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Like I Ever Had a Dog or a Cat

Popularity 7Viewed 7683 times 2016-11-12 09:12 |System category:Life

“I love you so much! I love you! I love you like I ever had a dog, or a cat! I LOVE YOU!!!”


I roared with laughter at this declaration of love from my 7-year old granddaughter, Katherine. No longer should we say 'I love you so much'; there is now a more profound way to express love. And, it can be amplified: 'I love you like I ever had 7 dogs and 5 cats!', for example.


Besides, 'I love you so much' is grammatically incorrect. There is no comparative or superlative to love, only degrees: an affinity for, liking, loving, revering, and adoring. Before I received that voice message from her, I would have said I adore that little girl; now I am on par with her: I love her at least 5 dogs and 5 cats. At least that much.

Fortunately, she sent her tidings via voice message, so that I can play it as often as I like, for as long as I own this phone.


And it just so happened that, that day, I was expecting company. They had barely made themselves comfortable when I begged for their attention and played them Katherine's message. They too laughed to tears. And then, the inevitable “You must miss your family so much!”.


From my students' perspective – they, who actively miss their family and home life, it must seem like sheer insanity for me to have abandoned my little red-haired love in order to live on the other side of the world, year after year. As we prepared our dinner together, the conversation turned once again to how I could possibly live with what must be a huge hole in my heart that needs my family nearby to fill it.


Strangely enough, I do not actively miss my family. Do other expats feel the same way about their families?


What with all the technology available today, we can stay in close contact with our loved ones, can't we? At times, especially around the holidays, my family and I chat daily, and we constantly send pictures back and forth. I am with them on Christmas morning, when the children open their gifts, via video call. This supposedly lonely outpost of mine is not as it would have been one hundred years ago, when teachers and missionaries only had the solace of handwritten letters to relieve their longing for home.


For me, where is home? With one grandchild living on the west coast of America and the others living on the east, should I be living on the same continent as them, I would most likely only be in touch with them via voice call, and would probably only visit once a year, as I do now, living in China. Well, maybe I would visit more than once.


Still, living in China prohibits many family doings. I can't touch, hug, kiss or play with my grandchildren. There are no trips to Mema's (what my g-kids call me), and no sleepovers at my house. I'm not physically present for their birthdays or other significant milestones. Forget dance recitals and boy scout outings; I only get to hear about them.


And that means that we have to put special effort into our relationship.


Would she work so hard to find new ways of expressing her deep feeling if I lived next door? Would Katherine even be aware that the world is such a big place were I to live in her immediate vicinity? Probably not. Even though I live exactly 12 time zones away from her, I am comforted to know I am in her thoughts, as she is in mine. I think of how remarkable it is for this little girl to be able to cultivate a long-distance relationship with someone who only appears once a year, and that makes me admire her even more.


So now I ask you: with Single's Day just past, did you tell anyone how many dogs and cats you love them? Go ahead: I dare you to!

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report Chengking 2016-11-12 15:22
Your grand daughter is so cute. I just love her freckles.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-11-13 05:02
Millions of parents in China leave their child behind to work - 'left behind children', that are essentially abandoned
http://www.sixthtone.com/news/ho ... eft-behind-children
to quote a paragraph from this article which is from a survey by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs:

“In the survey, we found that the absence of a guardian is the key issue,” the spokesman said. “Some migrant worker parents don’t take responsibility for their children and leave them alone at home. They may seldom return or communicate with their children. Some might not even contact their kids for a whole year.”

now laws are being enacted to compel children to contact their parents.
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/for ... p;page=1#pid5054341

'.....the educational authority in East China's Zhejiang province has included the requirement that students remember their parents' birthday and express their respects to them.'

Most non-Chinese i know put a lot of time and effort into keeping in contact with family and friends at home.
for example, several 40 somethings i know phones their parents regularly to ensure they are alright and to chat, sometimes at length.

I speak at least twice a week to family and friends at home, when i am not travelling for work.

Many non-chinese are regularly accused of being 'unfilial' yet display a more caring attitude to family than some locals i know.
Reply Report voice_cd 2016-11-13 05:38
thanks for sharing here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report Newtown 2016-11-14 14:36
"Besides, 'I love you so much' is grammatically incorrect. There is no comparative or superlative" So what is the correct grammar involved in beginning a sentence with "Like" ?

"I would most likely only be in touch with them via voice call" How can you touch someone via a phone call ? Or are all of your phone calls very touching ?
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-11-14 17:40
Newtown: "Besides, 'I love you so much' is grammatically incorrect. There is no comparative or superlative" So what is the correct grammar involved i ...
To 'be in touch' is a common idiom, which this poster uses correctly.
Reply Report Newtown 2016-11-15 17:51
BlondeAmber: To 'be in touch' is a common idiom, which this poster uses correctly.
And the "Like" bit ?
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-11-15 21:12
Newtown: And the "Like" bit ?
there is nothing grammatically wrong with the sentence:
'I would most likely only be in touch with them via voice call'

it could be re-written and have the same meaning as:
'i would most probably only be in contact with them via voice call'
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-11-15 21:17
Newtown: And the "Like" bit ?
When colloquial speech is written, it is seldom grammatically correct, especially when the original speaker is a child.
Reply Report Newtown 2016-11-16 10:43
"there is now a more profound way to express love. And, it can be amplified: 'I love you like I ever had 7 dogs and 5 cats!', for example." So how grammatically correct is this written statement made by a presumed adult ?
Reply Report Newtown 2016-11-16 10:46
"most probably" ? How many gradations of probability are there, especially in relation to the topic of cats and dogs ?
Reply Report teamkrejados 2016-11-17 11:45
Chengking: Your grand daughter is so cute. I just love her freckles.
Thank you! I love kissing her little freckles - my, how she giggles at that!
Wish you a great day!
Reply Report teamkrejados 2016-11-17 11:46
BlondeAmber: Millions of parents in China leave their child behind to work - 'left behind children', that are essentially abandoned
http://www.sixthtone.com/news/h ...
You make a good point: I should have made reference to left-behind children, and how there seems to be little in the way of bonding or relationships for them. Thanks for bringing it up.
Reply Report teamkrejados 2016-11-17 11:51
Newtown: And the "Like" bit ?
'Like' is a grammatically correct and acceptable substitute for 'as though', which might be cumbersome and unfamiliar to a 7-year old.
If there were any grammatical errors to pounce on, I would have thought you would have chosen 'ever': '..., like I ever had a dog or cat!'. Or: '..., as though I ever had a dog or cat!'. 'Never' would be grammatically correct but, as they say, 'out of the mouths of babes' and all that.
Reply Report teamkrejados 2016-11-17 11:52
Newtown: "there is now a more profound way to express love. And, it can be amplified: 'I love you like I ever had 7 dogs and 5 cats!', for example."  ...
Clearly you don't believe that a child can influence an adult, even in speech patterns.
Reply Report teamkrejados 2016-11-17 11:54
BlondeAmber: When colloquial speech is written, it is seldom grammatically correct, especially when the original speaker is a child.
Thanks for your support. It seems Newtown has reverted to troll mode. Apparently, in the face of something so precious and adorable, he has nothing pleasant to say; reducing him to nit-picking grammar - incorrectly, I might add.  
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-11-17 13:08
Newtown: "most probably" ? How many gradations of probability are there, especially in relation to the topic of cats and dogs ?
yes, you can have degrees of probability.

'most probably' - synonymous with 'most likely'
Probability is the measure of the likelihood that an event will occur.

examples:
'under the new legislation, it is most probable that.......'
' X is the least probable outcome .....'
Reply Report Newtown 2016-11-17 22:41
Or could that be "most probable", "more probable" or "less probable"? Do you say "most quickly" or "quickest"?
Reply Report Newtown 2016-11-17 22:46
teamkrejados: 'Like' is a grammatically correct and acceptable substitute for 'as though', which might be cumbersome and unfamiliar to a 7-year old.
If there were  ...
You're pouncing on grammatical errors after going to the trouble of pointing our grammatical errors in your grand daughter's speech. Pot meet kettle meet black. At least you managed to spell grammar correctly on this occasion.
Reply Report Newtown 2016-11-17 22:51
teamkrejados: Clearly you don't believe that a child can influence an adult, even in speech patterns.
Could it be 'vice versa' ? e.g. "I was like, you know, going shopping yesterday and it was like so hot and like so sweaty that I like felt like the dog days of like summer had like kinda, sorta returned, like y'know what I mean and stuff?" Out of the mouths of allegedly intelligent adults.
Reply Report Newtown 2016-11-17 22:56
teamkrejados: Thanks for your support. It seems Newtown has reverted to troll mode. Apparently, in the face of something so precious and adorable, he has nothing pl ...
Weren't you nit-picking your grand daughter's grammar in the first place? But it's acceptable for me to do likewise?

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