By Gwen Wong
Luo Tian (right) looks tough but he loves and cares his father very much.
Parents always want to have their children staying with them. However, the reality for migrant workers is that this will not always be possible. Working in a different city means that they have to leave their children behind in their home village.
When one is far from home, one will understand how much his or her loved ones are missed.
"At first, I was not used to things being this way. Each day I called my dad around ten times because I missed him badly." Luo Tian, the 10-year-old boy shows us a brave face though, he cannot forget how much he missed his father when he was sent back to hometown for studies.
I know my father is lonely
Luo Tian is one of the 5,800 plus children in China who have been separated from their migrant worker parents. When he was in primary three, his mother took him from the city back to their Anhui hometown in preparation for further studies in junior high school. Some people say that left-behind children have difficulties to develop close relationships, however, Luo Tian shows a lot of empathy for others.
Luo Tian understands pretty well that his father's job is very demanding and does not have much time to rest. "Daddy wants to take good care of me and buy me nice things to eat and toys to play with. That's why he works so hard and being fatigued." Luo Tian is such a caring child that he calls his father every day to show his support.
Luo Tian's father is also happy to chat with his son about his work and life. He says, "Sometimes when I get off work and I am feeling particularly lonely, I think about my son. If it's possible, I would love to have him living with me. He brings me great joy at all times."
Tang Keke likes staying with her parents.
Grasping every chance to keep in touch
8-year-old Tang Keke's parents are also migrant workers and the girl is looked after in Anhui by her maternal grandparents. She loves visiting the city to see her mother and father, and always says that this is her biggest wish. Her mother says, "Every time I take Keke back to the village, she will cry uncontrollably as soon as she gets on the train even though we have already said our goodbyes. I know that it is extremely hard for her to leave us."
In addition to Lunar New Year, Keke would go visit her parents during the summer holidays. If there is time, her parents would also try to surprise her.
Mrs Tang says, "Last year we had a few days of holiday and we would like to give her a surprise. Though a few people told her that her parents were going back, she wouldn't believe it. But when she opened the door and saw us, she shouted with happiness and was overcome with joy."
As Keke and her parents speak every day on the phone, Mrs. Tang thinks that it does not make a big difference whether Keke lives with her or not, and Keke also thinks that her life is similar to those children who live with their parents. Mrs. Tang, when sharing some of her tips on maintaining a close relationship with Keke, says, "It's because we are constantly in touch! If there’s a chance, we will go to see her."
Children and their parents may live far apart, if there is a will to keep them together, their relationships will always be full of warmth and love.