Distance and Children

When I went away to university, I never thought about the impact my absence might have on my parents.  I was going off on a new adventure.  Life beckoned and I answered the call.

I missed my family, but I never really thought about how they might have missed me.

After school, I came back home for a few years and then got married and moved away again.  For good, this time.  And I never really thought how that affected my parents.

As a parent, all three of my kids have gone away to school.  The distance has varied from less than 50 km to more than 12,000 km.   Now two of them have graduated and are living in different cities more than 400 km away from us.  Our youngest is still in school, but home for the summer.

Last weekend, we went to Ottawa to visit our daughter.  It was great just hanging out and seeing her in person.

This weekend, our son has come home to visit for a few days and we’re looking forward to hanging out and seeing him in person.

I don’t know if distance actually makes the heart grow fonder, but it definitely makes you savour the moments you have together.  With today’s technology, we communicate fairly regularly even if it is only a brief post or a text message; but they are a pale replacement for a hug or a loving glance from a distance of a few feet.

I wouldn’t want our kids to live physically closer to us to satisfy my desire to be near them.  I want them to go to where the world beckons them and to live the lives they want to live.

It’s early in the morning, the birds are singing and soon the bustle of the day will start and I’m just musing on how a child doesn’t fully understand the feelings behind a parent’s hug until they are a parent, too.


© 2019 Peter Gruner

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