chemistry between a father and a son. He came back into the kitchen just as I was about to storm out. In his right hand was the old apron.
"I want you to have this, Tommy. It'll keep your clothes from getting wet." And before I could mount a protest, he had put the thing on me. "Thanks, Son. Your mother and I appreciate this.".
With that he disappeared into the Sunday paper. Soon I was singing about Mrs. Murphy's chowder. The words came out of nowhere. And out of nowhere I knew the kind of man I wanted to be.
A boy, who used to think housework was an adult's job, was asked to wash dishes. Though surprised and unwilling to do so at first, he finally realized he, too, should take on responsibility in the household.
Nowadays, quite a lot of children take it for granted that their parents do all the chores at home. They are either busy playing games or doing their schoolwork but seldom wash dishes or do the cleaning.
It is, of course, not right for children not to take on any responsibility in the household. As a family member, a child should help with the housework so that their parents can relax themselves after a long day's work. If a child takes his role in the housework, he will become sympathetic and considerate and would like to help others. I used to be rather lazy, not participating in any housework and did not understand my parents' hardship until one day I helped clean the house.
From then on, I find it a pleasure to help others and I am proud to say I have grown to be a person who can take on responsibilities both at home and at school.