Jing-Mei's mother began as the eternal optimist where her daughter was concerned. She believed, despite evidence to the contrary, that her daughter could be a prodigy of some kind. Unfortunately, Jing-Mei's mother was so determined to figure out where Jing-Mei's genius lies that she becomes pushy and seems to be unaccepting of who her daughter actually is. Jing-Mei says that "after seeing, once again, my mother's disappointed face, something inside me began to die. I hated the tests, the raised hopes and failed expectations." Her mother is persistent, however, and continues to push Jing-Mei, especially once she sees a little Chinese girl playing the piano on Ed Sullivan. She claims that she doesn't want her daughter to be a genius, but she wants Jing-Mei to "'be [her] best'" and work hard at something. She insists on her daughter being obedient and a hard worker, and when Jing-Mei is neither, she is disappointed. Even as an old woman, though, she never gave up on her daughter's talent. She said, "'You have natural talent. You could be a genius if you want to [....]. You just not trying,' [...]. And she was neither angry nor sad. She said it as if announcing a fact that could never be disproved." Thus, Jing-Mei's mother is loving, certainly, but her delivery of her love and belief in Jing-Mei inadvertently made her daughter feel like a terrible disappointment. This final interaction concerning the piano, though, seems to say it all. Jing-Mei's mother always believed in her, never stopped believing in her—again, she's persistent—but felt Jing-Mei never tried as hard as she could.