Saturday, February 02, 2008

Love & Long-Distance

You would think no one would ever volunteer to participate in such a relationship. It's emotionally draining and every day you wish you could fast-forward to a time when that distance is just an arm's length. And then there are my landlords: a couple who shipped their 2 year old daughter back to relatives in China. Every other night they go on Skype and try to coax their barely-speaking child to smile or say 爸爸 or 媽媽. Sometimes they'll take out her toys and play with them over webcam as if she were physically here. They shipped her off for reasons that I can only guess, which I've boiled down to the following possibility, the only one that seems justifiable: They couldn't find a replacement nanny for the one who resigned before Christmas (even though they helped another couple in the area hire a nanny after Christmas).
It just seems senseless to me to voluntarily put yourself in a long-distance relationship and one with your baby for that matter. And it's sad when I hear them laughing and cooing to their daughter over Skype every other night. I wonder what effects there are on a child who interacts with their parents intermittently over webcam during crucial years of development for the child. This is a remote town, but according to them this town has enough to offer them for raising a child. Are they trying to give her the best? Is sending her away doing any good? Did they really have no other choice? Non-parents usually think they can raise a child better than parents they see, but this is something that I don't think I would ever allow myself to do unless I were fighting a war.