Recently, a pair of an elderly couple who were established in their careers sighed to me, “We’d sent our children abroad, we’d gone all over the world after we retired, and as the sun was about to set one day, we’d strolled to the fishing village in Donggang, saw a pair of father and son, working hard, to lift the load of fish they got to the shores to sell, then, we saw them, with their arms on one another’s shoulders, went home together, laughing. Seeing how closely the father and son related to one another, I’d recalled how my children who are abroad in the U.S. hadn’t called us for so long, I feel really awful.”
During the time when I was living in New Zealand, once the whole family traveled to a distant town, and, we saw a little boy, fishing on the bridge, he looked, really lonely. I’d smiled and walked up to him and said “hi”, and, shared an apple with him. As we started in conversation, I’d learned, that he was a student who floated across the seas to study, all alone, in a foreign world.
Asked him why his parent didn’t come, his face showed of sorrows, said, “my older brother is excellent in school, he’d always scored top places on his exams from when he was younger, he’s now, studying in NTY, my parents would brag about how well-behaved, and intelligent my older brother is. And I, I’m very outgoing, not at all that studious, and gotten bad grades, and my parents are ashamed of me, and so, they’d dropped me here, to keep their minds off of me.” He thought in silence for a short bit, then, spoke out his displeasures, “After I’d grown up and become independent, and I’d made a name for myself, I will do as they’d done to me, stay the heck away from them, so they’ll understand what the loneliness I’m feeling now is like.” After I’d heard, I couldn’t help but shiver.
It’d reminded me of a good couple friend, the Changs, the husband is an ENT doctor, his wife, a dentist, the two of them worked to open up a clinic, with a ton of patients. After the kids were born, they’d shifted the focus of their lives back to the family, when the children are in elementary and middle school, the couple would take turns, walking them to and from school, and helped them with their homework assignments. As the son tested into Kaohsiung High School, the couple couldn’t bear the son having to live in the dorms or commute, they’d chauffeur him to and from school every single day. The round trip from Pingdong to Kaohsiung would take at least one and a half hour per way, and, they’d still done it, rain or shine.
“Aren’t you tired after all the years?”, I was curious.
They said together, “Saying that it’s not tiresome would be a lie, but, there was laughter inside that small space in the car, the atmosphere is very pleasant, and that, was something that can’t be bought.”
And now, the two kids had done wonderfully, both gotten into medical schools up north, in the busyness of their lives, they’d still called up their parents to connect, and to tell them to not worry.
Looking at others, thinking about myself, over a decade ago, I’d moved my family to New Zealand, for the sake of my career and my family, I’d lived as an acrobat for many years, gladly, my wife was able to hold down the fortress, for the sakes of our daughters’ education, she’d lived in a foreign land long-term, put up with the differences of culture and the language. Recently, both my daughters had graduated, and they’d moved back to Taiwan to work, and my wife’s accompaniment from when they were younger, should not be overlooked.
And so, this still just shows that kids need the parents to be close by in order to develop fully and properly, but, a lot of the parents here still held on to the myths of just sending their children abroad, and just shoved those hard-earned dollars UP their offspring’s asses and believed that it would be enough, well, it isn’t, because children should be RAISED WITH the parents close by, so, stop thinking that you can just drop us kids off into a foreign land, believing that it was, for a better opportunity of life that you, stupid parents never got!