‘I always made sure I was there to help’
63, retired entrepreneur from Changchun, Jilin province
I amvery lucky to have two children. My son and daughter were both born before the family planning policy was adopted.
Nowthey are each other’s companions, which is the reason I encouraged them to have two children of their own. They listened to me and now they both have two kids.
I can say I amvery experienced in taking care of children, because I started doing it when I was only 6 years old. In 1959, I moved tomy elder sister’s home in Changchun from Shandong province to escape a famine. My sister had five children, and I took care of them. Later, I raisedmy own children.
So, whenmy grandchildren came one after the other during the past 15 years, I didmy best to help.
My first grandchild was born in 2002. When he was 1 year old, I went tomy son’s home in Changchun to take care of the baby. Every day was busy, but watching him grow up made everything worthwhile.
Whenmy grandson was 8 years old, my daughter gave birth to a girl in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, in South China. The distance didn’t stop me from going to her side. Later, both ofmy children had second children, and I always made sure I was there to help.
Looking back, I have been busy dealing with crying babies, feeding bottles and diapers since I was 49. NowI feel a little tired, but I have to carry on becausemy children are busy working every day and they need me. If I don’t help them, they won’t be able to survive.
Although days are not easy when children are small, the effort will pay off eventually— at least, I always believe so. Parents will die one day, and when that day comes the children will have each other to lean on.
Guo Shouqin spoke with Liu Kun.